Legislative building dome restoration to be unwrapped Monday night

By Sarah Mills
May 16, 2016 - 3:57pm

Like a giant Christmas gift, the dome of the legislative building has been wrapped up for the last two years.

Undergoing $21-million restoration work to the stone, copper and decorative pieces, the famous dome has been under cover while the work was underway.

Now the public will get the first glimpse of that work Monday.

The wrap comes off at 8 p.m. in front of the lieutenant-governor, premier and other dignitaries in a public ceremony, which will begin at 7 p.m. in the Queen Elizabeth II gardens.

While the dome is revealed, scaffolding will remain for several more weeks as the finishing touches are completed.

It is an important day for legislative building manager Steve Bata who has overseen the massive project.

"We are certainly approaching a milestone and I know there (are) a lot of people who really want to see what we've being doing for the last couple of years," he explained. "We are excited and I think people will be impressed by the work."

That work included replacing or restoring the 44 copper decorative pieces that line the dome. New welds and soldering were added to strengthen the dome, which stretched out would be the length of 13 and a half football fields.

The legislative building was a feat of engineering when built in 1912. The copper on the dome alone weighs 13,000 kilograms, which is the same as 13 grand pianos.

Of the original stone, 2,700 pieces were reconstructed and 28 blocks were replaced, which weigh the same as six cars - 10,000 kilograms.

There is also a new water management system to protect the dome from future erosion.

The construction teams even used tools similar to those used in 1912 to replicate the work done.

"I think it will keep the dome where it needs to be and safe for the next 100 years and I think the people that built would be proud of what we have done to their original work," Bata said. "We think we have honoured the people who built it and now it is time to show it off."


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