I have blogged about the massive rebuilding project in Berlin of the former Imperial City Palace now renamed the Humboldt Forum the work is almost complete and it is a marvel baroque architecture. The architect is Italian, Franco Stella, the cost is 750 million Euros. http://cam01.berlinerschloss-webcam.de it is the largest building project in Berlin.
Here in Charlottetown, PEI on a smaller scale the Legislative building of 1847 by architect Isaac Smith is undergoing a reconstruction and renovation phase over 5 years at a now estimated cost of $47 million CDN dollars. Parks Canada is responsible for the project.
The project has been under discussion and went through a long tendering phase of about 3 years, makes you wonder what took so long. The Legislature had to move out some years ago because the building had become dangerously unstable and many feared it would collapse on itself. Province House formerly known as Colonial House prior to 1864 has been the seat of the Legislative Assembly of PEI all those years and is the place where some of the main conferences of the Fathers of Confederation took place in 1864. So it is a National Historic Building of great importance, built in the Greek Revival style popular in the Georgian Period.
As I walked to Grafton Street today I went around Province House where workers are preparing the building for phase one which will stabilize the structure before more major work is undertaken. I noticed how badly cracked some of the stones are on the exterior walls, the wooden window frames are rotten and the stone steps are worn away with age. Given the age of the building, 170 yrs, with little to no maintenance it is a miracle that some great catastrophe has not struck. Many of the original facing sandstone will need a full replacement.
The interior has retained its original rooms and it is quite elegant. It will be interesting to watch the progression of the work in the months and years to come. The idea is to return the building to its original splendor.
if you look at the outside walls you can see the damage on the stone.
Stone is cracked, chipped and discoloured
Here the workers are removing the ceiling of the balcony on the North side to reveal the old original wood skeleton of the building supporting the roof, the original wood is rotten and the roof in danger of caving in.
The North facade of Province House, soon the windows will be removed and a steel skeleton will envelop the building to give it extra support and prevent any mishaps.
Province House with the Provincial Flag, only a few trees have been cut down for being to close to the walls of the building, all others are protected.