Excavations for the Legislature Building began in August
1907, and by November 1911 the work was complete enough for the Legislature to
hold sessions there. By the summer of 1913 all the finishing touches were
The building is supported on concrete piles and constructed around a steel skeleton. The floor is faced with Vancouver
Island granite, while upper floors feature sandstone from the Glenbow Quarry in
Calgary. The interior fittings are meant to impress: imported marble,
mahogany, oak, and lots of brass.
Hundreds of labourers and skilled craftsmen worked
project. Building materials were shipped to a railway siding on the
riverbank and hauled by wagon up to the site, where stone masons carved the
coats of arms, wreathes, and columns that decorate the exterior of the
The size and complexity of the project can be seen in its
costs. Initially expected to cost about $1,250,000, a vast sum for the
time, the final cost was closer to $4,000,000, or about 20% of the province's
1913 budget of $21,000,000. If we were to spend 20% of today's budget on a
building the cost would be over two billion dollars!