In 1911, the Manitoba government announced a competition to design a new, third legislature, open to all architects in the Dominion. First prize: $10,000 -- that would be the equivalent of more than $230,000 today.
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Posted: 6:42 PM Jul. 15, 2020
On July 15, 1920, when the Manitoba Legislative Building formally opened, the province — like much of the rest of the world — was experiencing social upheaval and still recovering from a pandemic, not to mention a devastating war.
A century later, at a ceremony marking the majestic Winnipeg structure's 100th birthday, dignitaries spoke of the parallels between the current uncertain times and the momentous events of a century ago.
Sixty-seven designs were submitted, and the winner was Frank Worthington Simon and Henry Boddington III of Liverpool, England.
Construction began on the Manitoba Legislative Building in the summer of 1913, although it was delayed by shortages brought on by the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.
Construction was completed in Feburary of 1920, and the building was dedicated with much fanfare on on July 15 of that year, the 50th anniversary of Manitoba joining Confederation.
The legislative building is so ornate, so rich in masonry that the cost of construction in today's dollars would be prohibitive. Still, the structure adorned by a Golden Boy embodies both the literal and optimistic wealth of a time not seen in Manitoba prior or since.