Friday, July 28, 2006

Library of Parliament Reopens

The Canadian Library of Parliament in Ottawa reopened last month after a four-year, $136-million renovation project, reports The Record. The library's air handling and electrical systems were replaced, and the building's appearance was restored to its original 1876 look, complete with layers of translucent glass floors allowing light to enter from the library's dome, a new copper roof, paint job and floor. The new look is described as "breathtaking."

The article discusses the many fires that have plagued the library, as well as some of the rarer pieces held by the institution, including a copy of Audubon's Birds of America with marginal notes by John James Audubon himself (donated by his widow Lucy when the library's original copy was lost in one of the fires). The Birds and other rare items will now be housed in new underground vaults constructed during the renovation project.