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Calgary old city hall restoration granted national award for heritage conservation

Restoration work on Calgary's old city hall received a national recognition. (Supplied) Restoration work on Calgary's old city hall received a national recognition. (Supplied)

Restoration work done to Calgary’s old city hall has been recognized with a national award.

The work, which took nearly four years to complete at a cost of $34 million, received a 2021 Award of Merit in the Conservation - Architecture category from the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals (CAHP).

“When a heritage building is renewed, reused, and repurposed well, communities celebrate their collective history,” said CAHP president Christienne Uchiyama.

“By conserving the city hall, one of the oldest sandstone structures on the prairies was preserved.”

Started in early 2017, the restoration included reinforcing the clock tower, updating decorative carvings, restoring the sandstone façade and replacing the roof.

Of the 15,522 original sandstones used to complete the building in 1911, nearly all of them — 15,142 in total — were treated with a combination of cleaning, structural repair, fortification or outright replacement.

The majority of the original sandstones for the structure came from quarries in Calgary but the restoration team turned to Ohio for the hardest and most dense sandstone used to replace stones below, and at, ground level.

Stones at the top of the building that are able to withstand the most challenging weather conditions are from Poland, and quarries in Spain provided replacement stones for everywhere else. Top Stories

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