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flar

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The Parliament Buildings - Ottawa

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Centre Block
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Peace Tower
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Senate Chamber
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House of Commons
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Library of Parliament
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Memorial Chamber
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West Block
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East Block
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junctionist

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Parliament is an incredible building. To experience a building whose design wasn't about compromises or cheapening, that's so well maintained and infused with so much art, history and national meaning is sublime. There are no negative comparisons to make. Even those Victorian Gothic fences are so exquisite and probably the most beautiful fences I've ever seen.
 

jn_12

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It really is stunning. I've never been inside but if being there in person is better than the pictures than it's a phenomenal building.
Also, I'm a bit of a sucker for statues too (it's something we as Canadians seem disinterested in for some reason) so I find the ones at Parliament to be fantastic.
 

Ladies Mile

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I suppose I'm the only person to look at all this dead, cold, "Gothic" gingerbread claptrap and feel supremely depressed.

What a shudder-inducing remnant of our Ye Olde Englishe Imperial past.
 

flar

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I suppose I'm the only person to look at all this dead, cold, "Gothic" gingerbread claptrap and feel supremely depressed.

What a shudder-inducing remnant of our Ye Olde Englishe Imperial past.

I was no fan of the Parliament Buildings but I tried to look at them with fresh eyes and can appreciate them for what they are.

They are undoubtedly dark and churchy, and they echo our British past maybe a bit too much, but the solemnity seems suitable for our type of government. The other obvious alternative at the time was probably something classically inspired, but then we would have been copying the Americans. The physical presence of the buildings is imposing and the Peace Tower dominates downtown Ottawa. This aspect doesn't come across well in photographs. Taken together,the setting and all the spires and points on Parliament Hill give an interesting Medieval European flavour to Ottawa from many vantage points. The arrangement of the buildings on Parliament Hill makes for a great public space and I'm astounded at how accessible everything is to the public. On the inside, one is constantly reminded of our British Heritage (and maybe not enough of our French heritage) by the materials, the clutter, the artwork in the halls (depicting royalty or historical events) and the elaborate thrones in the Senate and House of Commons. Even if you're not into the style, you can't help but appreciate the details and workmanship. As others have noted, you do get the impression that no expense was spared when this place was built. To top it off, the building is more modern in form and function than the Gothic styling suggests, having been built in the 20th century, however, in some ways it's not modern enough as the rear of the building is marred by air conditioners and corrugated aluminum siding in some spots. I don't have much patriotism in my bones, but I can see that many visitors are emotionally affected by the Parliament Buildings, which has to count for something.
 
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junctionist

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I suppose I'm the only person to look at all this dead, cold, "Gothic" gingerbread claptrap and feel supremely depressed.

What a shudder-inducing remnant of our Ye Olde Englishe Imperial past.

They helped create this place we call Canada and had developed their architecture for centuries. Just because you're bitter about imperialism doesn't undermine the quality of these buildings.
 

Ladies Mile

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The dome at the rear of the structure is impressively handled, but the rest of it is stiff, wooden and seems almost mechanical. Compare this building to Toronto's Old Town Hall, a much smaller structure that is far better proportioned and detailed overall.

And the Neo-Gothic style always makes me deeply depressed. All that tedious stone and hideous carving: dull, donnish, churchly kitsch. I took a trip to New Haven, CT, last summer and left immediately after seeing Kahn's works at Yale. The whole town looks like this building. It's a nightmare.
 

jn_12

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The dome at the rear of the structure is impressively handled, but the rest of it is stiff, wooden and seems almost mechanical. Compare this building to Toronto's Old Town Hall, a much smaller structure that is far better proportioned and detailed overall.

And the Neo-Gothic style always makes me deeply depressed. All that tedious stone and hideous carving: dull, donnish, churchly kitsch. I took a trip to New Haven, CT, last summer and left immediately after seeing Kahn's works at Yale. The whole town looks like this building. It's a nightmare.

I have to say I have a completely opposite view as you do. I love the neo-gothic style. I find the attention to detail in most of these types of buildings to be awe-inspiring and a sign of craftmanship that we don't see today. When I see a building like Parliament or Old City Hall (even if it's not neo-gothic), I'm always struck by the impression that immense thought has been put into every inch of a building as though each part tells a story. You just don't see that in modern (using the term loosely) buildings like New City Hall (which I like as well, but in a different way). Mind you, I'm also a sucker for a good story, and something as old and grand tends to convey a sense that "things" happened here. There's also something very institutional about this style and you can make no mistake that such a place is important, whereas a building like New City Hall could just be a unique office tower for an insurance company.

I also think that the fact that it harkens back to our British roots is immensely important. I think we tend to ignore Canadian history and this building (to me) is a symbol of the history of this country.
 

Long Island Mike

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Ottawa: The Parliament Buildings in Canada's Capital-nice pics here!

Flar: Neat pics here of the Parliament buildings in Ottawa-I remembered visiting Parliament Hill in September 1985 and I was fascinated by the classic architecture...I understand the British heritage remembering learning about Canada being known as
"British North America" at one point...As mentioned I do now notice the lack of French influence myself...

I remember reading that the NYS Capitol Building in Albany and the Ottawa Parliament buildings were designed by the same architects...

LI MIKE
 

Ladies Mile

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I believe you're wrong. The principal architects for Albany were the usually-brilliant H.H. Richardson and Leopold Eidlitz, who created a cranky mishmash between them of virtuoso details and spaces shoved into a ghastly pile as a whole.

The Albany building is much more disturbing than Parliament, but it is also ALIVE in an odd way that Parliament is not.
 

Skeezix

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The Library of Parliament is among my favourite rooms in the entire country.
 

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