The Canada Library of Parliament is a Gothic Revival building on a bluff overlooking the Ottawa River. The building, opened in 1876, has a rough exterior of Nepean sandstone with massive flying buttresses. The interior is a contrasting mix of color and textures, highlighted by hand-carved white pine panels featuring mythical beasts, masks, flowers and more.
Typically, visitors to the Library are allowed only a short distance into the main reading room, and are not permitted to take photos. Several years ago Don Butler was able to secure a tour with permission to take as many photos as he desired. Butler notes that there are eight doorways, each with 10 large carvings, 4 medium carving and 6 smaller carving for a total of 160 carved medallions. In addition, there are false post tops and small rosettes in the corner of some panels. The library historian estimated there were some 4,500 of these smaller carvings in total.
In this first gallery, we are happy to present a tasteful selection of the medallions, as well as several of the larger panels. To visit the gallery click HERE. More of Butler’s photos will be presented in future galleries.
To learn more about the Library of Parliament, click HERE to visit their web site. Photos of Library of Parliament exterior and interior copyright Canada Library of Parliament and used here with permission.