The construction of the new Royal Alberta Museum got underway on Monday with the preservation of something old.
Infrastructure Minister Wayne Drysdale and Culture Minister Heather Klimchuk pulled back a tile from one of several large murals at the current Canada Post.
While the rest of the building will be demolished to make way for the new museum, the murals along 103A Avenue will be re-incorporated into the new design.
Drysdale said he is thrilled to see the work getting underway to build the new museum.
“We are committed to moving forward, the money is there and budgeted for and it is full steam ahead,” he said.
Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel said the museum will be an incredible part of the downtown.
“I don’t think that there is going to be anything that is going to have the opportunity to change the face of downtown Edmonton more than the Royal Alberta Museum.”
Lead architect Donna Clare said she has used the murals in the past as an example of public art being well incorporated into buildings.
“For me, as soon as I knew this was the site, I automatically said that we are keeping those and I want to keep them publicly accessible and on the street.”
Supporters of the museum were also thrilled to see construction get underway.
“It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a brand new museum from the ground up it just doesn’t happen very often and this a chance to completely re-imagine a museum,” said Peggi Ferguson Pell, president of the Friends of the Royal Alberta Museum.