Located downtown Winnipeg, between Broadway and the Assiniboine River lies the 77 meter tall Manitoba Legislative Buildings. Adorned at the very top of the stone structure is “The Golden Boy” (picture 1). It’s a 24-karat gold-covered statue that resembles the Roman god Mercury. Mercury, being the Roman god of financial gain, commerce, communication, boundaries, trickery and thieves is a suitable personality for the character at the top of the Legislative Building to be modelled after.
The torch held in the Golden Boy’s right hand represents a call for Manitobans to join his eternal pursuit of a more prosperous future, while the parcel of wheat in his left arm represents the fruits of labour.
Upon walking up to the Legislative Building, the first thing you will notice is the giant pillars that adorn the entrance. After passing thru them and entering the complex, you will be greeted by the grand staircase. The room that contains the staircase is perfectly square and measures 66.6 feet in diameter. The bison statues (picture 2) on both sides of the staircase are made of solid bronze and weigh 2½ tons.
The bison are meant to represent the sacred bulls which guarded temple entrances in places like ancient Greece and Rome. Above the south entrance of the legislature lobby is the head of the monstrous Medusa (picture 3) from Greek mythology.
The lamps surrounding the second-floor balcony each contain 13 bulbs. 12 of the bulbs encircle one which represents Jesus and his 12 disciples.
At the top of the staircase lies a circular room(picture 4) with 8 pillars, known as a rotunda. At the centre of the rotunda, and directly below the Golden Boy lies a marble balustrade. Stretching 13 feet across, the Italian marble railing encircles the Black Star, which lies on the floor below.
The Black Star is contained in a circular room known as the Pool of the Black Star(pictures 5 and 6). The room has two entrances and is surrounded by pillars and lamp posts. The 8-point star in the middle is comprised of black marble and lies directly beneath the building’s dome (picture 7).
Upon exiting the rear of the building (picture 13) a statue of one of Manitoba’s most controversial founding fathers, Louis Riel, can be found near the Assiniboine River.