March 22, 2017 3:44 pm

Queen Elizabeth ll Planetarium designated Edmonton historic resource

The Queen Elizabeth II Planetarium in Edmonton, Alta.

Kent Morrison, Global News
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The Queen Elizabeth ll Planetarium was designated a municipal historic resource by Edmonton City Council on Tuesday.

The city said the planetarium, located in Coronation Park near the TELUS World of Science, is “distinguished as an early example of modern expressionistic style in Canada.”

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The historic Edmonton landmark is currently being brought back to life after being abandoned for years. Last fall, the city and the TWoS reached an agreement to renovate and restore the planetarium as a teaching, reception and production space.

READ MORE: Long-abandoned Queen Elizabeth II Planetarium getting second chance

“The designation of the Queen Elizabeth II Planetarium illustrates the City’s commitment to the preservation of its historic resources,” said David Johnston, principal heritage planner for the City of Edmonton.

“In this case, we get the added bonus of a wonderful partnership between the City and the TELUS World of Science Edmonton to bring life back to this fantastic building.”

WATCH ABOVE: It was the first of its kind in Canada but for almost three decades, the Queen Elizabeth Planetarium has sat empty. Now, the City of Edmonton has plans to bring it back to life. Kent Morrison filed this report in November 2016.

The city commissioned firm Architecture Tkalcic Bengert to create designs to restore the building, which was the first public planetarium in Canada and served as a science education centre and observatory.

The building received attention for its unique design, which includes a round glass and gold building, with a silver-domed roof and glass walls. The city said the design was likely influenced by the popular fascination with space age design in the 1950s, and has the appearance of a spacecraft hovering off the ground.

READ MORE: Century old Whyte Ave building designated historic site

The site for the planetarium was dedicated by Queen Elizabeth during a royal visit to Edmonton in July 1959, when it was still under construction. The planetarium was officially opened Sept. 23, 1960, by Mayor Elmer E. Roper.

The plan is to have the building reopen in 2018. The city said the Coronation District Park Master Plan identifies the planetarium as a crucial element in the centre of the park that’s intended to be a community gathering place.

— With files from Slav Kornik, Global News

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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