I went on a tour of City Hall this week amidst the spirited crowds and cheery atmosphere provided by the Street Performers Festival taking place just outside of the building at Churchill Square.
Councillor Ben Henderson showed us around. We started in the council chamber, where Councillor Henderson explained what a typical meeting was like – from the question and answer-like structure (as opposed to a debate), to citizen participation being encouraged, to the standard audience makeup. With the push of a button, he showed us how the skylight could be shut out, useful in the instances that the overhead glare or outside noise becomes too much to bear. The coolest part of the entire tour (which makes me sound like an overexcited elementary child) was when he gave us the green light to sit in any of the city councillors’ chairs on the condition that we didn’t touch anything or attempt to change the height of the seats. Of course, we all went for the money shot.
Too cool! (I’m such a geek, I know.)
The next room on the tour, apparently not often seen by the public, was the interior of the second glass pyramid. What is the room being used for, you ask? Storage.
Think this is where Mayor Mandel works out?
Apparently the room isn’t very well ventilated or heated, so nothing too practical can be done in the space.
Looking down into the chambers
Transparencies change the color of the projected lights at night
One of the last stops was the wall where portraits of past mayors are on display. All are intact except Jan Reimer’s, whose picture was stolen and hasn’t yet been replaced.
Councillor Henderson shows us the “Mayoral Wall”
Looking down from the balcony
While the tour isn’t available for individuals, if you have a group between 10-25 people, it is an informative and behind-the-scenes look at a very important city landmark.
The view leaving City Hall