The Land Titles Building was constructed in 1910, and until 1998 held the distinction of being the only one of eleven surviving Land Registry facilities in the province to maintain its original function. In 1997, it was designated a Heritage Property, celebrating its historical mark in Moose Jaw’s history.
In 1999, Yvette Moore purchased the building and has put a lot of work into restoring the building to its original grandeur.
"I took possession on January 2nd, 1999. And in 84 days, we turned it into what it is today. It was a long 84 days. We worked hard. It was because of the work of family and friends. I think of my mom. She was in here every day. She was probably the one who spent the most hours on cleaning the copper," said Moore. "One of the really unusual, and really interesting features that is in the gallery is all the copper doors and windows in the interior of the building. And it wasn't until we were looking at some of the interior windows, that it looked like metal. So one of the first things I did when I finally got possession of the building was I went and got paint stripper. And found copper underneath."
Finding the copper was important to Moore, so she decided to use the sentiment during the grand opening.
"It's been 20 years, since we actually cut the copper wire on the 26th of March, 1999. and It opened to the public on the 27th," Moore said. "It was an absolutely amazing find. So once we stripped all that paint off the copper, it just seemed significant that we cut a copper wire to celebrate."
Keeping the building in its original form has always been important to Moore. "I always say, if I had to build it from scratch, if I had to go out there and build a gallery, I wouldn't build it any different. It just seemed to fall into place perfectly. We haven't made any changes to the building that took away from its original construction and design. Even the walls for the cafe can be taken down at any time, and it just goes right back to what it was. So we really honour and really cherish what this building was and still is."
To celebrate 20 years, the Yvette Moore Gallery is charging no tax on any of the artwork, from the 27th to the 30th.