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Edmonton turns to private sector for help saving heritage buildings

Daveography

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With Edmonton’s heritage funding nearly tapped out, the city is turning to the private sector to find a saviour for two historic buildings on Jasper Avenue.

Last summer, city officials nearly tore down the Graphic Arts Building and the Mitchell and Reed Auction House, the latter best known for hosting the ARTery music venue. Transportation officials wanted the land to store supplies during LRT construction and councillors were told it would cost up to $5.3 million to keep the land and restore them.

Instead, Edmonton will put the land and buildings up for sale through a request for proposals. Real estate and housing branch manager Walter Trocenko said he’s been approached by several interested developers.

“It’s a middle-of-the-road approach that will hopefully satisfy the heritage community, save the best parts of those buildings and, quite frankly, not cost the City of Edmonton a lot of money,” said Trocenko after council approved the move this week. “There are people in this community that are passionate about heritage preservation. They’ve done some amazing work on other projects. This is an opportunity to see if the community is prepared to step up and come up with some great ideas.”

Full Story (Edmonton Journal)
 

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Lots in limbo: Heritage group pushes to preserve Edmonton’s architecture
Edmonton is rife with mid-century modern buildings that are under threat of becoming history, argues a local heritage group, so they say it's now time to save them from bulldozers.

“A handful have already been knocked down or renovated significantly,” said Alex Abboud, chair of the Edmonton Heritage Council.

“Unfortunately, what Edmonton hasn't done well is preserving significant buildings, so we run the risk of waking up 20 years from now and feeling the same way we did when we lost buildings from the first decades of the 20th century.”

Mid-century modern buildings, described as clean and simple, were built during the 1940s to the ‘70s, a time when Edmonton was growing exponentially. This means the city has lots of them, and they include the old Royal Alberta Museum, the CN Tower downtown, the annex on the legislature grounds, the Paramount Theatre on Jasper Ave, and the old Planetarium, among many others.

“We see these buildings as an important part of capturing Edmonton’s history and sharing its story when it grew up to be a big city and represent economic activity,” Abboud said.

http://www.metronews.ca/news/edmont...pushes-to-preserve-edmonton-architecture.html
 

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