Inglewood brewery site gets demolition reprieve from province
Last Updated: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 | 6:18 PM MT
A Calgary developer's application to demolish a majority of the buildings on the former Molson brewery site in Inglewood is on hold — for now.
The province has ordered a historic resources impact assessment this week to study the site's heritage value and integrity, pausing the demolition process for the private property.
The City of Calgary lists the original Calgary Brewery, with some parts dating back to 1892, as one of the city's most significant heritage sites. Provincial documents note the site's role in the early industrial development of the city and single out the varied architectural designs of the 16 structures.
It also possesses heritage value for its association with prominent Calgary entrepreneur and politician A.E. Cross. Much of the property has been closed since Molson closed its brewery in 1994.
Because the site is privately owned, heritage status has no legal bearing in preventing a developer from razing buildings this summer that are more than 100 years.
Site also former home of public aquarium
Ald. Joe Ceci said the developer wants to keep a couple of the more historic buildings but wants to tear down the rest to make room for new projects.
"A combination of residential, retail and commercial is what's generally been thought of and talked about. You know, it's within two kilometres of downtown Calgary," he told CBC News on Wednesday.
The city's heritage planner, Darryl Cariou, said he's disappointed there's even a chance some buildings could be levelled as this property was much more than just a brewery.
"There's the gardens. In 1960, there was a public aquarium opened on the site; it was the largest public aquarium in the Americas at the time. There was a museum at the site. So Calgarians who have lived here back when it was an active site likely visited the site," he said.
Until the assessment for the province is completed, the city can't issue a demolition permit. So the brewery buildings will remain standing for the time being, said Cariou.
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