Edmonton

Historic building on 124th Street to make way for new highrise

Residents in the Oliver neighbourhood were given the chance to look at plans for a new highrise at the site of one of Edmonton’s historic buildings on Wednesday night.

The Buena Vista building will be partly torn down and replaced by a 25-storey apartment building

The Buena Vista building was once home to a grocery store. The painted advertising can still be seen on the south wall of the building. (Supplied/Dan Rose)

Residents in the Oliver neighbourhood were given the chance to look at plans for a new highrise at the site of one of Edmonton’s historic buildings on Wednesday night.

The Buena Vista building, constructed in 1912, will be partly torn down to make way for a 25-storey apartment building.

Henry Edgar, the vice president of the Vancouver-based Edgar Development Corp., said the new designs incorporate the existing historic facade.

Residents were able to look at design renderings of the new high rise. (Supplied/Dan Rose)
However Dan Rose, a board member of with the Old Strathcona Foundation, said that while the meeting was “constructive and informative," it confirmed to him that the city doesn’t have an adequate plan in place to preserve heritage buildings.

He said simply preserving the facade is not enough.

“Our built heritage is more than just bricks and mortar, and in this case, dollars and cents,” Rose said.

“Historic preservation is not just about protecting the integrity of the building, but protecting the integrity of the community and sense of place that makes places like 124th Street and Old Strathcona so attractive in the first place.”

Edgar said it is “not a viable option” to keep the building as it currently stands.

“The inside of the building has considerable deferred maintenance and a lot of the systems and mechanical equipment is original and needs to be replaced if it were to be brought to code,” Edgar said.

“Really, what we’re doing is we’re trying to save the most important parts of the building in our new development and make sure it lasts for another 100 years.”

Listen to Dan Rose talk to Edmonton AM's Mark Connolly about preserving the historic building. 

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