Nova Scotia

Art gallery mulls new Halifax home

The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is calling for a feasibility study into building a new home for the provincial museum.

The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is calling for a feasibility study into building a new home for the provincial museum.

The AGNS found its downtown Halifax building to be "seriously inadequate" in a 2008 report  that recommended constructing a new, larger building elsewhere in the downtown area.

The report's other suggested options were a creating new building outside the core or renovating the current space on Hollis Street.

On Friday, AGNS issued a request for tender for a new building.

Art lovers love the old buildings

Patrons at the gallery Sunday said they did not want to see the AGNS move.

Chris Fitzharris brought her family to the gallery on Easter Sunday. She said the historic buildings added to the experience of visiting the gallery.

"I'd like to see them stay downtown in one of these buildings, potentially see it renovated. I like the history in the older buildings, as opposed to a new building," she said.

David Ripley paused on his tour of the gallery to acknowledge the buildings are old, but said that's exactly why he likes them.

"I'd like to see the buildings maintained if possible. I think the architecture is worthwhile preserving and really adds something to the downtown area," he said.

The art gallery's tender does not say what would happen to the two buildings it is currently occupying if a new one were built.

Gallery North a heritage building

Gallery North, also known as the Dominion Building, was constructed in 1865. It is a designated heritage building and so has some protection against alterations or demolition.

Gallery South is not a heritage building.

In the public tender, the art gallery asks for a study on constructing a larger building, designed from the start to be a gallery.

It would solve the problems that trouble the current gallery, including leaking water in the old stonework that has already cancelled one exhibition.

The lack of air conditioning and fluctuating Halifax weather also make it hard to preserve some works.

The deadline for proposals is May 13. AGNS has not said when it will decide if it is going to renovate or relocate.

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