CITYSCAPE – Say goodbye to a big piece of Kamloops heritage
To employ a much over-used comparison, it looks like a war zone these days in a square block of a once proud residential neighbourhood.
Almost two dozen heritage homes — most built in the early 1900s — are being bulldozed to make way for the massive City Gardens apartment-tower complex between Battle and Nicola Streets. One of the homes was moved to McLure, another will be moved to another downtown location tomorrow tonight in the middle of the night.
It’s a sad sight watching all those great old homes disappear. Over the years, Kamloops has torn down many heritage buildings to make way for progress but this project represents the biggest single heritage loss in the city’s history.
— Mel Rothenburger.
It is indeed a real loss for the city .I am saddened to think that these houses could have helped ease the need for them in flooded or burned towns elsewhere. by moving some of them to the Lytton town site they could have had a new page in their existance ,The houses would also have helped retain some of the historic feeling in that town or in Merrit. The move would be cheaper than building new and families could be moved in sooner and their loves could return to something more like normal. Doesn’t someone care ?
I play kind of both sides to this.
To me saving heritage buildings make sense for the old courthouse/ gallery building, or Stuart Wood type of building, as they stand out, are community oriented and fairly easily adaptable to new uses, like both of these 2 have been. Saving buildings like this matter from a Heritage perspective as well as showing off good design.
Even truly exceptional example houses like 467 Battle (which I think is being kept) or other fine examples on west Nicola or west Battle should be kept today, some of those are just gorgeous and excellent examples of design, building techniques, craftsmanship and materials from a long ago time. … but otherwise … if generally an average, unremarkable house is many, many decades past its prime time and a project like this promises to improve the whole community … tear it down. I don’t hold to emotive attachments to the average old house that isn’t a strong example of a specific heritage design .
And yes, I lived in one of those houses on that block back in the day, except for the exceptional wood floor and trim it really wasn’t uniquely special; cold in winter and uninteresting in design. It was one of the ones torn down.
Is affordable housing being built? Will this include housing for lower income people? Probably not. Like most developments these days, it’s a sell-out to developers who are only interested in making a buck.
A sad thing is that the lower income working folk will not be able to afford to rent in this tower or indeed any of the new or more rundown Kelson properties or indeed other decent rentals in Kamloops.