Shelley Fralic: A time machine that lives next door

Quoting in part from the Vancouver Sun:

We are constantly reminded, all around Metro Vancouver, that, in our quest to transform ourselves into a first-class city renowned for gorgeous scenery and a multicultural imprimatur that is the envy of the world, we often lose sight of our physical roots.

In our rush to densify and modernize, we tear down our history, ripping century-old homes and historic buildings from the dirt as if they were bad teeth, as if they are disposable impediments, erasing any notion that Metro Vancouver has a structural pedigree worth preserving. Another 1910 west-side arts and crafts beauty bites the dust; a rare 1899 West End mansion, The Legg House, is headed to the landfill to save a tulip tree.

Bloggers lament the loss of viable century-old housing stock, Facebook is ablaze with indignation, columnists write about the relentless destruction of vintage structures to make way for condos and malls, and frustrated but dedicated heritage organizations continue to fight the good fight.

And, always, the question hangs in the air: What can be done to stop the physical eradication of our region’s history?

Ask local heritage preservationists and they will tell you one way is to educate, to extol the virtues of heritage, to remind us that the greenest house is a house that is already built, and that to erase the past is a foolish undertaking for a young city looking to the future.

full article here;  Shelley Fralic: A time machine that lives next door.

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from North Shore Heritage advocate Peter Miller, details of gathering:

Stop the Demolitions: A Gathering to Save Our Character and Heritage Homes
When: Sunday May 25, 3 pm
Where: The Legg Residence, 1241 Harwood Street

Bring your messages, pictures and mementoes of a vanishing Vancouver to attach to the orange fences.

Why: The Legg Residence is a grand Arts and Crafts mansion built in 1899 when the West End was one of Vancouver’s most desirable neighbourhoods, but this 115 year-old A-list heritage home will soon be demolished. It will be replaced by a 17-storey condo. Last year more than a thousand demolition permits were issued in Vancouver, many for pre-1940s houses built with a high level of craftsmanship and quality materials. As well as sending more than 50 tonnes of waste to the landfill, each demolition takes with it the history, character and narratives of our established neighbourhoods.

Please join us in honouring the Legg Residence and all the homes we have lost. Let’s demand better protection of the heritage buildings that remain.

Heritage buildings reveal Vancouver’s history and are essential to our city’s sense of place.

Say NO to wasteful demolitions. Say YES to preservation of our built heritage.

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