The Calgary Heritage Initiative Society strongly urges you and the Board of Trustees to reconsider replacement of the current Elbow Park School in favour of rehabilitation.
Elbow Park School was designed by William Branton, Calgary School Board Architect and Building Superintendent and construction began in 1926. It was the first brick school in Calgary, and one of the few built between the wars. Built in a unique Tudor Revival style, it is a distinct landmark for the Elbow Park community, as well as the citizens of Calgary. It provides us with a visual touchstone to our past and creates a sense of place. In a word it is irreplaceable.
Although a rebuild may cost less financially than rehabilitation, consideration must also be given to the risks of replacement as follows:
· - Flood mitigation for an existing heritage building provides a wonderful opportunity for the CBE to demonstrate innovation and adaptation. The building itself could become a teaching tool for architects and builders from around the world.
· - The school has been identified as a city-wide historic resource by city council for and is listed on its inventory of historic resources. Loss of the school represents loss of a valued piece of Calgary’s heritage.
· - Restoration/repair is a more environmentally friendly option than replacement
· - Although a new building may assist in addressing current deferred maintenance all buildings, no matter their age, have maintenance items to address that need to be budgeted for on an ongoing basis.
· - It's true that no 88 year old building meets current building code standards, but there are many examples, local and global, of adaptive re-use that integrates new and old standards.
· - Arguably students may be more inspired to learn and grow in a building that retains its patina of history.
· - The Elbow Park community's population ebbs and flows, and a school that can accommodate a larger population may itself not be viable in 1-20 years
CHI encourages you to consider a viable future for the Elbow Park School and to request a Heritage Resource Impact Assessment (HRIA) from the provincial government prior to making any conclusive decision. Once it's gone it will be lost forever.
[Contact info redacted]
January 15, 2014
Attention: The Honourable Alison Redford, M.L.A., Premier of Alberta
Honourable Heather Klimchuk, M.L.A., Minister of Culture
Danielle Smith, M.L.A., Leader of the Official Opposition
His Worship Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of Calgary
Ward Sutherland, Ward 1 Councillor
Joe Magliocca, Ward 2 Councillor
Jim Stevenson, Ward 3 Councillor
Sean Chu, Ward 4 Councillor
Ray Jones, Ward 5 Councillor
Richard Pootmans, Ward 6 Councillor
Druh Farrell, Ward 7 Councillor
Evan Woolley, Ward 8 Councillor
Gian-Carlo Carra, Ward 8 Councillor
Andre Chabot, Ward 9 Councillor
Brian Pincott, Ward 11 Councillor
Shane Keating, Ward 12 Councillor
Diane Colley-Urquhart, Ward 13 Councillor
Peter Demong, Ward 14 Councillor
Sheila Taylor, CBE Board Chair
Regarding: Protecting and Preserving the 1926 Tudor Revival style Elbow Park School
I’m writing to request the protection and preservation of the Elbow Park School in Calgary.
Built in 1926 in the Tudor Revival style, the Elbow Park School is one of the neighborhood’s key heritage landmarks and is widely considered to be one of the city’s most beautiful brick schools.
In its recent decision, the CBE has made a cavalier and misguided decision to demolish the Elbow Park school. I write to remind the CBE, the school does not belong to the CBE but belongs to all Albertans and it is a key provincial heritage resource.
The CBE has expressed the following reasons to demolish the school:
Additional reasons against demolition:
· The school has been listed on the City of Calgary inventory of historic resources: http://www.calgary.ca/PDA/LUPP/Pages/He ... urceId=122 and is recognized as a “City Wide Historic Resource.”
· With the loss of the school, the Elbow Park neighbourhood will permanently lose one of its key heritage assets and its neighbourhood cache and value will decline.
· Restoration and repair is a greener and more environmentally responsible option than demolition and replacement. Restoration and repair is aligned with the City of Calgary recycling programs.
The reasons that have been provided for the demolition of the Elbow Park School show a lack of understanding of our city’s valuable heritage resources, restorative building practices and ethical environmental standards as well as how the value of neighborhoods is created.
I respectfully request that the Premier order a Historic Resource Impact Assessment.
I respectfully request that the City of Calgary deny a demolition order.
I look forward to your response and can be reached at (403) 287-8464.
Writer and heritage advocate
CC: Scott Jolliffe, Chair, Calgary Heritage Authority
David Down, Darryl Cariou, Clint Robertson and Bob van Wegen, City of Calgary Heritage Team
Matthew Wangler, Executive Director, Historic Resources Management Branch and Alberta Historical Resources Foundation
Cynthia Klaassen, President, Calgary Heritage Initiative
Chris Edwards, Chair, Development Watch Committee, Calgary Heritage Initiative
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