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Old brick building fundraising campaign underway

The old electrical building behind Cranbrook City Hall. - David Humphrey photo
The old electrical building behind Cranbrook City Hall.
— image credit: David Humphrey photo

Fundraising for the restoration of the old brick building behind city hall has begun. The Cranbrook Heritage Association announced a five level community fundraising plan to restore the building to its former glory and retain a little piece of Cranbrook's historical downtown architecture.

The association is asking households in Cranbrook to buy a $10 brick. If you would like to be more supportive of the project, you can purchase a $25 cornerstone, a $50 window certificate, a $100 door certificate or a $250 roof certificate. The certificates have been described as beautiful coloured share-type certificates suitable for framing and display.

The heritage association also recently unveiled a new sign on the brick water and electrical building. It has entered into an agreement with the City of Cranbrook to place a hold on the demolition order to give the group a year to demonstrate that the building is restorable and that funds can be raised for that purpose.

The Cranbrook Heritage Association is a registered non-profit society under the name Cranbrook Baker Hill Neighbourhood Heritage Association.

Karen Crawford, president of the association, said the shortened public name demonstrates their desire to become active in the heritage affairs of all of Cranbrook.

"We have previously worked with the city to install custom heritage street signs in the Baker Hill area and to develop a bylaw managing residential and commercial development in the Baker Hill area," Crawford said.

The heritage group has also submitted funding-assistance proposals to five separate provincial, federal and public trust bodies. If the submissions are successful it will aid in the restoration, but she said it won't cover all the costs.

"We have agreed with the city to do the restoration without resorting to funds from the city tax base," she said, adding they hope to raise at least $35,000 for the restoration.

Crawford also noted that the report done by civil engineer Brad Nelson proves the building's suitability for restoration. She said his firm, Nelson Engineering also proposed some design alterations to the new roof structure that would result in more useable space in the 1,200 square foot structure.

"A planning exercise was hosted by the City of Cranbrook while the engineering work was being done," Crawford said. "The outcome of this work demonstrated that the restored water/electrical building could be key to a redevelopment of much of the area surrounding city hall."

More of the fundraising details will be unveiled in coming weeks, including a list of outlets that will accept donations. The fundraising drive is being chaired by Norma Blissett who can be reached at 250-489-3408. Alternatively, Derryll White can be contacted at 250-489-4439. All money raised will be deposited with the Cranbrook Heritage Association and will be earmarked for restoration expenses. A public accounting will be offered at the CHA annual general meeting.

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Community Events, July 2014

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