Saturday, 23 February 2008

Worthless Eyesore or Heritage Building?

The grain elevator that has been a town landmark since 1922 is being threatened with demolition. It was built to service what was back then essentially a farming community. But the farms are long gone, the big city is only a short jaunt away, and the fertile farming land is being covered with roads and houses.

It's one of only five grain elevators left in Ontario, and is the last agricultural building left in town. More pictures here.
The current owner, GO Transit, wants to get rid of it to make room for expansion of their commuter parking lot.

Many people agree, and say it should go.... it's been empty for years and is gradually deteriorating.

But the grain elevator is on the town's heritage inventory list, and there are plenty of people who say it should be preserved. This building played a significant role in making this town what it is today.

Some of the suggestions for this building are to turn it into a restaurant, with the upper levels turned into play area for kids, or to move it to the park to be used as a museum and interpretive centre. Our local Radio Station is looking for an antenna location... what better place?

What do you think.... bring in the bulldozers, or start fundraising?

26 comments:

lorenzothellama said...

It looks a bit lopsided! I think all old buildings should be kept if they are not dangerous. We have a system here of 'listed' buildings, and Grade 1, Grade 2 and Grade 1*. These cannot be messed about with and require all sorts of permission if you want to alter them.
We also have 'conservation' areas and similar rules apply.
Yeah, keep it!

madretz said...

I'm typically all for preserving and conserving heritage buildings. They are important parts of history. I don't think this is an eyesore whatsoever, it's a beautiful structure and its rustic-ness adds to the charm. But if it's dangerous or costs more to upkeep, ie no fundraising abilities, then unfortunately it's demise will be eminent.

tut-tut said...

Yes, preserve it . . . why lose the past?

Anonymous said...

My children bought burlap sacks from that building when they were little. What fun they had racing up and down two lawns with their friends practicing for Sunday School race day. Definitely keep it!
Sentimental Willie!

Luke said...

I say, tear it down! memory of this building will live on in your blog!

dot said...

I love old buildings like this but maybe the expense is too much. It seems a shame tho.

Sandy said...

Start fundraising. Would the transit co help with moving expenses? I like the idea of a hands-on learning museum for kids and adults with pictures and implements from when the grain elevator was important to the town. Hate to see historical buildings disappear.

Annie said...

In my home town they turned the grain elevator into apartments, beautiful, expensive apartments. It can be done if someone has the vision and the money.

Peggy said...

I'm all for preserving it! I love grain elevators! Thanks for posting the photo of it as I haven't seen one in decades!

CanadianSwiss said...

I'm for the fundraising! It would be a pity to loose such a landmark that is part of of a town's history.

Old Wom Tigley said...

SAve it, Save it, Save it.

Even if it means moving it to a park, I hate to see historic things being pushed aside, the trouble is this building is not all fancy stone or marble cut and placed in view... it tin and tatty.
This tin and tatty building certainly as its own beauty, andit holds the history of your town in that tin. I would like to think this could be save and put back to how it was once.. spick and span, bright and shiney. Let it be enjoyed by all, a working museum where the local schools can visit and learn about the importance of what it stands for.
I hope it is saved... I look forward to here about this again.

lettuce said...

i think its a fab. building - start fundraising!

baby callum looks like a little honey.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I don't feel qualifird to even suggest anything since I don't live there abd don't really have the emotional history of this landmark building. On the surface, it is not a very attractive structure, BUT, it has such a history....Oh Dear. I would have a very hard time.

Libbys Blog said...

Sorry I havent' been around for awhile.
Many many congratulations on the birth of your new Grandson!
I think the building should be kept and used by or for the local community!
As to the rat poison, I won't use it cos the cats catch the dozy rats, eat them get sick themselves! We will use traps!

oldmanlincoln said...

The problem is that once it is gone it is gone and never comes back.

Ex-Shammickite said...

Reply all:
Thanks for your comments everyone!
I'm for preserving this old grain elevator, but as Annie says, there has to be a vision and there has to be MONEY! And there also has to be support of Town Council, which sometimes is sadly lacking in ventures that might have an element of risk.
Abe, you are right, once it's gone, it never comes back. There are many places like that around here, where there used to be a wonderful old house or barn, long gone in the name of progress.

lorenzothellama said...

Any more pictures of Calum?

Martina said...

Fund raise for sure. It would be a shame to let it go.

ruth said...

Keep it. I'm with Abraham, once it's gone. And reading his blog lately, I'm feeling very nostalgic.

We have a grain elevator in my home town near here, but it's still being used for that purpose.

Lilli & Nevada said...

I too like the idea of it sitting as it should for preserving. Makeing it into a restuarant or visitors center would be good too. You know here in Bend they took the old Mills and turned it into a really touristy place, redid all the buildings into shops and what not. Here is the website to the history of the Old Mill District http://www.theoldmill.com/history.php
And then you can go check out what it looks like. Altho not being a shopper i have no use for this place. LOL

Peter said...

I'm definitely and basically for preserving landmarks like this one, but it looks like the transformation work would have to be significant! What would it look like when transformed? At least some proposals should be made!

Ex-Shammickite said...

Well... the majority have it! The grain elevator should be preserved, according to your blog comments. I'll be passing the hat for donations.... dig deep, everyone! It will take a lot of cash to transform this builing into something that can be used by the community. Stay tuned for updates.

bigbikerbob said...

Hi, I came in late on this one, but my penny worth for what its worth is preserve it if you can, it aint pretty but its part of your history.

lorenzothellama said...

We want Callum!

photowannabe said...

Heritage buildings are great but the cost can be prohibitive. Start the fundraising and see what happens. Everyones suggestions are great for the building. It could turn into a real landmark for the community.

dabrah said...

In a strange sort of way it's beautiful. I'm with the majority, preserve it if at all possible.