City passes on preserving brick building

An old storage building beside City Hall does not need to be saved from demolition, council decides

The 1

The 1

Cranbrook council has decided against saving a small brick storage building adjacent to city hall.

The 1,152 square foot building displays unique corner blocks, known as “quoins”, and local historians have suggested it may be the only building with this feature in Cranbrook.

It has been suggested the building was constructed around 1936 to be used in the city’s electrical system, then later as a garage and a storage shed.

However, an engineer’s report has estimated it would cost $134,000 to make the building structurally safe.

The roof and possibly the western wall would need to be replaced, according to a peripheral structural assessment by KLB Engineering Ltd.

There is water damage to the roof beam and inner brick walls, and around the building’s perimeter.

The brick face has begun to flake off, and there is evidence of heaving on the concrete-slab floor.

After receiving the engineer’s report, Cranbrook’s Wellness and Heritage Committee put forward a recommendation to city council that if it decides to demolish the building, photos be taken of its features for historical archive purposes and in case a replica building is built in the future. The committee also recommended the city salvage the bricks when possible for future development.

Council agreed with the recommendations at its March 18 meeting and authorized the building’s demolition.

“The building is doomed,” said Councillor Diana J. Scott. “If we can salvage the bricks, that’s great, but the building is in very poor shape.”

While Mayor Wayne Stetski said the bricks were made locally, Councillor Bob Whetham pointed out the unique corner blocks are actually concrete replicas.

The proposal to halt demolition of the brick building for heritage reasons came to council on September 10, 2012. Council referred the proposal to the Committee, who came back to council on October 22 asking that the city delay demolition until a review of the structure could be conducted.