Public hearing on museum structure heritage and rezoning scheduled

There will be opportunity for the public to weigh in on whether the city should designate Elko Station and the former CPR freight shed

There will be opportunity for the public to weigh in on whether the city should designate Elko Station and the former CPR freight shed of the Railway Museum as a heritage building.

Last Monday, council gave first and second reading to the recommendation by the Wellness and Heritage Committee to amend the heritage bylaw to include the structures. Council also passed the second readings of OCP and zoning amendments to change the Elko Station to Core Commercial zoning, from Park/Institutional/Recreational.

The public hearing will be on Nov. 4 at 6 p.m.

City staff noted that giving the buildings formal statuses could help in acquiring grants for maintenance or restoration.

Damon Colgan, executive director of the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel, and Jeanette Sissons, Chair of CAMAL (Cranbrook Archives, Museum and Landmark Foundation), first brought the subject forward in August. At that time the museum was also hoping to have the nearby water tower designated as well.

Council then asked staff on Sept. 9 to prepare an amendment to the city’s Heritage Bylaw to include those structures. However, later in September council  received another letter asking to drop the water tower from consideration, since it’s owned by Canadian Pacific and located on their land. The museum wanted to get permission from CP and worried that it would take time and slow the process down.

According to the museum’s records, the freight shed was built in 1898 and is one of the oldest structures in Cranbrook. The outside retains it’s historic look, while the interior is constructed to modern standards.

Elko Station was constructed between 1900-1901 and is an example of a “Crowsnest Style B station.” It was originally the train station in Elko. In 1987 it was moved to its present location next to the Railway Museum.

The building housed offices, a gift shop and the archives for the museum before those things were moved to the new building.

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