Monday, February 9, 2015

Inglewood's Brewery is set for destruction

It's official; after being reviewed for about 6 years approval was given to demolish part of the historic Brewery buildings in Inglewood.

In 2009, Matco Developments came up with the idea to bring new life into the old, under-utilizes site by turning it into a mixed-used retail space. The plan involved demolishing at least part of the historic buildings and that is why it has been taking years to approve.

When the plan was first presented by the developer the province ordered a HRIA - Historic Resource Impact Assessment - to determine whether the buildings could be demolished or whether they're a heritage site and should remain untouched. Also, a big outcry came from the City's heritage groups, specifically from the Calgary Heritage Initiative, an independent heritage preservation society.

The Brewery was originally founded in 1893 by A.E. Cross and it continued to operate until Molson shut down operations in 1994. Since then the site has been placed on Heritage Canada's top 10 list of endangered sites, as it contains the second largest collection of sandstone buildings in the city (second only to Stephen's Avenue).

In November 2014, Eileen Stan - Matco's program manager - stated that the company would try to salvage as much of the existing materials and of the original structures as feasible, including the 1960 Horseman's Hall of Fame, the 1912 Engine Room and the 1905 Boiler House, as well as a part of the old fish hatchery (the current fish hatchery is at Pearce Estate Park).

That does not seem to quieten the Calgary Heritage Authority, nor the Inglewood Brewery Association - representatives from both organizations feel strongly that the province of Alberta should have done more to try and preserve this historic site. Their complaints are more towards the government than the developer "I don't blame the developer" said LJ Robertson, director of redevelopment of the Inglewood Brewery Association. "The fact that the process that was started at the provincial level with the request of an HRIA and has now been fumbled so badly is not just locally embarrassing in my mind, it's national embarrassing."

What Do YOU Think about this government's approval to bring new life to the Inglewood community, by partly demolishing a heritage building??

Calgary Herald: Province Approves Demolition of Inglewood's Historic Brewery

Calgary Sun: Parts of Calgary's Historic Brewery Set for Demolition

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