Monday, December 29, 2008

Silly Location For A Museum... and expensive too...

Things get pretty silly when it comes to old buildings... yes, Canada Lands sent out 25 packages across the Country but my guess is they couldn't get a "nickel" for the old building so now someone's going to try and do the old "download" to us taxpayers... why can't we do a study on where the “best place is to locate a new museum” as opposed to sticking it into an old building because it's there... my guess is that a new museum might be best located on the old experimental lands across from the Pathology Lab on the corner of Belvedere and Mount Edward Rd... it would be a nice complement to incorporate with the Friends of the Farm's plan for a public park and gardens... it would be a great place to expand the museum’s "outdoor" exhibits as most of our Island culture is tied to the outdoors... it would complement the Farmers Market for parking etc... and it would be a great location for tourists to find and park... but more importantly it would be very close to our researchers and educators. We could actually bus in students to visit the site and have a place to park the buses... there are just tons of great reasons why we should try and determine what’s best for all the stakeholders…. I've been in the construction business most of my life and it would be a hell of a lot cheaper to build a fresh "greenfield building" for a museum than try and squeeze one into someone else's problem... the Province did the right thing in abandoning building one in Murray River so let's do the right thing here... start thinking big here on PEI and do something “bold and fresh” to preserve our great heritage and pick the best location... besides Catherine can always do the "two-step" with her feet planted on the ground...
Dominion Building as a museum? The old capital landmark is front-runner in search for provincial museum building
The Guardian Editorial
Dec. 22, 08
The grand old lady of Charlottetown may have a lot of years left in her yet with suitors aplenty knocking on the door. The latest group to court the former Dominion Building, a landmark in the capital city for over 50 years, is a firm assessing the site for a provincial museum. Lundholm Associates, a firm which specializes in planning and designing museums, is assessing the feasibility of converting the building into a museum site. It's important to stress that the future use for the former Dominion Building has yet to be determined. But when government said recently it was looking to locate a provincial museum in a central location, the first site on many minds was the six-storey structure on lower Queen Street. A Canada Lands Company spokesman said that many members of both the public and provincial government have commented the facility is "an absolutely perfect site" for a provincial museum. The huge building would certainly have other uses, yet to be determined. The building was once the main post office for the city and housed most federal agencies and offices for many years. The structure was declared redundant and replaced by the new Jean Canfield Building. It needs a major facelift and modernization before it can be re-occupied. It's a huge structure of 53,645 square metres on a .72-hectare site, or 176,000 square feet on 1.5 acres. And it will take a lot of money to bring it up to modern specifications. Who will be able to come up with the kind of cash needed to bring the building well into the 21st century? When city heritage activist Catherine Hennessey held a 75th birthday party earlier this fall, she made a point of having the party on the top floor of the old federal building with a sweeping panoramic view of the city as the sun set. It was a special sight staged for the benefit of some key movers and shakers in the city and province, to hammer home just how special a location and building exists in the heart of the downtown, and how essential it is for the city to keep the building in use. Hennessey and her supporters would like nothing better than to have the building converted into a museum. The province is stressing that proper planning is needed for a new museum facility to ensure it meets the expectations and needs of the people of P.E.I. But there can be little doubt that the building is among the front-runners as the location for the provincial museum. Earlier this year, Canada Lands Company sent out 25 packages across the country to those companies and individuals expressing a desire to purchase and develop the building. So there is considerable interest in the building and care must be taken to ensure it's used properly in the future. An open house held last January identified office, retail, institutional, hotel, residential and cultural uses such as a modern public library, archival and museum services. Other options include a hotel and condominiums but that would not necessarily complement the heritage district. The CLC is hoping to have people back in the building in 2010 which doesn't leave a lot of time to plan and to ensure the building continues to be an integral part of a vibrant downtown Charlottetown.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

is there any other ideas that are acutally possilble and brought forward?