Leamington Mansion bricks to live on as part of war memorial
The century-old Leamington Mansion was destroyed in a fire on Oct. 17, but its bricks will be used as part of a WWI memorial.
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Bricks salvaged from a historic downtown brownstone recently destroyed by fire will live on in a new World War I memorial in Old Strathcona.
The community group Old Strathcona Remembers is expanding upon an existing cenotaph in Light Horse Park, at 86 Avenue and 104 Street. The new memorial will use bricks from the Leamington Mansion to create pillars, a brick pathway and obelisks commemorating the area’s history.
Group spokesperson Stephen “Sticks” Gallard said repurposing bricks from the Mansion for the new memorial was an easy decision to make. Earlier this month, a fire reduced the hundred-year-old Oliver apartment building to a pile of rubble.
“Here’s an ideal situation to make bad into good,” Gallard said. “We wanted to incorporate other elements from history here in Edmonton into our project.”
Light Horse Park was once where soldiers and horses gathered during World War I before being processed at the Connaught Armouries nearby. They then boarded trains to head to eastern Canada to begin the journey to battle during the war, which ended in 1918.
The group has already received about 300 bricks from a historic house at the University of Alberta.
The new memorial will cost about $500,000 and funds will be raised through donation and a “sponsor a brick” campaign, Gallard said.
It’s expected to be unveiled in 2018.
“It will bring all that rich history together in one area,” Gallard said. “It allows our history not to go unmentioned.”