News / Edmonton

Former Royal Alberta Museum included on list of endangered buildings

National Trust of Canada calls it a “modernist gem under threat.”

Flikr/ Kevin M Klerks

The former Royal Alberta Museum building has been included on the National Trust for Canada’s annual list of Top 10 Endangered Places, released Thursday.
Now in its 12th year, the list is designed to bring attention to sites deemed at risk “due to neglect, lack of funding, inappropriate development and weak legislation.”

The museum closed the doors of the Glenora location last December — a new location is still under construction downtown — and plans for the old building haven’t been announced.

The trust calls the old building, erected in the 1960s, a “stunning example of Midcentury Modern architecture,” valued for its use of Tyndall limestone, marble and brass fittings.

Explaining why the building deserved a spot on the list, the website cites the Request for Proposals the government released in March to explore options for demolition and development of the land into a green space.

In an emailed statement, Aileen Machell, press secretary to Brian Mason, the minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, said that there has been no decision made about the building and that they are currently “ensuring due diligence by looking at all options.”

Those options may include reusing or repurposing the facility, or demolishing or deconstructing it, she said.

“It is important to note that the facility is not expected to be vacated until 2019. This gives us plenty of time to look at all options, speak with the community, and make an informed decision for its future use.”  

Other local buildings on the list include wooden grain elevators across the country, and the Spaca Moskalyk Ukranian Catholic Church in Lamont County, east of Edmonton.

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