Alder Grove Heritage Society’s Michael Pratt (from left), VP Brit Gardner and Michelle Bridges have continued to fight to preserve the firehall, which was first built in 1958. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

Alder Grove Heritage Society’s Michael Pratt (from left), VP Brit Gardner and Michelle Bridges have continued to fight to preserve the firehall, which was first built in 1958. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

First hurdle cleared in fight to preserve Aldergrove firehall

Building now a heritage asset but Councillor Woodward warns still ‘can be demolished’

Alder Grove Heritage Society (AGHS) began its fight to preserve the historic Firehall No. 3 just under six months ago, when the threat of Langley Township demolition plans first came to their attention.

As a result of AGHS campaigning, Township council put forth a motion Monday to add the two-storey structure at 2900 272nd St. to the Township’s Community Heritage Registry.

“Simply registering the building as a heritage asset means it can be demolished still,” Councillor Eric Woodward said during the council’s evening meeting.

“If the goal is to preserve it and not build a road through it, it would need subsequent direction,” Woodward elaborated.

The Township first purchased the hall in June 2018 as part of the re-development of the former Aldergrove Community Arena site for a seniors housing complex by the Burnaby-based Willingdon Care Centre.

RELATED: Heritage proposal for Aldergrove firehall ‘at a standstill’

A circulating memo suggested the firehall was to be demolished to make room for a connector road adjoining 29th Avenue and 273rd Street.

AGHS secretary Michael Pratt and member Michelle Bridges confronted council during a January meeting, requesting public consultation take place before a final decision was made on the property.

Following their delegation, council motioned for third-party appraisers to estimate the standing value of the firehall, which was first built in 1958 through largely donated goods and services from the community.

The appraisal report by Donald Luxton & Associates, was put forth by council at their evening meeting Monday, recommending the building be added to the Township’s heritage register.

Constructed to serve the Aldergrove community, the building “is valued as part of a pattern of volunteer fire departments… collaborating to have purpose-built firehall buildings constructed during the 1950s and 1960s,” the report reads.

Though AGHS is pleased with the result, president Tami Quiring admits “there is still much work to be done.”

READ MORE: Township to discuss Aldergrove museum proposal for old firehall

“The society and we hope our community at large will continue to work towards permanently preserving the building as homage to those who were not only volunteer firefighters, but also as the builders of this hall and the community it served,” Quiring told the Aldergrove Star.

This will require a subsequent Township council meeting and vote, which will be “left for the future,” words during the Monday night meeting revealed.

“As many of us remember Aldergrove Elementary school was on the Community Heritage Register and it met with a destructive end – disappointing many local residents, myself included,” Quiring emphasized.

The long-standing elementary was levelled in December 2015 to make room for the new Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre facilities.

RELATED: Preserve ‘heritage’ firehall movement springs up

AGHS has continued to propose a Community Archive Museum in the hall. Additionally, the AGHS hopes to see in the space include a small coffee shop, local gift shop and community meeting space, Quiring said.

The firehall is currently home to its former owners, the Robinsons.

The married couple first upgraded the hall into a commercial space for Milsean Shoppe coffee and confectioneries in 2002.

Their restoration work on the former firehouse won the Robinsons a special heritage conservation award from the Langley Heritage Society.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The firehall, built in 1958, was a collaborative effort of the Aldergrove community for volunteer firefighters.

The firehall, built in 1958, was a collaborative effort of the Aldergrove community for volunteer firefighters.

Just Posted

Stock photo by Alex Chambers on Unsplash
Langley Arts Council hosting ‘make your own jewellery’ class

Participants will use a saw frame to pierce out their own pendant design on Thursday, Jan. 28

Jeremy Pue of White Cloud Productions. (screenshot)
Aldergrove filmmaker hopes to capture local stories in 2021

Though Jeremy Pue did not receive a Storyhive grant, he is finding other avenues to make his film

Langley RCMP are looking for witnesses to an apparent shoot out between two vehicles in Langley City and Brookswood on Saturday morning. (Langley Advance Times files)
Shots fired between speeding cars in Brookswood, Langley City

One or both cars were firing shots at the other in the middle of the night

Township of Langley civic facility. (Langley Advance Times files)
Budget shortfall shrinking in Langley Township

Staff showed council a tightened up budget, without borrowing, on Monday

A Langley woman said she was shaken by the angry encounter. (Google Maps)
Woman shaken after belligerent encounter with unmasked man in Langley store

A man angry about vaccines berated a fellow shopper, a witness said

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canadian malls, conference centres, hotels offer up space for COVID vaccination centres

Commercial real estate association REALPAC said that a similar initiative was seeing success in the U.K.

Flags line the National Mall towards the Capitol Building as events get underway for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States

About 25,000 National Guard members have been dispatched to Washington

A memorial for the fatal bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 near Tisdale, Tuesday, October 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards
‘End of the road:’ Truck driver in Humboldt Broncos crash awaits deportation decision

Sidhu was sentenced almost two years ago to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Cumberland photographer Sara Kemper recently took the top spot in a Canadian Geographic photography contest. Photo by Sara Kemper
B.C. photographer takes top Canadian Geographic photo prize

Sara Kemper shows what home means to her in Comox Valley photo

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

Most Read