Eileen Fletcher says city hall should be restored to the original concrete. ~ Revelstoke Review file photo

Letter: Preserve heritage of city hall

Eileen Fletcher says City of Revelstoke should restory city hall to its original state

Editor,

The City of Revelstoke has resurrected its controversial plan to encase city hall in foam and acrylic stucco, a retrofit widely discredited by the heritage community. In 2012, Reid Jones Christoffersen, building science engineers, found that the stucco installed 30 years ago is delaminating and should be removed. Cores cut from the underlying historic concrete found it to be in good structural condition and the original painted surface could be restored.

In the early 20th century, modernism was sweeping Europe and a new international style was established by the Congrès Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne in Paris. Honest expression of materials and industrial techniques were promoted to transform society. In the 1930’s, Streamline Moderne combined concrete, glass and metal in sweeping curves and bold horizontal lines inspired by Cubism. The streamline aesthetic was applied broadly: bus stations, theatres and car showrooms, along with Airstream trailers, locomotives and refrigerators were designed in the Moderne style, as was Revelstoke’s city hall.

Charles Van Norman was one of the first architects in British Columbia to explore this international style. His design for Revelstoke’s city hall is a notably refined example of early modernist architecture in Canada. Today, the streamlined interior is lost forever and the crisp white exterior is concealed under thick brown stucco. The proposed new and thicker covering will create a bunker-like appearance, windows will be recessed, and edges blunted. During installation the historic concrete walls will be irreversibly damaged.

City hall clearly asserts Revelstoke’s place in the new modernism of the early 20th century. Revelstoke needs to embrace the cultural value of city hall as a precious example of early Moderne architecture in British Columbia. The heavy stucco overlay should be removed the original smooth white concrete walls exposed again.

Eileen Fletcher,

Retired Architect, AIBC

Revelstoke

Just Posted

Man in custody linked to Silver Creek property search

Police are not saying how this search is related to Wayne Curtis Sagmoen’s current criminal charges

Debate heats up over fire protection

Revelstoke and regional district at odds over fire suppression agreement

Day 2 of RCMP search at Silver Creek residence

Police use backhoe in ongoing search effort at residential/agricultural Salmon River Road property

Controlled burns no cause for concern

Annual clean-up by forestry companies includes burning debris from logging activity

Residents pay tribute to city’s homeless

He was articulate and well-spoken. He was great at self-reflection. He liked watching the Canucks. And more often than not, he lived at the Howard House Men’s Shelter.

Mixing up local talent and cocktails

The annual Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery Mixoff takes place in Kelowna in November

Column: Back to the land in the 21st century

By Jim Cooperman, Observer columnist There is a slowly growing movement back… Continue reading

Column: Sockeye fisheries hinder recovery

While driving to the Coast a few weeks ago, the last week… Continue reading

Auntie Says: Don’t bring your dope to my house

Don’t judge me and I won’t judge you, but if you try and smoke at my house, you’ll be asked to leave

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Search for missing B.C. man a race against winter weather

David Jeff of Williams Lake was last seen in Kamloops during the chaotic wildfire evacuations

Residents pay tribute to city’s homeless

He was articulate and well-spoken. He was great at self-reflection. He liked watching the Canucks. And more often than not, he lived at the Howard House Men’s Shelter.

Man steals police car, goes for a ‘slow’ ride

Mission RCMP say the motive of the theft is unknown

Dodgers punch ticket to World Series

This will be the first time the Los Angles Dodgers have made it to the World Series since 1988.

Most Read