We failed at preserving a major heritage asset. It's really as simple as that. This failure was two-fold: through neglect the structure aged prematurely and as a result was ordered to be replaced.
Of course that is not to say that the bridge could not have been saved, and surely remediation would have cost far less than the new bridge replacement will cost, road network improvements and all, but the way the numbers were presented and the bias showed throughout the whole process ensured that the voting public would go for the sexy new bridge despite the complexities and costs involved.
The irony of course is private industry has spent millions of dollars preserving heritage under the watchful eye of heritage advocates, some of whom are our elected representatives. But when the City of Victoria walks up to the plate the rules suddenly change in favour of demolition and replacement.
Unfortunately another piece of our urban fabric that I feel is worthy of preservation but which has already been earmarked for destruction
is the Royal British Columbia Museum's 1960's-era Fanin Building
). Fanin is an absolutely wonderful example of international-style architecture but sadly the powers that be feel it is outdated
. You can bet your chops the City of Victoria won't get in the way and I certainly haven't heard anything from The Hallmark Society despite the RBCM's multi-year redevelopment planning process.
The silence is rather deafening as the Society focuses on private developers developing private land and restoring private heritage buildings, but the government is being given a free pass once again simply because the powers that be feel a building is outdated
If by chance the Society is involved in an effort to save the Fanin but is doing so in a discreet manner than hats off to them and I'd love to know how that effort is playing out.