The distinctive little building that served as the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway station in downtown Victoria is being turned over to the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority.
It will be dismantled and eventually rebuilt at either Fisherman's Wharf or Ogden Point, said Curtis Grad, president and chief executive of the GVHA.
The real architectural value in the unused 1985 building is its peaked cedar roof, Grad said. "It's an emotional project, not a business case project. We really do believe in saving the building ... It's a labour of love," Grad said.
The City of Victoria, owner of the heritage-style building, sought proposals in July to remove and reuse the building, located on the east end of the soon-to-be-replaced Johnson Street bridge. Grad said the agreement is for the GVHA to take on the cost of relocating and rebuilding the structure. It will probably cost as much to move and reassemble as it would to construct a new one, he said.
The roof will be removed later this month. Doors and other hardware will be stored to be used when the building goes up again.
Bricks lining the exterior walls will be demolition waste, Grad said. New cedar shakes will go on the roof, which is 15 metres long and 4.2 metres tall.
A cairn at the site notes the building is where the original E&N station was located. The railroad line runs from Victoria north to Courtenay. Passenger service was halted in 2011 because of concerns over the condition of the tracks.
At least three locations are being contemplated for the building, Grad said.
"But we are not really ready to make a decision until we finish facilities planning," he said. Master planning is underway for both Fisherman's Wharf, expected to be completed with the city in early 2013, and Ogden Point, likely to wrap up late next year.
Once planning is complete, the building's new location will be determined. Raising the building could take six months to a year.
It could go up on an upland chunk of land at Fisherman's Wharf with some kind of tourism use. Or it may be set up at Ogden Point, where a couple of ideas are being considered, including as a staging area for a future water taxi to the Inner Harbour.
The GVHA's annual general meeting is Thursday, 5: 30 p.m., in the ballroom of the Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour Hotel.
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