Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Celebrating our History – The Restoration of the Colonial Building

The Association of Heritage Industries is pleased to support and applaud today’s joint funding announcement by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Government of Canada of $22.3 million to complete the restoration of the Colonial Building.

Located in the heart of a nationally significant historic precinct, the Colonial Building is the finest example of neoclassical architecture in the province. As the seat of government for 90 years, the Colonial Building has played an important role in the province’s history and political culture.

The heritage community, under the umbrella of the Association of Heritage Industries, collectively lobbied for the restoration of the Colonial Building when the Provincial Archives relocated to The Rooms in 2004. The heritage community rallied to have the Colonial Building carefully restored, maintaining the historical and architectural integrity of both the exterior and interior. We also recommended transforming the building into a public space to interpret and celebrate Newfoundland and Labrador’s political history.

The provincial government adopted AHI’s recommendations and, in the intervening years, completed a management plan, making an initial commitment of $3 million towards the restoration project, along with a $648,000 contribution through Canadian Heritage’s Building Canada fund.

Today’s landmark announcement means there will be sufficient resources to complete the restoration work to a high standard - a fitting contribution to this significant building. AHI Chair David Bradley notes that, “The Colonial Building may be the province’s most important, surviving historic structure, and we are pleased that both levels of government recognize its importance and are prepared to make the necessary investment in its preservation and redevelopment. We will watch the progress with great interest.”

Kim Shipp
Executive Director
Association of Heritage Industries
PO Box 2064, Stn C.
St. John's, NL A1C 5R6

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