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Heritage house resoration slow going

Heritage house restoration slow going
by Rachael Kimola - Story: 36477
Jan 12, 2008 / 8:00 am

Officials say it isn’t looking likely a heritage building in Kelowna will be open this year.

A fire on September 7, 2006 caused extensive damage to the building.

Janice Henry, executive director of the Guisachan Heritage House, says restoration work on the building is slow to start.

“There are a lot of factors making restoration of a heritage home more difficult than restoring a regular home, so getting the process started is taking much longer than we would like,” says Henry.

She says the building was originally constructed as a summer home, which makes restoring it harder.

“Things have changed since we first restored it. Codes have changed. How much do you restore? What period do you take it back to?”

Henry says also in 2006, the City became the caretaker for the house.

We had lease on it from the City of Kelowna and that relationship changed within 30 days of the fire. So we are less involved now than we were before.

She says they have given several deadlines for the restoration.

“We have heard various deadlines, which have kept moving out. It’s getting very frustrating.”

In May 2007, Kelowna City Council approved $115,000 for mechanical and structural upgrades to the house, work which must be finished prior to restoration.