Friday, 22 April 2016

We are Open Sat!

Saturday will be an interesting day for business in Amherst. There will be traffic disruption on Victoria and Laplanche Streets as the old Bank of Montreal Building is being demolished.
The building has had many uses over it's lifetime. Obviously, the BOM, but when I was a kid, it was Central Trust. Their bank books were blue and smelled different (in a good way). The tellers also wrote in ink in the bank books. That bank was moved and over time emerged into what is now Toronto Dominion, further up the street.
The next memory of the building is the Amherst Police department was located there until sometime in 2000. The town had the windows and doorframe all outlined in white lights for the Millennium Celebrations. (As beautiful as that was, drilling into the soft Amherst sandstone in the building would not be good building maintenance.) That department was moving to a different location soon and today is housed in a new building on Havelock St.
{As a side note, if you have not been in the new Police Station- it's worth a look! To be able to go to work and have your building work for you (advantage of being designed as a police station) must be wonderful for this department. They have a challenging job that we do not always appreciate or understand until we need them. It's always important to remember re-purposing a building is a big challenge in being assessable both physically and for the new technology needed in todays workplace.}
There were also a few businesses that were located there before it became an empty building. At one time, it had beautiful wooden floors and like most of the older buildings in town, the woodwork inside was fabulous in part because of the craftsmanship of Rhodes Curry.
Alas, the building is only a shell now. The amount of money to spend on repairs, let alone saving and refurbishing the building to a bygone era standards would be astronomical. The town has 'saved" the Dominion Public Building next to this building on Victoria St and it would be far sadder if this was the building coming to the end of it's lifespan.
Change and loosing our past is difficult. It should make us appreciate what we have left in our building (especially the stone) inventory of the downtown and support the businesses within. By having a downtown and one as unique as ours in architecture, should an advantage for setting us apart from other communities.
The pics are from a quiet snowy day and all the buildings downtown were beautiful in their frosted cloaks.

1 comment:

  1. A great post. As a "transplant", I don't always know the local history and it's great to learn about the special buildings that make up our downtown.