It appears as though the province is set to hand the City of New Westminster control over one of its most historic sites and buildings. The former Gas Works building which sits on the corner of 3rd ave and 12th street is the oldest remaining brick building in New Westminster, one of only 3 coal gasification plants left in BC. The building was constructed in 1886 and it was one of the buildings to survive the Great Fire of 1898. The building takes us back to the era when New Westminster was more economically important than Vancouver, at time when industry was at the city`s heart.
Plans for the site include a potential fire hall as well as children’s playground and additional park space. The site does require extensive decontamination and as such there has been discussion about removing the Gas Works building during the process and subsequent reconstruction. This is a very exciting opportunity for the city to retain some of its most prized heritage while also tackling its deficit of public parks and spaces. I sincerely hope the city and its residents see the value in keeping this once important building for future generations. Here are a few ideas of the potential redesign by the city and Ramsay Worden Architects;