"Reason is always a kind of brute force; those who appeal to the head rather than the heart, however pallid and polite, are necessarily men of violence. We speak of 'touching' a man's heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it." --G.K. Chesterton

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Saving a precious piece of history

The City of Coquitlam announced this afternoon that it had purchased one of the most historic homes and properties in the city-- the Booth house and farm. It's great news.
Jill Cook of the Coquitlam Heritage Society. (Terry O'Neill photo)
In making the announcement, Mayor Richard Stewart took time to thank Councillor Craig Hodge, who chairs the Maillardville Commerical and Cultural Revitalization Committee, for all the good work he and the group has accomplished. Hodge also used to be on the board of the Coquitlam Heritage Society, which also urged the property's preservation. (One of the happiest people at today's announcement was Jill Cook, executive director of the society. See photo above.)
The Mayor also kidded Hodge for the over-eagerness he displayed on the Booth issue when he first arrived on council. Stewart quipped that my council colleague now understands the proper way to get things accomplished.
From my perspective, that "proper way" involved having the draft Maillardville Neighbhour Plan completed. The plan identified the Booth property as an important piece of our historic-property and park-land inventory.
With that clear identification in place, I was ultimately quite happy to vote in favour of the purchase of this precious piece of Coquitlam's history--a property that will provide much enjoyment for all our residents.
Here is the official press release about today's announcement:

 Coquitlam acquires historic Maillardville property

COQUITLAM, BC, Wednesday, October 30, 2013   – Booth Farm, an historic property in Maillardville, will be preserved thanks to the City of Coquitlam’s recent acquisition of the land.
Located at 1746 Brunette Ave., the 112-year-old home was originally owned by Ralph Booth, a pioneer of the Maillardville community. It was identified in the Maillardville Heritage Inventory as a “Primary Building” having architectural, historical and contextual heritage significance to the community.
“Our city enjoys a rich and unique past, which is especially evident throughout Maillardville – Coquitlam’s most historic neighbourhood,” said Mayor Richard Stewart. “It is our responsibility as a Council to ensure that we preserve and celebrate that history.  I’m very pleased that the most recent owners shared that sentiment, and have worked with us.”
The acquisition and preservation of Booth Farm aligns with the City’s Heritage Strategic Plan, and was specifically identified as a priority in the recently-drafted Maillardville Neighbourhood Plan.
 “Our goal is to continue to grow and revitalize Maillardville’s vibrancy and diversity as a neighbourhood,” said Councillor Craig Hodge, Chair of the Maillardville Commercial and Cultural Revitalization Committee. “Preserving Maillardville’s cultural identity through the safeguarding of heritage buildings and properties is an important component to our strategy for future growth of the neighbourhood.”
Purchasing Booth Farm provides the City with certainty in preserving the heritage elements of the land, and allows for the completion of a more detailed analysis to determine the optimal use of the building and site over the long-term.

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