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Thread: Hanger 11 makes list of top 10 most endangered historic buildings in Canada

  1. #1

    Default Hanger 11 makes list of top 10 most endangered historic buildings in Canada

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgar...ered-1.4153875

    One of only two remaining Second World War hangers in Canada, built in 1942.

    I realize the airport won't come back, but will the city simply demolish this amazing peace of Canadian military history?

    Of can it be repurposed as suggested in the article or perhaps (?) even moved/rebuilt at Fort Edmonton park (there is already a hanger there though)?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgar...ered-1.4153875

    One of only two remaining Second World War hangers in Canada, built in 1942.

    I realize the airport won't come back, but will the city simply demolish this amazing peace of Canadian military history?

    I have not checked in the last 2 years but ... the last information I saw from the CoE was the hangar in the article and it's equally significant mate were to be demolished. IIRC
    Last edited by Thomas Hinderks; 10-06-2017 at 11:24 AM.

  3. #3

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    ^I guess it wasn't designed by Peter Hemingway, so the architect snobs in Edmonton don't care about it. Just preservationists in the rest of Canada, who likely don't matter to those who decide. Its an imposing structure, I always found it interesting. Hard to believe something useful couldn't be done with it, in terms of a community space.



    Built in 1942, Hangar 11 is one of only two remaining Second World War-era hangars built at the former Blatchford Field — later the Edmonton municipal airport — through a partnership with the U.S. Air Force.

    The former airfield helped move thousands of American bombers, fighters and transport planes though Edmonton to Alaska and finally to Russia during the Second World War. Hangar 11 is listed on the city's Inventory of Historic Resources, but is not protected by formal designation.

    The former municipal airfield is now being redeveloped and Hangar 11 is not being retained.

    "It's an incredibly intact building," said Wiebe. "They're redeveloping the whole site for a residential neighbourhood and this would be a tremendous opportunity to speak to that historic character of the airfield and convert it into some kind of community use, like a sports centre or something of that nature."
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgar...ered-1.4153875
    Last edited by moahunter; 10-06-2017 at 02:04 PM.

  4. #4

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    ^
    They should use this as a combined sport centre and community hall. You could add an ice plant and make it a hockey or curling rink, or use it for indoor soccer and lacrosse. It could also be book for community festivals and private events, like wedding receptions. You could even rent it as a small concert venue. The office space built into it could be used for the Blatchford community league, or rented as enterprise or art incubation spaces. The last thing that should happen is this buildings destruction

  5. #5

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    This should definitely be kept around, a hangar would make a great fieldhouse, if the beams might be a little lower that's charm, not a deal-breaking flaw. Blatchford needs to keep some of these buildings around to give it a real identity and not be just as artificial as the suburban neighbourhood named after whatever was destroyed in order to build it.

    That said, these are big poorly insulated buildings made of wood. It's not reasonable to expect that they remain exactly as is. Upgrades can be done without ruining the character.
    There can only be one.

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    I agree this should be kept, in keeping with trying to emulate and respect the history of this area. I imagine to preserve it would be quite the challenge however in it's current form. How much structural and interior renovation can you do before it's more cost effective to knock it over and build it back up again?

    ^^A community rink would be a fantastic use for it.

  7. #7

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    In any other city than Edmonton these buildings would be preserved and incorporated into the design and plans for Blatchford. Otherwise, what's the tie to history of the area? What makes great cities is old and new together.
    www.decl.org

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenSPACE View Post
    In any other city than Edmonton these buildings would be preserved and incorporated into the design and plans for Blatchford. Otherwise, what's the tie to history of the area? What makes great cities is old and new together.
    Do you have any examples of cities with a mid-city airport that redeveloped that land and preserved old hangars?
    I am in no way entitled to your opinion...

  9. #9

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    ^King's Cross Redevelopment comes to mind https://casestudies.uli.org/kings-cross/. It doesn't have to be an airport hanger. Could be any old industrial or commercial building. Many industrial and railroad related buildings abandoned for over half century, one of the toughest places in London.

    Truman's Brewery scheme in London turned that into markets and creative space. Very simple concepts. But it all took time and willingness to keep the existing buildings while plans and funding were put in place. Not unlike the reasons to keep Rossdale intact.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenSPACE View Post
    ^King's Cross Redevelopment comes to mind https://casestudies.uli.org/kings-cross/. It doesn't have to be an airport hanger. Could be any old industrial or commercial building. Many industrial and railroad related buildings abandoned for over half century, one of the toughest places in London.
    Yes but we're talking here about an old hangar, a big box of air that could take a lot of work to be useful as anything but a big box of air just for sentimental reasons, having little architectural signficance. How hard do we work to keep old buildings just because they're old? Your other examples are all significantly more than big boxes of air designed to shelter airplanes - they were designed from the start with interior floors and walls of substance to contain machines and people.
    I am in no way entitled to your opinion...

  11. #11

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    ^I'm sure through community consultation and proper planning a scheme could come together even if you can't imagine it now. I can think of half a dozen cool things to do with the building.

    If you don't save a few buildings like this when you're doing a redevelopment plan for an area, what's the point? Why would people want to live there over somewhere else, other than proximity to the core? Just bad planning to tear these down. If they're in absolutely terrible shape, that's one thing. But if not, lots of reuse potential.

    We used to tear down brick warehouses in the core with the same abandon.
    www.decl.org

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenSPACE View Post
    ^I'm sure through community consultation and proper planning a scheme could come together even if you can't imagine it now. I can think of half a dozen cool things to do with the building.

    If you don't save a few buildings like this when you're doing a redevelopment plan for an area, what's the point? Why would people want to live there over somewhere else, other than proximity to the core? Just bad planning to tear these down. If they're in absolutely terrible shape, that's one thing. But if not, lots of reuse potential.

    We used to tear down brick warehouses in the core with the same abandon.
    Those warehouses were at least designed to hold people and things. The hangar will either have to be left as a big box of air or need signficant work to give it an interior. Much the same challenge as the Coliseum deliberations are facing.

    I can think of lots of cool things to do with the building too, like making it into my house (talk about open plan!), but that pipe-dream would have to be paid for and that's where the true "value" of the building will have to be assessed. Perhaps Ken could shed some light on how turning that big shed into something useful to the community would go. I'd be interested in what the sentimentality premium would be in making the building useful vs building a new one.
    I am in no way entitled to your opinion...

  13. #13

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    ^Warehouses were not seen as useful either until someone decided they could be converted to housing. Similar with any other building ever anywhere. Prince of Wales Armoury is now archives and other offices. It too was just a large open space. I don't buy that argument.
    www.decl.org

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenSPACE View Post
    ^Warehouses were not seen as useful either until someone decided they could be converted to housing. Similar with any other building ever anywhere. Prince of Wales Armoury is now archives and other offices. It too was just a large open space. I don't buy that argument.
    That armoury was nowhere the multi-story big empty box with thin walls that the hangar is. I appreciate your boosterism and sentiment, but that big old shed is a real stretch. Guess we'll have to wait until someone costs it out.
    I am in no way entitled to your opinion...

  15. #15

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    The armory is brick and prettier, but the archive facility is essentially a building built within the empty part of the old empty box, with a few offices and at least one rentable hall in the old shell.

    It wouldn't be hard to figure out if something works. Measure the hangar footprint, and overlay with the various sports fields that we seem to be so short of. If it fits there you go. If not, try again.

    It's not like our new rec centres are much more than fancy boxes when it comes down to it.
    There can only be one.

  16. #16

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    I get that a new building would be better insulated, more fireproof, and have a longer expected lifespan. But we seem all to ready to throw stuff away before the time is up. That a Fieldhouse built out of the hangar would have just a 20 year life before major maintenance is expected isn't a problem just because the new-build version that costs 4 times as much wouldn't need a new roof and mechanical systems for 35years.

    A fieldhouse in an old hangar should have RC/drone flying times.
    There can only be one.

  17. #17

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    Use to park in this hanger when going to school at NAIT. Was super handy and convenient not having brush snow off or worry car freeze up and not start . A shame if they tear it down !

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    One of only two remaining Second World War hangers in Canada, built in 1942.
    I'm sure the article's been changed since you quoted it. It now says:
    "Built in 1942, Hangar 11 is one of only two remaining Second World War-era hangars built at the former Blatchford Field — later the Edmonton municipal airport — through a partnership with the U.S. Air Force. "
    That implies there may be many more in Canada. Just that we only have two at Blatchford.
    Last edited by nobleea; 12-06-2017 at 02:59 PM.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Highlander II View Post
    The armory is brick and prettier, but the archive facility is essentially a building built within the empty part of the old empty box, with a few offices and at least one rentable hall in the old shell.

    It wouldn't be hard to figure out if something works. Measure the hangar footprint, and overlay with the various sports fields that we seem to be so short of. If it fits there you go. If not, try again.

    It's not like our new rec centres are much more than fancy boxes when it comes down to it.

    Many of the old buildings are mostly wood structures and if they've kept the rot out, they should be easily repairable with today's equipment, cranes, hydraulics, steel beams, metal connectors, etc.

    In one case a friend of ours had an old, small but potentially really nice barn on her acreage. The sill was mostly rotted and the bottoms of many of the studs were in bad shape. Otherwise it was in ok shape. She called in a contractor and he said just bulldoze it - so she did that. To me it was an incredible loss of value to her acreage - penny wise and pound foolish.

    In another case a friend had near the same situation with his double garage. He simply went around it, supporting the wall, cutting out the rotted plate and bottoms of studs and replacing the sill (or plate?) and sistering in new studs. So instead of demolishing a valuable building he spend pennies on the replacement dollar and saved it.

    So when people look at these old buildings, especially ones that are largely open structures inside and think they can't be salvaged, I think those people are the type that landfill any old thing at the first sign of a problem. They only buy new, build new. If a building has lasted upwards of century through all kinds of climates, storms, snow loads, etc. and has been kept dry, then any restoration or upgrading necessary should be attainable. Wood structures - add more wood, more bracing, add in steel beams, etc. Where there is multiple floors of office space, yeah that might creates problems but once gutted everything should be pretty accessible except maybe the foundations.

    Open up a wall and find a lot of rot? Well, it's still most likely only a fraction of the entire building, so it could likely be chopped out and replaced.



    18,000 tonnes moved:

    Moving buildings: how Moscow high-rises were moved
    17 JUL 2016
    https://www.mos.ru/en/news/item/13744073/


    Structure relocation
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Structure_relocation

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by GreenSPACE View Post
    ^I'm sure through community consultation and proper planning a scheme could come together even if you can't imagine it now. I can think of half a dozen cool things to do with the building.

    If you don't save a few buildings like this when you're doing a redevelopment plan for an area, what's the point? Why would people want to live there over somewhere else, other than proximity to the core? Just bad planning to tear these down. If they're in absolutely terrible shape, that's one thing. But if not, lots of reuse potential.

    We used to tear down brick warehouses in the core with the same abandon.
    Those warehouses were at least designed to hold people and things. The hangar will either have to be left as a big box of air or need signficant work to give it an interior. Much the same challenge as the Coliseum deliberations are facing.

    I can think of lots of cool things to do with the building too, like making it into my house (talk about open plan!), but that pipe-dream would have to be paid for and that's where the true "value" of the building will have to be assessed. Perhaps Ken could shed some light on how turning that big shed into something useful to the community would go. I'd be interested in what the sentimentality premium would be in making the building useful vs building a new one.
    i appreciate both sets of opinion on this but before commenting on the building i need to comment on the "sentimentality premium" you noted because i think it's a fundamental flaw to assume that just because the reason is sentimental it has no value. sentiment, when connecting us to others or to our history does have value and this structure provides both. preserving those sentiments and those connections has substantial value and recognizing that value and attaching a dollar amount to it does not make that cost a premium.

    moving on, it is/was pretty much a purpose built big box of air designed to shelter airplanes. but remembering that through keeping it is likely to create a connection to that past that isn't available in history books. we've seen breweries turned in to retail space, power plants turned in to breweries, canning sheds converted to public markets, warehouses into loft apartments, office buildings into seniors' facilities.

    hangar 11 - like the coliseum and the remand centre and soon, hopefully, the old rcmp building/prison in the quarters - need imagination and creativity and, at some point, money much more than they need demolition. in more ways than one, we will never be able to afford to replace them once they are gone.

    blatchford is supposed to encourage urban farming - could some of hangar 11 be devoted to an urban farmer's market? would it make sense to provide community space for canning or preserving? it may not have the clear height for soccer or football that a new field house would provide but it's probably got enough for basketball and kid's soccer and tennis and badminton...

    if it's a community hub, can it incorporate other amenities the community will need - the league as mentioned or a library? is there an opportunity to provide classroom space for community based support in a less institutional setting than Norquest and Macewan etc.? the community will probably be well-serviced by a community health centre, professional offices, retail spaces. can these be integrated into the existing structure and still compete with those located in new space elsewhere or is good money being thrown after bad?

    then there's the question of "how historical" a building we want it to be because there's a lot of difference between preserving it and adapting it. for it to be successful, it may need a level of adaptation which will upset the preservationists but if the alternative is demolition does it not make more sense to sensitively adapt rather than lose?

    is all or any of this even possible? to answer that requires information not available here. are the foundations stable? are the wooden columns and beams and trusses in sound condition or full of dry rot and mould? sentiment aside, is there anything here that can actually be salvaged and repurposed? or would the monies be better spent supporting the hangar at fort edmonton and the one being used by the aviation museum, both of which also have similar sentimental attachment but are possibly better able to use of the same amount of limited resources that would be required by hangar 11 with better results?

    all i really know at the moment is that there is an awful lot of vacant land at blatchford and there really isn't any urgency i can see to tear down hangar 11 in the immediate future...
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    i need to comment on the "sentimentality premium" you noted because i think it's a fundamental flaw to assume that just because the reason is sentimental it has no value.
    It's a bigger flaw to assume that I assume sentimentality will have no value. Of course it has value. It will always have some value, but is that value commensurate with the actual hard dollars that will have to be spent to maintain that sentiment above and beyond what a rebuild would cost? That's what the Coliseum folks are dealing with: a couple hundred million to retrofit and work around to keep the outer shell vs a couple hundred million to create a new purpose-built building from scratch. That's the "sentimentality premium" I'd have to consider, especially for an architecturally non-descript building like a 75-year-old aircraft hangar. There's also the cost to preserve and maintain the old hulk for maybe a decade while decisions are made about what to do with it.
    I am in no way entitled to your opinion...

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudly View Post
    That's the "sentimentality premium" I'd have to consider, especially for an architecturally non-descript building like a 75-year-old aircraft hangar. There's also the cost to preserve and maintain the old hulk for maybe a decade while decisions are made about what to do with it.
    It's all that's left of an incredibly important role Edmonton played in WWII. Maybe that's sentimental to you, to me its an important part of the Cities history, and Canada's history as only two such are left. It was obviously built extremely well, because unlike many older buildings, its still in a very functional state. I don't know if the answer is to leave it there or move it, but I hope its not to demolish it.

  23. #23

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    ^^^Agree with several of your point Ken. Particularly about the reuse of the Hanger as a community food hub, and about the timelines. There's no rush to demolish.
    www.decl.org

  24. #24

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    Love Replacements idea of letting us fly our racing drones , rc craft there . Incorporates aviation and there really isn't anywhere else to fly , specially winter time .

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by nobleea View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    One of only two remaining Second World War hangers in Canada, built in 1942.
    I'm sure the article's been changed since you quoted it. It now says:
    "Built in 1942, Hangar 11 is one of only two remaining Second World War-era hangars built at the former Blatchford Field — later the Edmonton municipal airport — through a partnership with the U.S. Air Force. "
    That implies there may be many more in Canada. Just that we only have two at Blatchford.
    Having read all the research on these buildings a few years ago (and it is on file with the city of edmonton) the hangar pictured (Hangar 11) is the last of it's kind in Canada. The other Hangar refered to is adjacent to it (if it hasn't been demolished already, I haven't driven the area in over 2 years) is also the last of it's kind.

    As all the information was provided to the City of Edmonton it should be easy to confirm through the City of Edmonton archives.

    BTW the CoE should also have the last engineering review as well so all information should be easily attainable

    IMO
    Last edited by Thomas Hinderks; 12-06-2017 at 09:51 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nobleea View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    One of only two remaining Second World War hangers in Canada, built in 1942.
    I'm sure the article's been changed since you quoted it. It now says:
    "Built in 1942, Hangar 11 is one of only two remaining Second World War-era hangars built at the former Blatchford Field later the Edmonton municipal airport through a partnership with the U.S. Air Force. "
    That implies there may be many more in Canada. Just that we only have two at Blatchford.
    Having read all the research on these buildings a few years ago (and it is on file with the city of edmonton) the hangar pictured (Hangar 11) is the last of it's kind in Canada. The other Hangar refered to is adjacent to it (if it hasn't been demolished already, I haven't driven the area in over 2 years) is also the last of it's kind.

    As all the information was provided to the City of Edmonton it should be easy to confirm through the City of Edmonton archives.

    BTW the CoE should also have the last engineering review as well so all information should be easily attainable

    IMO
    i think the adjacent one was hangar 8 and it's gone already... while there may have been good reason, i'm not sure why we're so quick to demolish and and so slow to replace. it's really not a demonstration of progress if that's the intent.
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

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    The community hub idea seems like a good one to me.
    I've never seen the hanger close up, but based on the pictures I see here, there is an office block attached to the hanger. The office block could be used to house community amenities like a library and community league meeting rooms / community hall. Edmontonians across the city spend large amounts of money to get these built. I think it would be worthwhile to look into the cost of repurposing something which already exists, vs. building new.
    The hanger portion of the complex could be used in any number of ways already mentioned in this thread. I could also see it being used as a garden space. Perhaps it could be used to grow some fruits and vegetables that don't normally grow well here. It seems to me that even without climate controls, the structure could protect these plants from early and late frosts thereby extending their growing season.
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  28. #28

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    Could probably make a really cool laser strike, or paint ball, in it.

  29. #29

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    No


    Or wait a second, let me rethink your suggestion.

    He11 NO...
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ustauk View Post
    ^
    They should use this as a combined sport centre and community hall. You could add an ice plant and make it a hockey or curling rink, or use it for indoor soccer and lacrosse. It could also be book for community festivals and private events, like wedding receptions. You could even rent it as a small concert venue. The office space built into it could be used for the Blatchford community league, or rented as enterprise or art incubation spaces. The last thing that should happen is this buildings destruction
    A lot of those activities and events and uses you propose for that facility are already happening, across Blatchford Field, in Hangar 14 - the Alberta Aviation Museum.

    The hall in Hangar 14 does basket ball, small concert venue, community hall, meeting rooms, weddings, funerals, but Hangar 14 needs the city to help renovate it too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by champking View Post
    Love Replacements idea of letting us fly our racing drones , rc craft there . Incorporates aviation and there really isn't anywhere else to fly , specially winter time .
    Have you checked out Hangar 14 - the Alberta Aviation Museum for use of the community hall for that?

  32. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nobleea View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    One of only two remaining Second World War hangers in Canada, built in 1942.
    I'm sure the article's been changed since you quoted it. It now says:
    "Built in 1942, Hangar 11 is one of only two remaining Second World War-era hangars built at the former Blatchford Field — later the Edmonton municipal airport — through a partnership with the U.S. Air Force. "
    That implies there may be many more in Canada. Just that we only have two at Blatchford.
    Having read all the research on these buildings a few years ago (and it is on file with the city of edmonton) the hangar pictured (Hangar 11) is the last of it's kind in Canada. The other Hangar refered to is adjacent to it (if it hasn't been demolished already, I haven't driven the area in over 2 years) is also the last of it's kind.

    As all the information was provided to the City of Edmonton it should be easy to confirm through the City of Edmonton archives.

    BTW the CoE should also have the last engineering review as well so all information should be easily attainable

    IMO
    i think the adjacent one was hangar 8 and it's gone already... while there may have been good reason, i'm not sure why we're so quick to demolish and and so slow to replace. it's really not a demonstration of progress if that's the intent.
    Yes in the modern numbering system it was Hangar 8 ... the first of the brick and steel USAAC hangars. Hangar 11 was the last of the traditional wooden USAAC hangars. Edmonton was the only place you could see the last of an era and the first of the next. (USAAC = United States Army Air Corp predecessor to United States Air Force)

    Thank you for the update Ken, appreciated
    Last edited by Thomas Hinderks; 13-06-2017 at 11:37 PM.

  33. #33

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    Am I the only one that wants to see every single part of this entire airport completely wiped from the planet? If this is such a huge deal, take it apart and move it. But where and who will pay? I will not, I am one person that while I enjoy history, I do not see it in an airplane hangar, I see it in the planes and in the people that were there, such as my Grandfather, but I have zero emotional attachment to wood, concrete and steel. Why do people have such a hard time letting go of the past, are they afraid of the future? My beef with the airport is that it held back Edmonton from being the great city it could have been and it seems like we are always a day late and a dollar short from being better. I have seen so many properties on the historic list that are just awful, decrepit, run down old husks that can never be restored to glory, but yet we are stuck with multiple eyesores for ever. I don't know, I guess there is no great solution.

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