Image from archiseek.com

Image from archiseek.com

Winnipeg Demolition on its Public Safety Building is backed up by its city commissioned report which costs $275,000 dollars.  This report was made through a thorough study on the available options to be done for the 51 years old building near Winnipeg’s City Hall.

One option considered by its city official is to refurbish the building (which will cost millions of dollars) and convert this to various city departments while transferring their police headquarters to Graham Avenue. But the proposed refurbishment will be cost-prohibitive according to the city commissioned report.

The report’s full evaluation stated that restoring the building will never meet the city’s needs; it wouldn’t improve the revitalization priorities of its downtown and will never add value beyond other options. Considering the limitations offered by the building’s restoration and the high cost that goes along with it calls for a strong case in favor for demolition.

The building’s construction was done in 1965 using the brutalist modernism style and Tyndall limestone clad. But as the years went by, thawing and freezing have taken their toll. In 2006, its walkway was covered with plywood, lining the street outside to serve as a protection for pedestrians from limestone cladding that falls from the façade. Meanwhile, its parking garage was closed in August 2012 due to the facility’s structural concerns.

However, due to the building’s historical and architectural significance, some would say that demolition is not the only option. But after a thorough study of the building’s condition, its exterior cladding and other limitations makes it unsuitable for a costly restoration project.

Furthermore, the city commissioned report cited other reasons why the Public Safety Building is ripe for demolition. First, the entrance to the building has problem on accessibility since it was not placed on a street level. Second, the main floor is not free from barriers, limiting its potential use. Third, the underground parking can’t be developed due to its existing column structure. And fourth, retaining tyndal stone cladding just doesn’t make any sense and is considered impractical.

If the building will be demolished, it opens opportunities for a large public space or even private development. A civil campus can also be constructed which include a small public space, Property and Development Department building construction, creation of Winnipeg Parking Authority office spaces with 95 stall parking structures as well as sale for surplus land.

The demolition of Winnipeg’s Public Safety Building will bring it lots of opportunities for improvement, making demolition their only practical option.