Thursday, April 21, 2011

Medicine Hat Downtown Redevelopment Plan

Last Saturday I took the girls downtown to see the new VeggieTales Easter movie at the Monarch Theatre with some friends from church. I didn't realize until I was down there that it was also the annual Easter Egg Hunt. It was wonderful to see all the families and kids walking around and enjoying the mild weather.

What wasn't so nice to see was all the empty and deteriorating storefronts. It's really sad to see historical buildings fall into disrepair, or worse, a cheap, half-hearted attempt at brightening up a location with a gallon of discount paint on plywood signage. Hopefully the new Downtown Redevelopment Plan will motivate owners and developers to restore these buildings to their original glory.  I also read in the paper recently that they are looking at higher fines for owners of derelict buildings in the downtown.

Already the owners of the Hargrave/Sissons Merchant Bank Building have been working hard at restoring their building and it now houses a cafe and art studio/gallery. I haven't had a chance to check it out yet, but perhaps the warmer weather will allow for some meandering downtown soon.  I've loved the charm of these old buildings since I was a teenager and I'm so glad when owners decide to preserve them.

There used to be a historical walking tour of the downtown, with an informative booklet.  I don't think that the booklet is available anymore, but some kind soul has scanned it and posted it as a PDF online.  It gives some interesting information about the original buildings downtown and what they were used for.

Is anyone a member of the Cypress Club?  I would love to have a glimpse inside this private members club and see what it's like.  I have been fortunate enough to have been to two other private members clubs, the Calgary Petroleum Club (several times when I worked at an engineering company in Calgary) and the Edmonton Petroleum Club (for a wedding).

Previous to their major fire, Moose Jaw had revitalized their downtown and made it a bustling and fascinating tourist attraction.  We should be trying to do the same in Medicine Hat.

No comments:

Post a Comment