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Many partners ensure a bright future for a piece of Halifax history
(Monday, December 21, 2009) - A circa 1760 building that is among the oldest in Halifax will be relocated this evening thanks to the hard work and partnership of a group of determined individuals and organizations.
Together, the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia, the Ecology Action Centre, Dexel Developments Limited , Nova Scotia Power, Halifax Regional Municipality and three of its Councillors, worked to save and relocate the Charles Morris office building.
“The relocation of this building speaks to the positive things that can happen when many people come together with a common interest and a shared will to see it through,” said Mayor Peter Kelly.
The Hollis Street structure will be moved sometime after 6 p.m. to a temporary lot on Morris Street near Lower Water Street made available by Nova Scotia Power.
The utility is leasing the land to Heritage Trust at a cost of one dollar per year, while the Trust works to find a permanent home for the building named after its owner Charles Morris. The first Chief Surveyor of Nova Scotia. Mr. Morris laid out the original streets and property lines for the former City of Halifax.
“We’re delighted that so many people have come together to preserve this building, one that we feel is a significant part of the city’s history,” said Philip Pacey of Heritage Trust. “I like to think Mr. Morris would be pleased as well.”
The building, among the four oldest in Halifax but lacking a heritage designation, stood on a piece of land at Hollis and Morris Street that is to be redeveloped by Dexel Developments. The developer transferred the ownership of the Morris Building to Heritage Trust.
Halifax Downtown Councillor Dawn Sloane, Lower Sackville Councillor Bob Harvey, and Connaught-Quinpool Councillor Jennifer Watts each contributed to the cost of the move.
“I’m proud to see such a concerted effort in such a short time to ensure this valuable piece of our history is preserved well into the future,” said Councillor Sloane. “It’s a testament to what we can do to preserve heritage while ensuring there is also room for new development in our downtown.”
Kim Thompson of the Ecology Action Centre said the moving and adaptive re-use of the Morris property demonstrates a viable alternative to landfilling buildings, and reinforces old traditions of moving buildings.
Robin McAdam, executive vice president of sustainability for Nova Scotia Power, said the company is pleased to provide a temporary home for the Morris Building.
“It's in keeping with the philosophy behind our Lower Water Street project: instead of demolishing an old power plant, we're transforming it into a modern, environmentally sustainable office building,” Mr. McAdam said. “Similarly, we hope the Heritage Trust will find a new
purpose and place to sustain the Morris Building.”
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Mayor Peter Kelly
Halifax Downtown Councillor Dawn Sloane
Philip Pacey, Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia
Kim Thompson, Ecology Action Centre
David Rodenhiser, Nova Scotia Power
Peter Lawen, Dexel Developments Limited