IN PICTURES: Inside a historic Exchange District building condemned to be demolished

WINNIPEG — The city has authorized the demolition of a historic building in the Exchange District, which is more than 110-years-old.

The decision was made after renovations to the Thomas Scott Memorial Orange Hall at 216 Princess St., started to cause it to crumble and collapse.

In early January southbound Princess Street was closed due to unsafe conditions.

Princess Street

(Source:CTV News Winnipeg)

Cindy Tugwell, executive director of Heritage Winnipeg, said the decision to destroy the building is unfortunate.

“Gosh, very, very upset, disappointed, sad, because it’s a very significant building,” said Tugwell.

She said the building was underutilized for many years and to have this happen after it started to undergo a major rehabilitation is “very sad.”

Princess street inside

Thomas Scott Memorial Orange Hall, second floor meeting hall painting. (Source: Virtual Heritage Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections)

princess street inside

Thomas Scott Memorial Orange Hall, ground floor. (Source: Virtual Heritage Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections)

Tugwell had previously told CTV News in January that the building moved during the renovation and it is now leaning.

READ MORE: City considers demolishing historic Exchange District building at risk of collapsing

Tugwell was also concerned about the building’s historic stone façade, but the city said it won’t be able to save it.

“The department of Planning, Property & Development looked at options to potentially save the façade of the building, however those actions would have taken an extended time period and the threat of collapse was deemed imminent,” the city said in an email to CTV News.

princess street inside

Thomas Scott Memorial Orange Hall, basement. (Source: Virtual Heritage Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections)

Tugwell hopes the city honours the old building the right way.

“I think it’s very important to have a proper replication that keeps continuity,” she said.

The city said it expect demolition will begin within the week and once it’s done, Princess Street will be reopened soon after.

“Preparatory work is underway, including disconnecting of hydro lines and street light removal. There are four addresses on Princess Street that are part of a connected structure,” the city said.

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