Breaking News – Pantages Theatre (1907)
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Letter from Peter Fairchild, Pantages Theatre Arts Society
Our letter in response to Peter Fairchild's letter
Pantages further infomormation link
The Pantages Theatre Arts Society has abandoned its struggle to preserve and restore Vancouver’s Historic Pantages Theatre – Heritage Vancouver urges the City of Vancouver to find a way to preserve The Pantages.
Heritage Vancouver has received a letter from the Pantages Theatre Arts Society informing us of their intention to abandon the struggle to preserve and restore the 1907 Pantages Theatre. This is yet one more example of how the lack of heritage incentives at all levels of government has thwarted community efforts to protect our built heritage.
We invite you to contact Mayor Gregor Robertson and Council Mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca to urge them to turn their attention to finding a way to preserve this building. This is a most urgent matter, and the last chance for the historic Pantages.
View letter as PDF
18 December 2009
OPEN LETTER TO HERITAGE VANCOUVER MEMBERS
It is with much regret that I inform the members of Heritage Vancouver that the Pantages Theatre Arts Society has lost its three-year struggle to preserve and restore the 102-year old Pantages Theatre. We came within a whisker of success but were derailed by City staff recommending further study rather than a real decision.
Throughout the process, we advised staff and politicians at all levels of government that timing was critical as the Pantages Theatre was deteriorating rapidly and there soon could not be much to preserve, never mind restore. Alas, this has proven to be the case. There was a fire set on the roof of the building in May, 2009; firefighters chopped through the roof to ensure there were no lingering flames. The complete stage area has now collapsed into the basement; the balconies are no longer safe to walk on; and the structural members supporting the front of the theatre are now splitting. It is no longer possible to enter the building safely to retrieve any of the remaining heritage elements. Truth, folks, we have not gained access to the theatre since August 2009 and will not likely be able to do so at any time in the future because of liability issues.
Heritage Vancouver has worked extremely hard over many years to preserve this heritage site. It and its members, individually and collectively, have worked with our Society over the past three years recognizing our joint interests in this site and the potential that the restored theatre could achieve for economic, social, artistic and heritage objectives in the heart of the city. For this, I thank you all on behalf of the members and Board of the Pantages Theatre Arts Society.
We are not going to give up our fight to achieve the goal of renewing the DTES that the restored Pantages might have brought to fruition. And, I am sure you will not give up your struggle to preserve Vancouver ’s past for future generations.
Again, I thank you all for the out-pouring of support, for the many letters and e-mails sent to City Council and others and for the time and energy you all give to stop the future from obliterating the past.
Theatre Arts Society
View letter as PDF
December 18, 2009
Peter Fairchild, Chair
Pantages Theatre Arts Society
The Future of the Pantages Theatre
Peter – On behalf of Heritage Vancouver, I would like express our deep regret that you have been forced to abandon your three-year struggle to preserve and restore the 102-year-old Pantages Theatre. At the same time, I would like to thank you for the outstanding efforts that both your society, and the owner of the Pantages, have made to preserve this building. We only wish the outcome of all of your work and creative ideas had been more positive. This is yet one more example of how the lack of heritage incentives at all levels of government has thwarted community efforts to protect our precious built heritage.
The Pantages Theatre is Number One on Heritage Vancouver’s 2009 Top Ten Endangered List. This historic landmark is also one of Heritage Canada’s 2009 Top Ten Endangered Canadian Heritage Sites. Heritage Vancouver and our members will continue to urge the City of Vancouver to find a solution that will make the preservation of this important landmark theatre possible. We will continue to follow the process and keep our members informed of future developments.
It has been a pleasure working with you on this project over the past three years. Thank you for all your hard and dedicated work.
President, Heritage Vancouver Society
Our Pantages Theatre page contains an overview, letters, updates, and external links, and can be seen here: heritagevancouver.org/advocacy/pantages.html
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