Canada doesn’t exactly have the best reputation when it comes to preserving history.
Once buildings of historical significance reach their expiry date and become rundown, they’re typically replaced with shiny new condos (looking at you, Toronto). But one developer in Quebec has found a way to honour the province’s history while also getting to build his fancy, modern structure.
The Keegan House was built in 1825 in Montreal’s Griffintown at a site slated to become the future building location for – you guessed it – condos. Part of the reason the house is significant is because it was built in a style known as Anglo-Norman, which is one of the styles distinctive of Quebec City. And since the province is running out of wood and brick houses that can meet that criteria, the Keegan House became extra special.
But what’s really interesting is how the developer went about preserving it.
Keen on making sure the Keegan House could become a part of his new condo building, Hugo Girard-Beauchamp with Maitre-Carre lifted the entire home from its foundation and wheeled it to a lot 300 meters away. While that might not sound very far, it took over an hour and required crews to come in and clear power lines and nearby trees.
“We have a responsibility to make sure that if we can preserve our heritage, well, we have to do it,” Girard-Beauchamp said.
Fortunately, the Keegan House arrived safetly to its new, temporary home. But what will become of it now?
“It’s going to be like the living room in the lobby so it’s going to be very special for them and they’re going to be able live again in it for another 200 years,” Girard-Beauchamp said.