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Historic dairy building moving to front of development property on Goldstream Avenue

by Kyle Wells
Goldstream News Gazette
May 8, 2012

One of the oldest buildings in Greater Victoria is on the move.

Developers of 468 Landmark - a two building, 100-unit project planned for Goldstream Avenue - are moving the historic Colwood Dairy building because it is in the way of the first phase of the project.

Currently, the 16- by 26-foot building is hidden from view. The 150-year-old building will be moved to the front of the property, where it will be visible from the road and accessible to the public. Built in 1852 by Capt. Edward E. Langford, the small building served as a dairy on a cattle and sheep farm, said Stuart Stark, a heritage restoration consultant hired by the builders. The Dairy and Cheese House, which has 18-inch thick walls, is among the oldest buildings in Victoria, and one of the six oldest in the province.

Stark admires the way the developer has worked with the municipality to preserve the building, adding the intentions to move and restore the structure appear to be in step with proper heritage protection, given the situation.

"I think that conserving it is fabulous," Stark said. "In an ideal situation it would be preserved right where it sits. ... I'm really pleased that people paid attention to it and have proposed to look after it."

In terms of restoration, Stark is recommending a new roof and new windows and doors that keep with the period of the building.

There are plans to have the building function as a museum, or display informative signage, but what that will entail has yet to be determined.

Co-developer Jim McLaren said his company saw the building as a great opportunity for marketing, as well as a chance to work with the community towards its preservation.

"I just think it's a great project to work with, recognizing the council has the foresight of zoning this type of property and is trying to do something that's collectively beneficial to everybody," McLaren said. "I just think the team's working together."

McLaren said foundation work is expected by the end of May, and the Dairy House will be moved during that process.

Sales will determine when the second phase of the project goes ahead, but the first phase is expected to take eight to 10 months to complete.

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