The recent loss of the Leamington presents an opportunity to extend the reach of heritage in Fort Edmonton Park.
Currently, Fort Edmonton Park doesn’t represent much working-class residential history. The Park also has only one residence on 1920 Street – a farmhouse.
#LostYEG proposes that parts of the Leamington be salvaged and used to build a recreation in Fort Edmonton Park on 1920 Street. This recreation could have apartment units recreated on the main floor that would shift each year – telling new stories – and go beyond the 1920s and the cultures currently depicted in the Park. At this point a representation of a 1960s apartment is as historic as 1920 Street would have been when the Park first opened. So why not leverage the unfortunate loss of the Leamington into something constructive?
Upper floors could be kept open as event and meeting spaces. Local cultural organizations could sponsor apartments for a year and have them tell stories important to them. For instance, the lifestyle of a particular immigrant group in the 1960s in one apartment and that of another group in the 1940s in another unit. Fort Edmonton often feels static, but this building could always be fresh!
An example of a similar building is New York’s Tenement Museum. So, who is interested in seeing the Leamington reborn?
This post is meant as a simple question, a way to gauge interest and ask for more ideas. What do you, the reader, think?