Welcome to the Heather Heritage Society Website
About The Heather Heritage Society
When Vancouver General Hospital got permission from the city to build the new tower, it was agreed that most of the rest of the VGH buildings would eventually be demolished, and open space be created for a neighborhood that is woefully short of it. Originally the old Heather Pavilion was included in the demolition plan, but in the face of interest in the its heritage value, the city agreed that it should be preserved. Following the positive report from Henriquez Partners, a few interested people came together to form an organization because they would like to help in preserving part of Vancouver's history. Thus was born the Heather Heritage Society, and we now have over a hundred members.
The Old Heather Pavilion at VGH is an important heritage building and should be recycled. Unfortunately it can scarcely be seen, surrounded as it is by later additions. It would be appropriate to retain it in a park setting, as it was when it was new and one of the most imposing buildings of its time. For several generations the lives of almost everyone in Vancouver were touched by the happenings there.
The issue is not parks versus heritage, because the required open space will be achieved when other buildings are replaced. There will more park than originally planned, and will be a significant community asset. According to the Henriquez report, Heather Pavilion would not be any more expensive than new space, and a new building starts to depreciate the day it is finished, while a heritage building becomes more valuable with every passing year.
At a time when health care is changing drastically, it makes sense to look for a use that is compatible with the need for open space and the proximity of a large health care institution. In the coming years there will be a need for health education, clinical research, adult day care or day hospitals, seniors activity, child care for employees or the community, to name a few possibilities. There is also a need for community space in Fairview neighborhood. In other words, it is much too early to condemn a building that has served us so well.
The proposed contribution of $3,1000.00 in trust to the city for the restoration of the Heather pavilion will go a long way to making the re-use feasible. With the designation and the trust fund, the development of alternate uses will have much more certainty.
Perhaps Heritage Hall could serve as a model where several groups working with the community and the city preserved an important building, and provided a valuable community resource.
The city and the hospital have now agreed that the 1906 building will be saved and designated as heritage. Although the loss of most of the 1908 structure is unfortunate, it is a reasonable compromise considering the number of competing interests represented.
Updating our Website
We are currently updating our website. More information will be online soon. If you have any questions, please contact us below!