Audio: Revelstoke City Hall heritage consultant weighs in on renos

What does the heritage consultant who studied Revelstoke City Hall think of the new Second Street entrance? We spoke with Donald Luxton about the heritage values of architect CBK Van Norman's International Style gem.

File photo: The new side entrance to Revelstoke City Hall was unveiled on Mar. 24 after crews removed the big orange tarps that covered the construction project. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

Donald Luxton is a Vancouver-based heritage consultant with a particular interest in Modern and mid-20th Century architecture.

Just over two years ago, he worked on a heritage study of the Revelstoke City Hall building, completing an assessment of the building and its heritage value.

Luxton’s 2013 report explained the importance of this early creation of Vancouver-based architect Charles B.K. Van Norman, a prominent B.C. architect who created our International Style city hall, a rare example from the late 1930s, when the Depression slowed construction in North America.

Heritage consultant Donald Luxton. Photo: contributed by Donald Luxton
Heritage consultant Donald Luxton. Photo: contributed by Donald Luxton

The report detailed the building’s history, a number of interior and exterior interventions over the years (including the 1972 stucco job), and made recommendations about what to do to preserve its value as a heritage-listed building.

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Revelstoke City Hall heritage assessment, 2013 by Revelstoke Mountaineer

We contacted Luxton to talk about the unofficial unveiling of the new Second Street entrance this week. What does he think?

Moving forward, we asked him to weigh in on the debate on ongoing renovations, both interior and exterior, from a heritage perspective. His perspective is interesting, and provides an insight that may — maybe — save the city money on the exterior reno while restoring the building’s heritage look.

And, the big question: Donald gives advice on what colour to paint city hall once it’s all over.

See our Mar. 25, 2015 interview with Donald Luxton via SoundCloud here:

Aaron Orlando is a Revelstoke-based journalist who serves as creative director of and Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine. He's been on the news beat in Revelstoke for the past 14 years, serving in senior editorial roles. If you have or call/text him at 250-814-8710.