Oxford White with black and grey trim for Revelstoke City Hall reno

New colours for Revelstoke City Hall in planned exterior renovation.

File photo: A film crew shoots in front of Revelstoke City Hall. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine

Revelstoke City Hall will have a brighter look following a planned exterior renovation project this year.

According to plans revealed on the Revelstoke Advisory Planning Commission agenda, the city wants to paint the building Oxford White with grey trim on the windows and black trim on the roof flashing.

The city is replacing the building’s failing stucco exterior, which has been cracking and falling off in places.

Plans to renovate the building’s exterior have been in the works for about a decade. Originally, the city planned to add insulated cladding to the outside, but the plan ran into opposition from members of the heritage community, who felt that adding cladding to the building would degrade its heritage value.

A rendering of the proposed new look for Revelstoke City Hall. Photo: City of Revelstoke image

When it was completed in 1939, the Revelstoke City Hall building was one of the first modernist civic buildings in B.C. outside of a major urban area. The International Style building was designed by C.B.K. Van Norman, a Vancouver-based architect known for pioneering modernist architecture in the province. The city council at the time, led by Mayor Walter Hardman, rejected more traditional styles, opting for a streamlined form associated with the technological advances of the time. Its appearance was considered “startling” at the time.

Van Norman’s modernist style didn’t come into vogue until a decade later, and he went on to design many prominent buildings in Vancouver, such as the Park Royal shopping centre in West Vancouver.

The city hall building was known for its modernist features, one of which was its raw concrete exterior, which was painted a white colour. The building was added to the Community Heritage Register in 2002.

Years later, the building was covered with stucco and painted its current beigey brown and cream with aubergine trim.

In 2013, the city hired a heritage consultant to review plans to fix the exterior of the building. The consultant recommended restoring the original concrete exterior. However, the report to the heritage committee said staff investigated that option but found the concrete underneath was too damaged to restore. The report recommends going ahead with the insulated cladding system, but taking steps to maintain the original look, such as the horizontal lines on the building’s exterior.

Youth climate strike protestors rally in front of Revelstoke City Hall during the summer of 2019. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine

The city is also planning to replace the front steps on the building, add new handrails, and replace some windows.

The Advisory Planning Commission (APC) meets on April 21 to discuss the plans. The APC reviews proposed developments and comments on items like the form and character of the building. The city is applying for a development permit for the renovation project. Once the APC provides its input, the application then proceeds to city council for consideration.

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