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Canadian City Eyes Marking Water Tank as Historic

Thursday, April 18, 2019

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The City of Winnipeg is currently considering naming a 101-year-old brick surge tank as a historic resource, according to reports. The proposal is in part a move to preserve the evolution of the city’s drinking water service.

The structure, located at the foot of Taché Avenue in St. Boniface, was built between 1918 and 1919 by Thomas Kelly and Sons, and now helps regulate the city’s water pressure.

Water Tower Preservation

According to CBC News, the tank is equipped to hold thousands of liters of drinking water when there is too much coming from the Shoal Lake aqueduct. When the pressure is running high, the tank can also release water from out of its top. The tower was constructed near the Red River, to give the water somewhere to go.

According to notes from the owner, the structure has a rough-cut limestone base topped by a concrete band that encircles the tank. The tank also features “ornamental brickwork with header and stretcher courses, arches and diamond shapes with concrete accents.”

"In some ways it kind of looks like an old turret," said Matt Allard, St. Boniface city councilor. "It's circular, it's round and it's fairly tall."

The city also said that the structure is an example of a “conspicuous building within a residential [neighborhood]." And though it sticks out from its more contemporary surroundings, Allard supports the idea to preserve the structure.

Winnipeg’s public service proposed that the surge tank be added to the list of historical resources. The owner of the structure is also supportive of the idea. A committee considered the application Wednesday (April 17).

"When you consider things like community character, I would say that diversity is the community character of north St. Boniface," he said.

If the proposal to name the structure a historical resource is approved, it would, along with the other structures with the same designation, be protected from demolition and alternations to characteristic elements.  



Tagged categories: Historic Preservation; Historic Structures; NA; North America; potable water; Program/Project Management; Water Tanks

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