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Heritage trust recognizes RBC's Amherst restoration project

Justin Helm of the Amherst Heritage Trust presents a Heritage Award to Laura Landriault, RBC Amherst Branch manager, recognizing the bank’s restoration project to its 113-year-old building.
Justin Helm of the Amherst Heritage Trust presents a Heritage Award to Laura Landriault, RBC Amherst Branch manager, recognizing the bank’s restoration project to its 113-year-old building.

AMHERST, N.S. – Restoration work to a downtown property is getting rave reviews from the Amherst Heritage Trust.

RBC completed the restoration work on the 113-year-old building in November 2016, a little more than year after the project began.

RBC completed the restoration work on the 113-year-old building in November 2016, a little more than year after the project began.

It’s something the heritage trust wants to recognize, considering many of Amherst old heritage buildings have lost the battle to time and development in the last decade or so.

“We’re very pleased that RBC showed enough confidence and faith in Amherst and recognized the importance of this building to the downtown,” heritage trust chairman Justin Helm said in presenting its first heritage award to the bank. “Thanks to this commitment, this is one building that will be removed from the endangered list.”

The bank’s physical network team noted the accelerated erosion of the building’s exterior surface in the fall of 2014. Michael Williams of BRK Engineering completed a full inspection of the building’s exterior and prepared a detailed work plan.

Coastal Restoration and Masonry Limited began the work in spring 2015 and completed the work last November.

“The scope of the work included inspecting and repairing the entire exterior of the building,” Laura Landriault, RBC Amherst Branch manager, said. 

Each stone was cleaned, repaired or outright replaced, while all mortar joints and anchorages were inspected, repaired or replaced. Window frames and wood elements were inspected and repaired or replaced as required. Weather sealing and other finish elements were applied where required.

While the project is complete, Landriault said there are a few minor things to be addressed in the coming weeks.

“We were happy to make this investment into the community and delighted with the finished product,” said Landriault. “We are very humbled to have been presented with the Heritage Award, and would like to thank the Amherst Heritage Society for recognizing our efforts to maintain this beautiful property.”

RBC’s Amherst branch opened on Nov. 20, 1903. In 1906, the bank purchased property on the corner of Victoria and Havelock Streets as the site for new branch premises.

The three-storey red sandstone building was designed by architect H.C. Stone and constructed between1906-1907 by builders Rhodes, Curry & Co.

In 1977, to alleviate the crowded conditions then existing at the branch, the bank acquired the two properties adjoining the branch to the west on Victoria Street, intending to expand the branch.

The expansion was delayed until 1983 when the existing two-story building at 107 Victoria St., then occupied by a retail clothing business, was removed and replaced with the 4,000 square foot, one-story brick building currently in use by the branch.

The branch became wheelchair accessible in 2001 and added audio capabilities to its banking machine in 2003.

darrell.cole@tc.tc

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

 

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