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New owners planning renovations to Nova Scotian Emporium building


TRURO, N.S. —

There are changes ahead for the former Nova Scotian Emporium building.

The building, which was built in 1901, was recently purchased by Walker Lofts.

“The architectural detail and structure of the building are very, very sound,” said Jon Keddy, president of Walker Lofts. “The building is supported by massive beams and brick. It’s going to need renovations but it’s structurally good. You couldn’t afford to replicate that detail in brickwork today.”

Plans are to keep the ground floor as commercial space, while adding residential units to the three floors above and having a rooftop patio where residents can grow things.

“It’s not the same as building something from scratch; it’s making the best use of what you have,” said Keddy. “It’s called urban pioneering. You adapt your design to the architecture of the building. Because this has so much detail it will have accent lighting, and we’ll add new windows, but it will basically look the same on the outside.”

Frank W. Wilson, who also built the Intercolonial Railway Station, was in charge of constructing the building for J.J. Snook Limited. The business made and repaired harness and saddles, and was a wholesale and retail dealer in saddlery, horse equipment, carriage trimmings, trunks, bags, robes and coats, and ammunition.

Snook learned the harness making and saddlery business from S. H. Tupper, who had a shop on Prince Street. He started his business in part of a residence at the corner of Prince and Revere Streets before having the four-storey building constructed.

Keddy hopes renovations will be able to start by fall.

 “Hopefully, this will be something that will add more vibrancy to the downtown,” he said. “It’s not a huge project but it’s a unique one, and it will have its own identity.”

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