The value of heritage

Many in the community have raised concerns about the future of the historical Lakeside Presbyterian Church building.

Since the Lakeside Presbyterian Church was disbanded earlier this year, many in the community have raised concerns about the future of the historical building.

The church building, at the corner of Butler and Shaughnessy Avenues, was constructed in 1910 and remains a prominent Summerland landmark.

The pipe organ inside is considered just as important as the building itself.

Those who have grown up in Summerland, and those who have lived here for several decades will recall other historic buildings which have been lost over the years.

MacDonald School, the Lord Shaughnessy home, the House on the Hill and others no longer exist.

Other historic buildings have been significantly altered over the years.

When heritage buildings are lost, they are gone forever. Even if a replica building is constructed at a later date, it will not have the same value as the original.

While most if not all Summerlanders can agree on the historical significance of the church building, preserving it could prove costly.

Against the backdrop of today’s real estate prices, acquiring the church building will come with a significant price tag.

How could the community afford these costs?

If the municipality were to pay for the purchase and upkeep of this building, it would result in a significant increase in property taxes. Adding costs of this nature would result in criticisms from some in the community.

If the people of Summerland were to contribute voluntarily, through a fundraising drive, the money could be raised for the purchase of the building, but the ongoing maintenance costs would still need to be considered.

Heritage protection does not come cheaply.

If the preservation of historical buildings important, the community must be willing to pay the costs involved.