Metro bricks being saved

Historic bricks unveiled at the back of what is now the Metro Central building, will be saved.

Attention was first shone onto the bricks in a Castanet story a few weeks ago. The original question centred around advertising markings on the bricks for Union Gasoline and Kelowna Grower's Exchange.

While Kelowna Museum curator Amanda Snyder said the markings themselves may not be of historic significance, the bricks are.

"In preparation for demolition, a hazardous materials investigation of the existing building on Water Street revealed that the concrete stucco on portions of the exterior contained asbestos," said Westcorp spokesperson, Gail Temple.

"Removal of the stucco revealed brick walls which Westcorp learned, after speaking with Amanda Snyder, Curatorial Manager with the Kelowna Museum, were sourced from Knox Mountain."

Officials with Westcorp, which will be demolishing the Metro Central building as part of the footprint for a new downtown hotel, said salvaging of the bricks will begin at 7 a.m. Monday.

Folio Building Group will oversee, and conduct reclamation of the bricks.

A portion of the reclaimed bricks will be used on the Kelly O’Bryan’s building, a small portion will be used by the Folio Group on some infill buildings in South Pandosy, a portion will be donated to the Kelowna Museum, and the remainder will be donated to the City of Kelowna for use in various other locations in the downtown core.

Once the brick reclamation has concluded, demolition of the building will commence. New temporary pay-parking stalls will be available a couple of weeks later.

Kelowna Brick Works, which was located near Knox Mountain, was founded in 1905. The company used clay found at Knox Mountain to produce the red bricks used in construction of many downtown Kelowna buildings during the early 1900's.

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