Former Orchard House has tourist potential

City will lose an irreplaceable community asset if you demolish it.

Salmon Arm council will consider on March 27 whether Dilkusha should be demolished for a parking lot, which sounds a lot like the Joni Mitchell song about paving paradise.

Dilkusha has the potential of becoming a destination for culturally minded tourists in a town that isn’t exactly endowed with non-natural attractions.

Council should think about economic growth and the opportunities for community development that a site like it presents.

Look elsewhere, for example in the Kootenays, to see how enriching historic buildings are for residents and visitors alike.

Think about what the revitalization of the Langham Hotel in Kaslo did for that community. See what the residents of Williams Lake are doing with the Potato House. Check out the revitalization of Wells in the Cariboo with its Island Mountain Arts school.

Places such as Dilkusha may appear to be a nuisance or a liability in the short term, but be sure – you will lose an irreplaceable community asset if you demolish it.

Michael Kluckner

former chair, Heritage Canada Foundation, Vancouver

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