WINNIPEG, MB – The University of Winnipeg’s Wesley Hall has won Best Restoration in the first-ever Doors Open Winnipeg Awards presented today at the Winnipeg Free Press News Café.
Doors Open visitors voted in five award categories: Best Restoration, Best Tour, Best Architecture, Best Overall Experience and the Hidden Gem.
Wesley Hall was the first building erected on the campus of The University of Winnipeg. It was completely restored to its original grandeur in 2007. The original restoration project plan was to repair the sandstone facade, however, due to the methods of construction used in the 1800’s the project became a multi-million dollar replacement that involved civic, provincial and federal heritage experts. There were many challenges in meeting current construction standards and maintaining the building’s heritage status.
During Doors Open, Hugh Swan, Executive Director of Campus Infrastructure at The University of Winnipeg led visitors on a tour of Wesley Hall and presented a lecture and step-by-step slideshow of the restoration project.
Paula Havixbeck, Acting Deputy Mayor and City Councillor for Charleswood -Tuxedo-Whyte Ridge presented the Best Restoration Award, a ceramic sculpture created by Winnipeg artist Jordan Van Sewell, to Hugh Swan.
“A project such as The University of Winnipeg Wesley Hall was a once-in-a lifetime opportunity,” said Hugh Swan, “and it couldn’t have happened without the architects, Corbett Cibinel at the time, now Cibinel Architects, and Alpha Masonry. The average age of the stone masons was sixty. Every stone that you see on that building is an exact replica of the stone behind it. We’re very proud of the building, and you’re more than welcome at any time to come down and have a look at it. We love telling the story and we’re very grateful for this honour. Thank you very much.”
The University of Winnipeg is proud to be part of Doors Open Winnipeg. The eighth annual free public event put on by Heritage Winnipeg took place May 28th and 29th, 2011. Seventy-seven buildings were opened to the public for a free weekend of access and tours. For more information about Doors Open Winnipeg, visit www.doorsopenwinnipeg.ca.