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Thread: New Royal Alberta Museum

  1. #201

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    Move 'em on out to Fort Edmonton
    Was that funny or what???
    LiaB

  2. #202
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueline
    This Anthem?
    http://www.anthemproperties.com/people/ourteam.cfm

    The existing structure could not be cost effectively modified for use as a museum. (Climate control etc.)

    The Oldest brick portion is a no brainer as far as the historic arch. value but I wonder what will happen to the Fort and the Log Cabin
    Yep.

    I would hope if they are to redevelop the brewery, it will be something a bit better then what they have done in the past. Could be a great mixed use site IMO.

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    Exclamation Museum Options



    Hicks on Six

    Fri, May 23, 2008




    By Graham Hicks

    MUSEUM OPTIONS

    Update on the Royal Alberta Museum refurbishment/renovation/expansion from Culture and Community Spirit Minister Lindsay Blackett.

    There's still $200 million in the kitty - $170 million from the province and $30 million from the feds.

    There are two choices: A refurbishment/expansion for the museum on its current Glenora site or a refurbishment/expansion lite, PLUS a satellite museum building on what's now the Terrace Building site, overlooking the river valley from the legislative grounds.

    Lindsay is leaning to the two-site model. "The cost is more," he says, "but not a huge amount."

    Most important, after a decade of dithering, most MLAs want to get on with the museum's next phase.

    "I'd love to get approval by this fall," says Lindsay, "with groundbreaking next year."

    Just do it Ron Liepert style, Lindsay!

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    I don't like the idea of splitting the museum up on two different sites. With the possiblity of the portait gallery coming to Edmonton, the new AGA, etc... we don't need a second museum. We just need ONE AMAZING museum on ONE site.

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    Lindsay is leaning to the two-site model. "The cost is more," he says, "but not a huge amount."
    Yeah...that sounds reassuring.

    If they want to build a second museum on the Terrace site, they're welcome to. But it should be treated as a completely seperate project from the RAM. No impact on funding, no impact on timelines, and no more of this hokey will-they-or-won't.

  6. #206

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    Quote Originally Posted by etownboarder View Post
    I don't like the idea of splitting the museum up on two different sites. With the possiblity of the portait gallery coming to Edmonton, the new AGA, etc... we don't need a second museum. We just need ONE AMAZING museum on ONE site.
    I think it would be the first step towards moving the whole musem to the legislature. Once it is half there, it will not be as big a deal to move the other half.

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    To be replaced by what at the current RAM site????

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    ^ High density residential, obviously. Another urban village. Just what those in glenora would love to see.

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    Not sure if I want to see the old RAM demolished though. It's a nice building in a great setting. It still needs to be reno'ed and expanded from "nice" to "fantastic".
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

  10. #210

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    Quote Originally Posted by nobleea View Post
    ^ High density residential, obviously. Another urban village. Just what those in glenora would love to see.
    You are probably right. Low density might even be economic here - you could stick a number of mulit-million dollar homes on this site.

    High density, with a view of the river from here would be spectacular, but it might overshadow government house too much. Maybe medium density low rises or row homes? This land sale could go along way to building up the RAM elsewhere.

    As to RAM, personally, I think it is not a very well designed building, at least from the inside, there is a lot of wasted space on the inside, and it seems quite run down in the interior.

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    Not to mention that the North side which fronts on to 102ave is absolutely terrible and uninviting.

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    One of the renos is to move the main entrance to the street-side.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    I think it would be the first step towards moving the whole musem to the legislature. Once it is half there, it will not be as big a deal to move the other half.
    There is NO reason two museums couldn't be supported. Between the province, archives, city, and university there is MORE than enough artifacts to make two kick butt facilities.

    The original building is fantastic. To abandoned it would be a crime.
    LA today, Athens tomorrow. I miss E-town.

  14. #214

    Exclamation Two-museum idea deprives us one great showcase

    Two-museum idea deprives us one great showcase
    --Original decision to improve existing Royal Alberta Museum has been in limbo so long, any new project will cost far more than it could have

    Paula Simons, The Edmonton Journal
    Published: 2:34 am September 13, 2008


    RAM ON.

    No, that's not my campaign advice to federal candidates. Nor is it a brand of Japanese noodles.

    RAM-ON stands for the Royal Alberta Museum of Nature. And it's the new label for a new plan for the long-delayed renewal of our cramped and aging provincial museum.

    Back in 2003, the Ralph Klein Tories announced plans for a splendid $200-million expansion of the gracious museum in Old Glenora. The province held a competition, won by Edmonton architect Donna Clare and Toronto museum maven Michael Lundholm. Construction was to begin in July, 2006.
    It didn't.

    Link:
    http://www.canada.com/edmontonjourna...3-957bb82ebe86

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    I am not so sure of why two museums is a good idea.

    Best place for one museum is on the Legislature grounds. Maybe this is a tactic the Gov is using to warm people to the idea of moving the museum.

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    I've said this in previous posts about this issue, but basically I see it this way:

    Two good museums = wicked!
    Two poor museums = ******!

    Really, this all comes down to execution.

    I have nothing against the concept of having two museums under the RAM banner with each museum offering a distinct design, a different approach, attracting different exhibits, and appealing to different groups. In fact, that's what I'd prefer. I like multiple venues with their own focus and unique character. I find it much more interesting than one large culture-plex. The art scene in the Twin Cities for example is that much better for having the Wiseman, the Walker, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

    On the other hand, if we get short-changed with two crappy museums then I'll be mighty ****** off.

  17. #217

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caesar555 View Post
    I am not so sure of why two museums is a good idea.

    Best place for one museum is on the Legislature grounds. Maybe this is a tactic the Gov is using to warm people to the idea of moving the museum.
    I agree with you - we have had votes in the past on the forum, and it came back clearly that people were against spliting the museum. Also, the votes favoured keeping the Glenora location - but like you, I think the Legislauture grounds would be good.

    IMO, the museum as it is, is only so, so in quality (I can't think of many museum's I have been to in other cities that aren't better). Splitting a large chunk of it off, is only going to make the Glenora museum even worse than it is, which may be the goal, as you suggest, in line with moving it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    IMO, the museum as it is, is only so, so in quality (I can't think of many museum's I have been to in other cities that aren't better). Splitting a large chunk of it off, is only going to make the Glenora museum even worse than it is, which may be the goal, as you suggest, in line with moving it.
    I won't argue that the current museum is pretty mediocre, but couldn't that possibly be because it's just a catch-all type of attraction without a specific focus?

    I'd argue that splitting off a "large chunk" and re-purposing the remaining piece with a specified direction could make the Glenaora museum a lot stronger.

  19. #219

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renton View Post
    I won't argue that the current museum is pretty mediocre, but couldn't that possibly be because it's just a catch-all type of attraction without a specific focus?
    You have a point there. It's all in the execution I guess, but it may benefit from more focus of topics, I'd like to see more 20th century / people history, for example (like what happened to residents of the city during WWI and WWII, or the tornado). But if we spend a lot of money building a new Museum, I wonder what will be left to improve the old one? Is it worth spending a "bit" of money to do up a building that is in a pretty sad state? Unless it's renovated properly, I don't think it would make sense to put more band aids on it (especially if the unstated goal is to move it).

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    I think if another location for the RAM is chosen, it could be east of the Legislature at the site of the Terrace Building. This would be a wonderful interface between the Legislature, Rossdale, and the River Valley.

  21. #221

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    Two museums, as noted above - if executed correctly, is an excellent idea! It would put Edmonton head and shoulders above any city west of Toronto in terms of its cultural assets. Combine that with the new AGA and it would make Edmonton a cultural destination far beyond its regional or provincial borders.

    Would it cost a lot of money to do this? You bet. Worth it? Absolutely. Again, if these two institutions were executed the way they could be, think about the intellectual capital the city would gain, in terms of the acedemics that would be required to staff them. Perhaps making the RAM, if it is indeed to be a nature-based museum, some kind of research centre as well could be a consideration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Cat View Post
    I think if another location for the RAM is chosen, it could be east of the Legislature at the site of the Terrace Building. This would be a wonderful interface between the Legislature, Rossdale, and the River Valley.
    To be honest, it's a better location than Glenora. If developed properly, the museum can link the Legislature Grounds to the Rossdale Plant and river valley, plus it can be an iconic entrance to downtown for those arriving across the Walterdale Bridge from Gateway Blvd, not to mention more accessible from this major route.

    And seeing that the Terrace is scheduled for closure and demolition sometime in the near future, I think that's where they indeed want to build the RAM.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    Blah, this is just another article that points out the obvious: The government is not going to do anything but continue to stall, come up with some half ***** solution to the problem (a problem of their own making IMO), come up with the same excuse as to why it can't be completed = COST, and then go through the same steps to return to square one. This cycle could continue for the next 200 million years (if the planet earth and our society lasts that long), and very little, if anything, is going to change. It's total BS.

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    ^well maybe we could eventually building a museum dedicated to the history of boondoggles building it!

    And seeing that the Terrace is scheduled for closure and demolition sometime in the near future, I think that's where they indeed want to build the RAM
    Is that confirmed? Is there any timeline? That could be a fantastic location for a new museum, although to be honest I question whether or not that site is large enough for the RAM to be moved to entirely. It's big enough for a decent sized museum, but I doubt it's even as big as the current site.

    Hopefully they decide to do something about this issue sooner or later, it's dragged on far too long as it is. Unfortunately it will definitely cost more money than the original $200 million dollar allotment, although that would NEVER have been enough to build what they originally planned in 2003 if they'd started in 2006. Construction prices were going up 20-40% a year for that period, perhaps not quite as much in 2003 but the boom was definitely on by 2004. They'd have gone to put a shovel in the ground and got their tenders back and had to ask for another 50, 100 million to build what was originally envisioned.

    Who knows what it'll cost now. There's no question that renovating one and building another would be more expensive than simply renovating and expanded the existing one, however, and that'll definitely factor in to things.

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    I bet in the end, a new museum (at least a quality museum) will end up costing a total of $650M+.

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    Quote Originally Posted by raz0469 View Post
    That could be a fantastic location for a new museum, although to be honest I question whether or not that site is large enough for the RAM to be moved to entirely. It's big enough for a decent sized museum, but I doubt it's even as big as the current site.
    I think there's plenty of room on the Terrace site. If not, they can always expand down the hill to River Valley Road and 105 St, kitty-corner from the pioneer burial site and the Rossdale power plant. Space won't be an issue, I think.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

  27. #227

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    Before when we went through this, we were talking more about repurposing older buildings (The Old Bay and the Federal) but if they're really serious enough to breathe the word "billion" and the site is to be the now but soon former Terrace Building's (Or Fort Edmonton's site?), I would reconsider. Renton nailed it: if they bite off more than they can chew, it'll be money wasted. But if they really are serious about blowing minds, well then, obviously the Legislature location is superior, and that is enough money to turn back time.

    But I semi agree with Paula Simon too ( ) it would be better to have one. I'd rather they do all the exhibiting at the Leg site and perhaps use the current RAM for research and storage.

    (I have to add that I love the potential tie in with the genuine history of the Leg site (Ft. E., Rossdale Graves, John Walter's Ferry and home, etc...)
    Last edited by JayBee; 13-09-2008 at 10:38 PM.
    Let's make Edmonton better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayBee View Post
    (I have to add that I love the potential tie in with the genuine history of the Leg site (Ft. E., Rossdale Graves, John Walter's Ferry and home, etc...)
    It would be cool to see a permanent exhibit at the museum featuring these sites, including a history of the fur trade, Ft. Edmonton, the settling of Alberta and the city of Edmonton.

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    Quote Originally Posted by etownboarder View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JayBee View Post
    (I have to add that I love the potential tie in with the genuine history of the Leg site (Ft. E., Rossdale Graves, John Walter's Ferry and home, etc...)
    It would be cool to see a permanent exhibit at the museum featuring these sites, including a history of the fur trade, Ft. Edmonton, the settling of Alberta and the city of Edmonton.
    That almost sounds like a City of Edmonton civic museum. Pipe dream I know, but wouldn't it be nice to actually have such a facility (in addition to RAM)? It wouldn't have to be huge, something akin to the UCAMA proposal on East Jasper. Perhaps the Alberta Hotel if Dub's Portrait Gallery doesn't go through, or the Grierson Centre if the feds ever decide to vacate those premises.
    One can dream can't they?

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    If they were both full of well done exhibits, then I have no problem with two museums. Each will need a clear mandate as we move forward and should each be allowed to pursue their respective mandates to a standard of excellence. As long as we have the collections to warrant two large museums then it's a possibility.

    However, I do share Paula's concern of the RAM being kind of tweaked into this RAM-ON with nothing more than a few coats of paint followed by a new RAM that never gets built.
    LA today, Athens tomorrow. I miss E-town.

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    What ever is decided, do not let this become the "clone of hall d, avec wing over 102" as proposed for the current RAM site pleeeaaaassee !

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    ^ No kidding. How the hell did Cohos win an architectural competition? Beating out Moriyam + Teshima (and others) no less...

    If you haven't yet, go visit the war museum in Ottawa. It's a good example of how a well designed building can be both an icon/landmark and enhance the museum going experience. Arguably the best public building in Canada in recent memory.

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    If a new RAM is going to be built at the Legislature, they damn well better have a design competition like they did with the AGA.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    Just make a decision already... I'm so tired of hearing the debates over this issue. It's almost as frustrating as the City Centre Airport. Make a decision, and follow through with it. And don't be stingy about it.

  35. #235

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    If they had a competition, which became the party line only after the success of the AGA competition, I certainly don't remember it. Nor do I recall any designs being put forward other than that of Cohos, which was decent if not spectacular, and that was well after they supposedly won the competition.

    As with anything, a leg museum done right and respectful of it's context, i.e. no valued engineered POS blocking out views of the leg from the valley and the valley from the leg, could be wonderful.

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    I don't know of any competition that happened. If it did, not of the other submissions were ever released....only the Cohos thing was shown.
    LA today, Athens tomorrow. I miss E-town.

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    Quote Originally Posted by etownboarder View Post
    Just make a decision already... I'm so tired of hearing the debates over this issue. It's almost as frustrating as the City Centre Airport. Make a decision, and follow through with it. And don't be stingy about it.
    I have a feeling that a decision has been made and some work is progressing on design. I can't verify that - just something I heard from a fairly reliable source.
    Almost always open to debate...

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    Quote Originally Posted by MylesC View Post
    I don't know of any competition that happened. If it did, not of the other submissions were ever released....only the Cohos thing was shown.
    I don't know the details about the competition (or if it was ever even advertised as such), but I do know that a few of other offices came up with at least schematic designs. Of that group I remember Moriyam + Teshima (as I mentioned in an earlier post) as well as I believe Diamond Schmidt of Toronto. I'm sure there's people who know more.

  39. #239

    Unhappy The invisible elephant that's cost $14M

    The invisible elephant that's cost $14M
    --Province has wasted most of the money for non-existent Royal Alberta Museum

    By Paula Simons, The Edmonton Journal
    January 8, 2009


    Here's a riddle. What's a bigger waste of government money than a white elephant?

    An invisible elephant -- an imaginary "project" that costs taxpayers millions, but never actually materializes.

    Let me introduce you to my pet invisible elephant, the new and expanded (and non-existent) Royal Alberta Museum.

    Since 2003, when the Klein government first announced plans for a massive renewal and rebuild of the small and aging provincial museum, Alberta has spent $13.96 million -- let's round it up to $14 million -- on the "new" museum's construction and engineering.

    As of Dec. 8, that's $14 million in payments to architects, engineers, surveyors, designers, construction companies, communications consultants and caterers. That's right -- $14 million for a museum that hasn't been built and which may never be built.

    Link:
    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/...378/story.html

  40. #240
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    sounds about right and consistent with my view of alberta pc's province management skills and priorities.
    Last edited by grish; 09-01-2009 at 08:52 AM. Reason: grammar

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    PATHETIC!!!! Grrrr... that makes me mad.

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    The 'elephant' was a good anology. Even better would be Snuffleupagus - the 'imaginary friend'. The gallery ought to place him in one of their displays to represent the now extinct or imaginary museum

    In favour of Architecture that is of our time and place.

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    Well let us just hope that oil prices go back up again so we can afford to fund the RAM eventually. Cause honestly, if it's not funded properly in the near future, they might as well just close the thing altogether.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Article
    Estimated total cost for this "two-site" solution? Somewhere between $900 million and $1.5 billion-- a sum the Treasury Board has, to date, been understandably reluctant to approve.
    Maybe it was in another thread, because I don't see it here, but I'm pretty sure I called this, as did anyone with a shred of common sense and intelligence. The two museum solution was completely ridiculous in every respect. I don't know what the hell Stelmach was thinking when the idea was floated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by raz0469 View Post
    I don't know what the hell Stelmach was thinking when the idea was floated.
    Hmmm... something tells me he wasn't... thinking that is.

  46. #246

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    Quote Originally Posted by MylesC View Post
    There is NO reason two museums couldn't be supported.
    Aside from the billion dollar price tag it seems.

    The $14 million spent on nothing looking very embarrassing now. Maybe finishing the original renovation plan could be part of a stimulus package for Alberta?

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    That comment is a bit dated, but I stand by my comment. I'm saying that two museums could be supported from the aspect of collections, ancillary services, etc. Naturally two museums would cost a lot more. I don't know if it could be argued that the reno/expansion would cost more than a new construction. I suppose it depends upon the plans to dig into the river bank.

    Still, even if that was more expensive...HOW FRIGGIN COOL WOULD THAT BE? /cough

    We could have built an above ground box as a convention centre, too.
    LA today, Athens tomorrow. I miss E-town.

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    The RAM is an absolute embarassment. I have brought people from out of town and they can't believe that is our Provincial Museum. When it was originally built, it was meant to be a first phase. Nothing has happened since.
    Over the course of the latest economic boom for Alberta, our province has attracted a large influx of immigrants from within the country and from abroad. The work and opportunity will always bring people, but arts and culture will keep them here. Quite frankly, no museum would have more of a possitibe effect in this regard that having an outdated, inadequate museum.
    The provincial government should be ashamed, not only for the lack of culture within the province, but also for its lack of presence within the capital city. This includes better public spaces around the leg. How many years have we been waiting for a facelift to the grounds? To 108 street? There is a giant wall at the leg grounds cutting the city off from the leg grounds. Its very hard to understand the Edmonton is the Capital of one of the wealthy states in the world

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    ^amen.

    We seem 3rd world often times..
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    I think calling the RAM an embarassment is way overboard. It was a fine complex for when it was built and has served the province faithfuly for 40 years now. I think the building itself is an amazing piece of institutional architecture that has unfortunately been covered up by too much gunk. ie. - the entrance hall is fantastic, but now cluttered by admission desks and gift shop expansions that it was never designed to handle.

    Is is undersized? Absolutely. Is it underutilized? Absolutely, especially since the the Archives moved out - lots of room waiting to be reno'ed. Should it be expanded greatly? Of course.

    However, let's give the museum the credit it deserves. It may not be the biggest thing out there - but embarassment? C'mon.

    The true embarassment is the provincial government's attitude towards the museum.

    A side note - it being a '1st phase' is somewhat true but the original plans simply called for another identical gallery to be placed on either wing. So, each main floor wing would have had two large squares with two small squares on top.
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  51. #251

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    Embarassment, way overboard??? OK...lets try diabolical, shameful, disgraceful and a heinous reflection on the people who currently hold government in this province.

    Myles C, have you ever seen museums in other provinces, countries? I'll have to assume that you haven't seen any, or did, but were blissfully unaware of the superior facilites and collections around you.

    This entire issue speaks volumes to the vacuous cultural identity of this province and so many of the people in it. These people who think art and museums are just the trappings of the arrogant bourgoises are idiots, and have not learned from history. But ya know, these same folks will vote for you if you fund their horseracing. Blah! Even Nazis appreciated arts and culture.

    You've always struck me as the penultimate Alberta conservative Myles, so let me quote from the finest conservative of all time. During the depths of WWII, parliament demanded funding to the British Museum be cut. Mr. Churchill responded, "Absolutely not. If we are not fighting for our culture, I don't know what we're fighting for".

    I encourage everyone on this board to write GG and Queeny herself and demand that the 'Royal' standing be withdrawn. It has been known to happen.

  52. #252

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    Quote Originally Posted by MylesC View Post
    However, let's give the museum the credit it deserves. It may not be the biggest thing out there - but embarassment? C'mon.
    I think it is emabarrasing. I have seen museum's in cities of 300,000 than are much better than the RAM, which is supposed to be representative of the entire Province. I think you are looking at this one with rose coloured glasses - even Calgary museum, which isn't great, blows the RAM out of the water (although it is helped by a much better location downtown).
    Last edited by moahunter; 12-01-2009 at 01:10 PM.

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    Blah! Even Nazis appreciated arts and culture.

    So much so, they stole everybody else's. Fine upstanding bunch that is.
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    Did you just "Godwin's Law" this thread?
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    Nah, too early for that. This thread is only 2 pages long. 'sides I didn't bring it up. Good catch tho', RTA.
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  56. #256

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    I agree the museum is shameful..

    Gov't house has more appeal and artistic merit then the museum, which reminds me of some sort of converted hockey rink from the 1970's

    BLEH BLEH BLEH.

    (I still try and go to every major exhibit, as I fully support arts and culture)

    BLEH to the building.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Centrist View Post
    Embarassment, way overboard??? OK...lets try diabolical, shameful, disgraceful and a heinous reflection on the people who currently hold government in this province.

    Myles C, have you ever seen museums in other provinces, countries? I'll have to assume that you haven't seen any, or did, but were blissfully unaware of the superior facilites and collections around you.
    Yes, I have seen museums in other provinces, states, countries. You name it. I could create a list of all the museums I've been to, but it would no doubt bore you.

    Are you aware of the point I'm trying to make? Perhaps I wasn't entirely clear. You throw Churchill at me, yet in my very own post I essentially mirrored his sentiments when I said: "The true embarassment is the provincial government's attitude towards the museum."

    Let us ensure that we are separating our government's horrid, atrocious, and downright despicable attitude towards the museum and the museum itself.

    The term embarassement is a real insult against a fine group of people we have working at the RAM that have done (in my humble opinion) a fine job with the resources that they have been given. Take even the Dragons exhibit. When the museum thought they would be closing down for renos, only to have that rug yanked from under their feet, they pulled the near impossible and got that exhibit into town.

    Perhaps I feel so strongly in this matter since I am for all intensive purposes in the field. I have many archaeological colleagues that work in this province and are doing fine work. The Syncrude Aboriginal gallery is an outstanding presentation of materials in context. CONTEXT...something that is vitally important when studying historical artifacts and should be equally important in the presentation of that material to the public.

    It seems that people feel that a museum must be a huge institution to be of any quality, yet you're completely ignoring the work that the RAM has done with what it has. I've already mentioned the Aboriginal Gallery. The recent change of Wild Alberta is a much more modern presentation of material as opposed to the 60s stoic habitat model (although I had plenty of quiet, reflective time in that gallery). Furthermore, The Bug Room has some great programs for engaging youth.

    Now, let's get back to that issue of size. Centrist, you said I am"blissfully unaware of the superior facilites and collections around you."

    Indeed, those are two very separate matters that each has a myriad of facets. Let's start with collection. I could have a collection with two pieces that could trump a collection of 10,000 pieces. The Francois Krater trumps a few hundred examples of red Attic, and a pot stamped with CAESARI can tell us infinitely more than a dozen pieces of terra sigillata, even in situ examples. We have the collection here....collection is not a point. I have said time and time again that between the RAM and the UofA we could put together some amazing galleries. Thus, we must turn to gallery.

    Ah, the current building. I love it. I'm a real fan of that style of architecture. I think it's great. I love the grand entrance hall, I love the curving staircases with the bronze statues. I love the leather seats, I love the marbled walls, I love the quintessential auditorium off to the side. It's fabulous. I can't for one second understand how the terms "diabolical, shameful, disgraceful and a heinous" can be applied to the complex. Sure, maybe if the walls were peeling, the ceiling falling in. If there is one degree I could use those terms it would be with the underutilization of former Archives space, but naturally that's in limbo while the RAM administration is held at the mercy of a fickle PC caucus.

    One of my favourite museums around can be found in the village of Almyros. It is a total of two rooms and a reading room, but OH the collection in that marvellous neo-classical building clad with cool marble on every wall. It's not much, but it speaks volumes of Thessalian history, thus proving that size is most definitely not everything

    In one sentence, let's separate the bashing of government policy and the museum itself.

    I don't believe I'm looking at the RAM entirely with rose-coloured glasses. I'm looking at it and asking that it be judged on its performance with what pittance it has been given in the past 20 years.


    Frankly, if there's any museum that I have been to that I would label an embarassment it would be the Musee de la Civilisation in Montreal. I found it to be a lovely building with lots of public space in the middle and lackluster gallery space given the complex's size and equally lackluster displays. However, that goes right back to my point on collections.


    On the note of the Glenbow, it does trump the RAM in numerous ways, but it has had the luxury of not having its hands tied by a moronic provincial government. Furthermore, as their mandate goes beyond representing Alberta, they've been free to acquire some great collections, such as their military collection and asian sculpture. To be completely fair, you would have to add the AGA and Provincial Archives to our side since the Glenbow is the Calgarian equivalent of those as well in many regards. The building itself has more exhibition space, but I'm not too keen on it. It's a museum in a big box of a department store /shrug.

    EDIT ADDITION: Furthermore, it is interesting to point out that the Government is currently hiring a currator of mammology at the museum. Ph.D required and the salary range is $54,456 TO $81,900. Preposterous.
    Last edited by MylesC; 12-01-2009 at 11:28 PM. Reason: forgot a possessive
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    Quote Originally Posted by MylesC View Post
    Let us ensure that we are separating our government horrid, atrocious, and downright despicable attitude towards the museum and the museum itself.

    The term embarassement is a real insult against a fine group of people we have working at the RAM that have done (in my humble opinion) a fine job with the resources that they have been given. Take even the Dragons exhibit. When the museum thought they would be closing down for renos, only to have that rug yanked from under their feet, they pulled the near impossible and got that exhibit into town.

    Perhaps I feel so strongly in this matter since I am for all intensive purposes in the field. I have many archaeological colleagues that work in this province and are doing fine work. The Syncrude Aboriginal gallery is an outstanding presentation of materials in context. CONTEXT...something that is vitally important when studying historical artifacts and should be equally important in the presentation of that material to the public.

    It seems that people feel that a museum must be a huge institution to be of any quality, yet you're completely ignoring the work that the RAM has done with what it has. I've already mentioned the Aboriginal Gallery. The recent change of Wild Alberta is a much more modern presentation of material as opposed to the 60s stoic habitat model (although I had plenty of quiet, reflective time in that gallery). Furthermore, The Bug Room has some great programs for engaging youth.

    Now, let's get back to that issue of size. Centrist, you said I am"blissfully unaware of the superior facilites and collections around you."

    Indeed, those are two very separate matters that each has a myriad of facets. Let's start with collection. I could have a collection with two pieces that could trump a collection of 10,000 pieces. The Francois Krater trumps a few hundred examples of red Attic, and a pot stamped with CAESARI can tell us infinitely more than a dozen pieces of terra sigillata, even in situ examples. We have the collection here....collection is not a point. I have said time and time again that between the RAM and the UofA we could put together some amazing galleries. Thus, we must turn to gallery.

    Ah, the current building. I love it. I'm a real fan of that style of architecture. I think it's great. I love the grand entrance hall, I love the curving staircases with the bronze statues. I love the leather seats, I love the marbled walls, I love the quintessential auditorium off to the side. It's fabulous. I can't for one second understand how the terms "diabolical, shameful, disgraceful and a heinous" can be applied to the complex. Sure, maybe if the walls were peeling, the ceiling falling in. If there is one degree I could use those terms it would be with the underutilization of former Archives space, but naturally that's in limbo while the RAM administration is held at the mercy of a fickle PC caucus.
    I agree with MylesC. Considering what the administration of the RAM has to work with, they've done an amazing job. And the embarrassment etc that we hold for the RAM should lie with the government who has refused to give the RAM administration a larger and even more fabulous building to continue their good works. We should be embarrassed with how our government continues to refuse to properly fund culture in our community, and especially with how they refuse to do the work that they've promised for many many years. That it was is truly pathetic.

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    The RAM would compare well to the Edmonton International Airport if it never had any renovations done to it.

  60. #260

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    You guys have walked into home turf for me.

    Why should RAM be any different that the rest of the Museums in the Edmonton area and Alberta in general.

    A partial list of Museums in the Edmonton area:
    - Alberta Aviation Museum...Out of space, under staffed, underfunded, great collection
    - Alberta Railway Museum....Poor facility/location, underfunded, great collection
    - Edmonton Telephone Museum..Poor facility, no room, underfunded
    - Edmonton Power Museum..In Leduc?, Poor funding, facility etc
    - Edmonton Police Service Museum..few cabinets in Main police station, vehicles in
    collection rarely seen, no budget, no staff, no room
    - Edmonton Transit Bus collection...Rarely seen, no budget, no facility, no staff
    - Fort Edmonton................Good facility, decent funding, likely the only one in region
    - Loyal Edmonton Regiment Museum...great museum, not open to public at this time,
    no facility
    - Royal Alberta Museum...excellent collection, most hardly seen, too small, under
    staffed, under funded
    - Reynolds Alberta Museum...Spirit of Machine (main museum) world class hands down,
    out of room, aviation exhibits: no room, most unviewable, desperate need of
    expansion...this is the 2nd largest aviation collection in Canada and you can only see
    a small part of it! The building isn't even attached to the main museum. Think it
    needs some funding to solve the problems?

    There are others but I think you get the point.

    Each and every one of these facilities has phenomenal collections, artifacts and attractions as well as very small dedicated staffs and fantastic volunteers that keep them alive.

    But with Federal, Provincial, Corporate and individual financial support they could be major tourism attractions and educational facilities that would benefit the entire region.

    Edmonton in particular has the potential to create a Smithsonian style "Mall of Museums" that could be and should be a world class attraction and benefit the community as a whole.

    I think the Mayor and City Council see the potential, but without major Federal/Provincial support I don't think it will happen.

    Myles C
    "Furthermore, it is interesting to point out that the Government is currently hiring a currator of mammology at the museum. Ph.D required and the salary range is $54,456 TO $81,900. Preposterous."

    Most museum professional don't even get into this range in Alberta.

    Rant over

    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Edmonton in particular has the potential to create a Smithsonian style "Mall of Museums" that could be and should be a world class attraction and benefit the community as a whole.
    I could not agree more with you. True, it would take heavy hitting Fed/Prov funding or some heavy hitting private donations (too bad the days wealthy barons giving huge endowments to things like the Smithsonian or American Institute in Athens are over :P ). Maybe we can dream and some day the dream will become a reality.

    Side legacy project of 2017, maybe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Most museum professional don't even get into this range in Alberta.
    I know this all too well. You should see what the province pays its archaeologists. Still, for the educational and other requirements that are needed for what should be one of the top curators of the Province's collection and all the responsibilites that go with it....that ain't a lot of money.

    Museums studies is definitely a labour of love in many regards.
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiksilver View Post
    Blah! Even Nazis appreciated arts and culture.

    So much so, they stole everybody else's. Fine upstanding bunch that is.
    Quote Originally Posted by RTA View Post
    Did you just "Godwin's Law" this thread?
    Quote Originally Posted by quiksilver View Post
    Nah, too early for that. This thread is only 2 pages long. 'sides I didn't bring it up. Good catch tho', RTA.

    That is SO Godwin's...it is never too early...we've had one run into this within the first 5 posts!
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  63. #263

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    MylesC

    The "Mall of Museums" project is one that can be done for relatively little dollars and create an operational series of facilities in very little time for very little money.

    It is a unique opportunity to push forward a tourism diversification project and an educational enhancement project during a time of economic slow down...what it needs is public pressure on the levels of government to make it happen.

    Tom

  64. #264

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by quiksilver View Post
    Blah! Even Nazis appreciated arts and culture.

    So much so, they stole everybody else's. Fine upstanding bunch that is.
    Quote Originally Posted by RTA View Post
    Did you just "Godwin's Law" this thread?
    Quote Originally Posted by quiksilver View Post
    Nah, too early for that. This thread is only 2 pages long. 'sides I didn't bring it up. Good catch tho', RTA.

    That is SO Godwin's...it is never too early...we've had one run into this within the first 5 posts!
    5 posts! sheesh, wonder what took he/she so long? ha ha.
    Ssssooo... the bar has been set. Thanks Richard.
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    Cool Royal Alberta Museum and Kasian at Terrace Site

    Anyone have insight to the Pre-Schematic/Schematic Design that Kasian are rumoured to be working on under contract to Alberta Infrastructure for the Royal Alberta Museum site at the Terrace site near the Legislature? (replacing the Terrace Building).

    We all know that Cohos were awarded the commission for the ONE "world class" museum on the existing Glenora site through a very public competition and later the Government mused about building 2 museums on 2 sites. After the musings we heard no more about "world class" and this dampening of expectations and loss of synergies, economy of scale, operational costs etc. and decided lack of leadership from the Premier on this issue will likely result in "mediocre class". I am aware there are pros and cons to the yet unannounced "decision". That is not the purpose of this post. I am trying to understand what is happening right now and the public has every right to know and the Government ought to provide this information pronto.

    The rumour mill is informing that AI have contracted Kasian..."quietly" and without competition to provide a Pre-Schematic/Schematic Design (Report) on the Terrace site. I do not recall seeing a competition for this work (someone can inform here if there was please). If not and with the requirements under TILMA to publically advertise such a design opportunity, the Public would expect this to be an open competition. After all doing Pre-Schematic/Schematic Design would advantage any firm were they allowed to submit a Proposal for the actual Design work (unless that right was contained in a public invitation - perhaps it was). The Public should expect the Government is aware of a potential conflict in that if a firm was selected without competition, this would provide them a distinct advantage in a subsequent selection process. Perhaps AI intend to exclude that firm from submitting a bid for the next phase of the design work (or plans to backtrack and hold an open competition for the Pre-Schematic/Schematic Design work for the Terrace site). This is not a bathroom renovation after all- it is a major museum project. The Province and this Premier is accountable to the Public and has a fiduciary duty in such matters, particularly with respect to this high profile project. It is not likely that Kasian are completing Pre-Schematic/Schematic Design for less than the $75K TILMA threshold. Given this Government had introduced the TILMA Act and Regulations to seek competitive bids for all Services over $75K (including all expenses) - it will be interesting to see if this rumour has any substance. If it does - there will be lots of questions, starting with the openness and integrity of Government in managing such an important project and the decision (or consequence of any actions taken to date) that may have precluded every other design firm in this Province from that opportunity. But this is only a rumour and may not be the case at all.

    Does anyone know the email address to the Auditor General btw? You can always cut and paste.

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    Yay Google: http://www.oag.ab.ca/
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  67. #267

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    with construction costs down why arn't we going ahead with the org drawings and why didn't we get frderal stimulas cash for it?

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    Hmmmm, good point. Construction could start.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

  69. #269

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    I don't think the Alberta government has the appetite for pursuing such a project right now because their finances are in the red.
    Edmonton first, everything else second.

  70. #270

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    we could have got fed money for it had we been proactive.

  71. #271

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    Quote Originally Posted by summerdave View Post
    I don't think it looks as bad as some of the posts so far make it out to be. Maybe if the architects included something bold in the design, something edgy, like say a pyramid, some people would be more receptive to it.
    God NO. I'll scream if anyone mentions another pryamid in Edmonton.
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    It was said elsewhere: Edmonton needs a new convention centre - and the current SHAW would be a great place for a museum with little renovation. The Province should make a trade and help the City with a new Convention Centre (near the new arena) and move RAM into the SHAW. It is worth looking at.

    See post 7 down.

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    The existing convention centre would be a difficult duck to convert to museum space in many ways. It's a great convention centre with room to grow whereas we have some great places for the museum that have room to grow.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MylesC View Post
    The existing convention centre would be a difficult duck to convert to museum space in many ways.
    Why do you say that? I have no idea, so if you have a good explanation as to why it wouldn't work, I would love to hear about it. Personally I like the idea of the museum being closer to the core, to public transit, etc... But if it's not possible for a bunch of good reasons, they would be good to know.

  75. #275
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    From a pure layman's perspective:
    - a museum needs the appropriate climate controls so its artifacts don't deteriorate too quickly
    - the spaces need to be big enough for displays
    - storage space
    - tightened security
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

  76. #276

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    ^ All that south facing glass would reek havoc on a controlled-climate environment... They would probably have to upgrade glass and definitely hvac, for starters...

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    Well I'm sure the temperatures in the building could easily be kept constant. The building is already climate controlled.

  78. #278

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    Not to museum specs. That's a whole 'nuther ball game... Not just temperature, humidity and light too...

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    Still, I think it should be investigated... see what it would cost to bring it up to standards. The location is excellent, and so is the building.

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    This idea doesnt make the slightest bit of sense. Why would we spend who knows how many millions retrofitting the convention centre into a museum, then spend hundreds millions more on building a new convention centre somewhere else?? This sounds like it would be the biggest waste of tax payer dollars in the history of this country.

  81. #281

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    True, it would be a great location for a museum, but that also makes it a great location for a convention center too...

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    Quote Originally Posted by RyanS View Post
    This idea doesnt make the slightest bit of sense. Why would we spend who knows how many millions retrofitting the convention centre into a museum, then spend hundreds millions more on building a new convention centre somewhere else?? This sounds like it would be the biggest waste of tax payer dollars in the history of this country.
    Cause the province needs to live up to it's commitment of providing a RAM, and therefore would buy the space from the city, who would the reinvest the money into a new convention centre space.

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    Why not just spend the money on a new museum then? We don't need a new convention centre, just need to make the one we have bigger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RyanS View Post
    Why not just spend the money on a new museum then? We don't need a new convention centre, just need to make the one we have bigger.
    The problem is, because of the bank of the rivervalley, it may be cost prohibitive to expand the current convention centre. But it would make a fantastic museum.

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    I think I can safely say the cost of retrofitting the Shaw into a World Class museum, then building a brand new convention centre bigger then our current one we be far more cost prohibative then expanding our existing centre and building a great new museum elsewhere. Anyways its a nice thought, but it isnt going to happen.

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    ^ Agreed...

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    HAHA, I'm no expert... and I really have no idea... but from what I've heard about the current site, there is certainly a possibility that the cost of expanding in that location could be equal to, if not higher, than the cost of building an entirely new building in a new location. Again... I really have no idea... but it's quite possible.

    How much more would the cost of buying the SHAW and turning it into a museum really be compared to an addition at the current RAM site really be when you consider the following:

    1) The value of the current RAM site to condo developers
    2) The great location, access to downtown/transit/services at the Shaw
    Last edited by etownboarder; 06-08-2009 at 12:15 AM.

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    The value of the current RAM site has zero value to condo developers. Whether the RAM moves to a new location or not, the current building and Govt house certainly arent going anywhere.

  89. #289

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    ^Why would that be? It is prime land - beautiful view, and expensive neighborhood. Mind you, lots of competition (especially given the other development that could still happen I guess, I'm sure that developer would not be pleased if this did happen). In saying that, I don't think the RAM building itself (excluding Government House), has any real merit that would preclude it being torn down.

    Perhaps it would be more likely if it did move (which it probably won't), that the facility gets used for some other purpose (like an education institute)?

    I posted some polls on this a while back, and most people on C2E just want the current RAM updated (no Legislature extension, or move downtown). If LRT goes past, that could provde the current RAM with a good boost I think (people in Millwoods for example, would be directly connected for an easy trip, quite different from the current situation).
    Last edited by moahunter; 06-08-2009 at 09:18 AM.

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    I want the RAM to stay where it's at and the LRT route to be brought right past it. Yes it would be nice if the terrace building was levelled and a museum would go there but the current location is also really nice and one building that can't be moved is the govn house.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

  91. #291

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmcowboy11 View Post
    I want the RAM to stay where it's at and the LRT route to be brought right past it. Yes it would be nice if the terrace building was levelled and a museum would go there but the current location is also really nice and one building that can't be moved is the govn house.
    I tend to agree. Government House will stay, so that area isn't really conducive to residential development. Since the museum is there now, might as well expand onsite.

    I have to admit to being somewhat biased, having memories as a kid of riding my bike to the museum and taking in all the exhibits and the grounds... pissing off the guards there...

  92. #292

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    Just a quick observation -- but I think the rossdale plant would make a great museum site. I went for a ball game there last night, and the view of the old plant from the grandstand is nothing short of breathtaking. A showpiece needs to occupy that site, which a museum would surely qualify as...

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    ^ Rossdale is also a flood plain, which pretty much rules out the possibility of a major museum moving there.
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    If the RAM needs to be moved, it should go to the Terrace site on the Legislature grounds.
    I wonder if that building can be retrofitted/renovated instead of a knockdown and rebuild?
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    If the RAM needs to be moved, it should go to the Terrace site on the Legislature grounds.
    I wonder if that building can be retrofitted/renovated instead of a knockdown and rebuild?
    Why there?

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    "I wonder if that building can be retrofitted/renovated instead of a knockdown and rebuild?"

    kill it
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    I agree... knock it down. And don't build a museum to replace it either.

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    I only mention the Terrace site because that's been rumoured in the press.

    I don't mind that location for a RAM - it's uphill from the Rossdale flood plain, close to downtown, river valley, Legislature grounds and existing LRT.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    ^I very much agree, if for whatever reason it's decided that an entirely new RAM needs to be built. I don't see, however, why the current site can't used.

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    "I don't see, however, why the current site can't used"

    concur

    I personally love the current site... it is so.... well... regal there and there is plenty of expansion room as per the original design. I loved the idea of connecting it with the river/park system.

    I would prefer the terrace to be removed and the site to be replaced with a large outdoor garden
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