Friends of the Bloedel, a preservation group concerned with saving the Bloedel Conservatory, say a 43-year-old document is the key to rescuing the troubled building.
The document in question, dated March 31, 1966, is an agreement between the Bloedel Foundation and the Parks Board that states the building shall remain a conservatory for the extent of its useful life. It also says that only the B.C. Supreme Court can change the terms of the contract.
But, according to Parks Board commissioner Aaron Jasper, the document has no significance because the Bloedel Foundation has ceased to exist since 1979.
“When the Bloedel Foundation disbanded they did not re-assign their rights,” said Jasper. “By default, the building belongs to the City of Vancouver and the Parks Board.”
Sheryl Hamilton, a director with Friends of the Bloedel who held a press conference yesterday to discuss the original agreement, said the group intends to pursue legal action.
“We have received legal counsel on this matter,” she said. “We have been assured by our lawyers that we are pursuing this in the correct manner. We will save the Bloedel.”
The Parks Board was scheduled to hold a meeting last night at their offices to discuss options for saving the conservatory.
“We are interested to hear all recommendations,” said Jasper. “We want to work with all concerned, including the Friends of the Bloedel. Come one, come all.”