The heritage community values the Woodlands site in terms of its historic and cultural significance. The site’s heritage value is tied to the City’s colonial history, its age, architectural style and construction, its association with notable New Westminster architect G.W. Grant, and for its significant role in the history of public health in the province. The Woodlands site has a charged history for many people, and arouses strong emotions in former residents and health workers alike. A memorial garden was opened in 2007.
Historic buildings on the Woodlands site include:
- The Carpentry Shop, 1902
- The Columbia Wall, 1909
- The Nurses’ Lodge, 1920s
- The Boiler House, 1930
Centre block and tower studies
In 2009, City Council directed studies be undertaken for the structure known as the ‘Entry Tower’ at the former Centre Block, Woodlands, located at 22 East Royal Avenue. The Entry Tower, built in 1889, is all that remains of the Centre Block (begun in 1878), the oldest and most significant structure that formed an integral part of the former Woodlands provincial psychiatric care facility. In July 2008, a series of fires effectively destroyed the Centre Block with the exception of the Entry Tower.
Woodlands Task Force
In 2011, Council endorsed a motion to demolish the Entry Tower and directed City staff to establish a representative task force based on the stakeholder groups from the 2009 Centre Block consultations. The Task Force met over a period of three years and determined appropriate themes, content and images for four interpretative panels to be located at the site. The Task Force also recommended that the Entry Tower footprint be demarcated with salvaged granite blocks where it once stood.
March 5, 2012: 22 East Royal Avenue - Tower Task Force Update #4
December 12, 2011: 22 East Royal Avenue - Tower Task Force Update #3
October 24, 2011: 22 East Royal Avenue - Tower Task Force Update #2
September 12, 2011: 22 East Royal Avenue - Tower Task Force Update
July 11, 2011: 22 East Royal Avenue - Centre Block Tower Update
April 26, 2010: 22 East Royal Avenue - Centre Block Tower
February 8, 2010: Centre Block Tower - Update on Professional Analyses
September 14, 2009: The Tower at the Centre Block - Update Report
July 13, 2009: Tower at Centre Block; Proposed Consultative Process
June 15, 2009: The Tower at the Centre Block, Victoria Hill
December 8, 2008: Centre Block (Woodlands) Heritage - A Council Update