Griffintown Horse Palace needs donations to survive
Published Monday, September 1, 2014 6:15PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, September 2, 2014 10:57AM EDT
At more than 150 years old, the Griffintown horse palace is one of the oldest working stables in North America – and it shows.
The stables at the Griffintown Horse Palace could collapse at any time. In an effort to save the historic building, the Griffintown Horse Palace Foundation has launched a fundraising campaign.
“In the condition that it is now it won't be safe in maybe another year,” said Judy Waldon, who has been a carriage driver for 30 years. “There's a tree that's pushing everything. There's been so much construction and vibrating of the ground that things started to shift faster than they thought they would.”
The roof of the stable is falling apart and the walls are beginning to bow.
The crowdfunding campaign is an effort to stop the decay.
“Just for the reconstruction of the stable, it's around $180,000. The goal of the crowdfunding is to have $45,000 from the public. And for the rest there's a part that the foundation already has,” said Emilie Vezina-Dore, who works for the foundation.
Part of the land is owned by the city of Montreal; the other is owned by a land developer, whose president has helped the foundation raise some $135,000 toward the reconstruction.
The foundation wants to save most of the structure – that includes reusing much of the original brick and wood. The goal is to have the entire palace rebuilt as quickly as possible.
“If for example we close the building, and the horses have to be somewhere else, the foundation can lose the land and the right to keep the horses on the site,” said Vezina-Dore.
The goal is to open the site to the public with another barn and a cafe.
“To be fixed up so that I can stay with my horses and other people can stay with their horses. And we can have different activities to have the public get close to horses again to have that contact that people don't have at the city at all,” said Waldon.
The campaign goes until Oct. 1, with a fundraising party on Oct. 2.