Historic Langley buildings may be moved

A Langley landmark dating back to the 1920s can be yours for a mere $1 – if you’re willing to haul it off its South Brookswood property.

The owner of the Noel Booth house, store and gas station buildings, a cluster of aging structures dating back to the 1920s and 1930s, has put them up for sale.

All three buildings, located on 24th Avenue just west of 208th Street, can be had essentially by agreeing to move them.

The original residence is 1,300 square feet, the gas station 500, and the small storage shed is about 140.

“All structures require extensive repair work and are offered on an as-is condition,” said the notice published in local papers earlier this month.

Noel Booth was a mayor of Langley as well as a store owner, and donated the land for the nearby Glenwood Elementary. Another Langley elementary school was later named in his honour.

He opened his store there in 1921, apparently taking it over from a previous merchant who had built it about a year earlier.

The Booth family would later operate a small number of vans as mobile stores over the rough roads of rural Langley. One of those vans has been restored by heritage advocates and is stored by the Langley Heritage Society.

Despite the age of the buildings and their historical importance, they have no official heritage designation from the Township.

However, the owner approached the Township before deciding what to do with the buildings.

The $1 sale was one of the recommendations of the Heritage Advisory Committee, said Elaine Horricks, Township heritage planner.

None of the buildings have been in use for years, she said.

Horricks and members of the Heritage Advisory Committee have toured the building, and Horricks said the fronts that face 24th Avenue appear to be in the best shape.

“They’re in fairly poor condition,” she said.

She said there have been safety issues in the past, but the three buildings are all boarded up fairly tight. A number of later additions and other buildings are also attached or near the trio of historic structures.

There may already be some interest in relocating the buildings, Horricks said.

The person is looking at whether all the buildings can be moved at once, and how much that might cost.

The ad is asking for expressions of interest up to June 30.

If there are no takers, salvage may be offered, including possibly to the film industry, which has expressed interest in the buildings in the past.

There may also be opportunities to sell or save memorabilia.

If the buildings are to be demolished, they will be documented before-hand for the Township archives and museum.

The Heritage Commission has also suggested that if the buildings are demolished, a commemorative sign be placed on or near the site.

Right now, there are no requests for demolition permits, or for any new construction on the land, according to the Township.

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