“We want people to continue to think about it, especially the leaders in the community who can advocate and find a new use for it,” Aidan Norton, curator of the Colchester Historeum, said in a second statement he has released on the subject.
“We’re eager for it to move along,” he said.
Over the years, the town has seen some buildings in such disrepair, said Norton, that many have been torn down.
“Everyone now speaks the same way about the train station that was torn down in the 1970s,” he said. “We can’t change that, but this is sort of parallel to it. We want to make sure the town does find a use for this building. We all know that to preserve something is to find a new use for it.”
While Norton said the historical society isn’t making a statement as to what that future use could be, he thinks it can be something new and useful to the community.
The society’s statement, released on Jan. 15, reads:
“The Colchester Historical Society has been an advocate for Colchester’s heritage and historic sites since 1954. Last year, the society weighed in on the debate concerning the Normal College building and the importance of its cultural value to the community. Our public statement can still be viewed on our website at colchesterhistoreum.ca. We have resolved to continue pressing for a solution to this baffling and embarrassing issue. How can we as a community possess such a glorious edifice, one that others would love to have, and not honour it?
“To allow it to deteriorate as we have is to slowly starve one's soul until it feels numb. This town has a soul and it is our downtown. Communities that allow erosion of their town centers inevitably face issues over identity loss, economic decline and other associated maladies. The Normal College is simply too beautiful to let go. Moreover, the implications of having it disappear would have an enormous impact on how we feel about our town and how others perceive us.
“Although the Normal College has been featured on at least a half dozen different postcards, the most interesting part about this 1906 card is the associated correspondence. The visitor, writing to a friend in Maine, remarks, “This is the prettiest town in N.S.” The link between that assertion and the picture is direct even if one believes the building to be a mere contributing factor. Let’s make sure visitors continue to perceive us in such a positive light and give them reason to laud our community’s attributes.
“The Colchester Historical Society strongly encourages all community leaders to identify and agree upon a worthy and sustainable use for the Normal College and to take timely steps to act on that course of action.”