October 21, 2020

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Langside Grocery wins Heritage Winnipeg award

Shelley Armstrong, middle, with her father, George, left, was recognized for the family's work on the Langside Grocery by Lisa Gardewine, Heritage Winnipeg President. (Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press)</p>

Shelley Armstrong, middle, with her father, George, left, was recognized for the family's work on the Langside Grocery by Lisa Gardewine, Heritage Winnipeg President. (Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press)

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/2/2018 (975 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

You can't know where you're going if you don't know where you've been.

That ethic motivates the people behind Heritage Winnipeg, who held the organization's 33rd annual preservation awards Monday afternoon.

In total six restoration projects were recognized for their contribution to preserving the city's stock of old, turn of the century architecture.

"To preserve these buildings is really so important. These buildings tell us the story of who we were as a city," said Lisa Gardewine, president of Heritage Winnipeg.

"This is where the character is. This is where our stories are told. This is what makes Winnipeg beautiful. It brings so much depth and character to our city."

The ceremony was held at the Manitoba Legislative Building. In the large, cavernous rotunda outside the chamber room, the owners and restorationists responsible for the projects were recognized. Roughly 75 people were in attendance.

One project awarded was for work done at the legislative building itself. Republic Architecture Inc. was recognized for their efforts to make the Manitoba Legislative Chamber more accessible.

In phases, while the legislature was not in session, the Winnipeg firm raised the floor of the chamber room by five-feet, making it wheelchair accessible.

The day's top award - known as the special president's award - went to the Armstrong family, for their work on bringing back to life an inner-city heritage building.

The Langside Grocery. "We just fell in love with the building. We've kept things very period specific. There's dark oak wood. The back bar has antique glass. Marble tables," said Shelley Armstrong, who accepted the special president's award on behalf of her family.

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

The Langside Grocery. "We just fell in love with the building. We've kept things very period specific. There's dark oak wood. The back bar has antique glass. Marble tables," said Shelley Armstrong, who accepted the special president's award on behalf of her family.

Since 1913, the unassuming brick building has stood in West Broadway - one of the city's oldest neighbourhoods.

For roughly 80 years the space served as an important neighbourhood grocery store, operating under various names depending on who owned it at the time.

That ended in the 1990s, when a series of robberies led to the grocery store closing down. The building then remained vacant for a number of years.

In 2012, the Armstrong family purchased the building, located at 164 Langside St., with the intention of opening up a restaurant. That dream finally came true in 2017 with the grand opening of Langside Grocery (a throwback to the space's history).

"We just fell in love with the building. We've kept things very period specific. There's dark oak wood. The back bar has antique glass. Marble tables," said Shelley Armstrong, who accepted the award on behalf of her family.

"When you walk in it looks like it could be the period when the building was actually built. The space has a real charm to it. This award is very special to us. As a family we're all very interested in maintaining heritage."

For Gardewine selecting the recipient for this year's top award was clear, as the Armstrong family's work represents exactly what the preservation awards are all about: Winnipeggers taking pride in, and caring for, the physical manifestations of the city's history.

"That wasn't a corporation. That wasn't somebody with deep pockets. That was a family with a lot of courage who said, 'We're going to invest in this,'" she said.

"What warms your heart is that it's not another multinational with ownership elsewhere. These are Winnipeggers who have invested in that neighbourhood."

ryan.thorpe@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @rk_thorpe

Ryan Thorpe

Ryan Thorpe
Reporter

Ryan Thorpe likes the pace of daily news, the feeling of a broadsheet in his hands and the stress of never-ending deadlines hanging over his head.

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History

Updated on Monday, February 19, 2018 at 7:35 PM CST: Adds photo of Langside Grocery building.

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