THE COMOX VALLEY Naturalists Society and Project Watershed are trying to preserve Mack Laing's 'Baybrook' house.

People trying to preserve Baybrook house in Comox

Two groups are researching the condition of an historic Comox home, and how much it would cost to preserve it.

While a historic Comox home garnered a short reprieve from demolition from council in June, two Valley organizations are researching the condition of the home, and how much it would cost to preserve.

The Comox Valley Naturalists Society and Project Watershed asked Comox council for a delay on the demolition of Mack Laing’s ‘Baybrook’ house, which is situated on a 2.6-hectare piece of waterfront property.

Council asked for an assessment to determine if the structures (including the main house), which were in poor condition, were worth saving.

The report determined the cost of renovating and saving the building would exceed the cost of reconstruction, and the plan was to remove the structure and return the property to a natural, park-like state.

Dick Stubbs, whose parents purchased the properly from Laing in 1949, explained there are four legal lots that comprise the great Baybrook property.

“The main house, was built approximately in 1922 or 1923,” he explained. “There were three cottages that dad build in the early 1950s, and there were other structures including a garage and barn on the property.”

He noted his family owned the property until 2006, when they sold it to Greg Bay.

“We tried repeatedly over an 18-month period to bring the Town to the table — it seemed like a logical addition to Mack Laing Park,” he noted. “But the political will wasn’t there.”

The Town did end up purchasing ‘Baybrook House,’ but not directly from the family, Stubbs added.

The two groups, along with some Comox citizens, voiced their concerns about losing the house, as it was the location where naturalist Laing did many of his original work and led the Comox Valley in conservation.

The groups suggested the possibility of creating an interpretive heritage centre with the home.

A committee has been working on a feasibility study and are examining the costs to preserve the house. A decision about the fate of the home has been delayed until Sept. 30.

photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

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