Kingston man wants missing interpretative panels returned to historic dry dock

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Tony Houghton was shocked to learn that 7 interpretative panels hung in December 2015 had been removed from the historic dry dock. The Marine Museum volunteer says the plaques tell the story of the dry dock and should be reinstalled – Oct 26, 2017

Kingston resident and Marine Museum of the Great Lakes volunteer Tony Houghton wants seven interpretative panels to be reinstalled at the historic dry dock.

Houghton discovered the plaques had been removed a few weeks ago while visiting the site.

The plaques were installed in December 2015 as part of the celebrations for Sir John A Macdonald’s 200th birthday.  They outlined the role the 1890’s dry dock played in Kingston and its ties to Canada’s first prime minister.  The unveiling was also one of the last events at the old Marine Museum.

“They were all weather. They used archival images and historic documents and architectural drawings and they told the whole story,” Houghton said.

READ MORE: Old wall restored in Barriefield for Dry Stone Fest 2017

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The panels were paid for by the city’s heritage fund and cost more than $8,000.  At the time the federal government owned the property and the museum rented the space.  But in January 2016, developer Jay Patry purchased the property and asked the museum to move out but the panels stayed behind.

Shortly after that, Houghton says the historic boards were removed.

“According to [Patry] because two of them had been vandalized and that he then, as he says, removed the panels for safekeeping. But how long that will be and when they will come back obviously we have no idea,” Houghton explained.

CKWS has not been able to reach Patry for comment. But Kingston’s mayor has contacted the developer to get the panels back.

READ MORE: Kingston residents fear proposed residential building will lower property values

There are plans to transform the area around the historic dry dock into a residential tower but Houghton hopes the panels will eventually be put back where he says they belong.

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