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Auchmar Mansion in Hamilton will remain in public hands

The future of Auchmar Mansion will be as a public facility. Hamilton city staff have been asked to develop a 10-year business plan.
The future of Auchmar Mansion will be as a public facility. Hamilton city staff have been asked to develop a 10-year business plan. CHML

Auchmar Mansion, built in 1852 by Royal Hamilton Light Infantry founder Isaac Buchanan, will remain in public hands.

Hamilton City Council formally gave that direction on Wednesday night, asking staff to prepare a 10-year business plan for the West Mountain property which needs an estimated $20 million in repairs.

READ MORE: Hamilton councillors look for funding to transform historic Auchmar Estate

Mayor Fred Eisenberger says Auchmar has been batted around long enough as a “political football,” and it’s time to move forward with a municipal plan after years of uncertainty and unrealized proposals involving the sprawling property.

Eisenberger adds that it is now clear that “we are not going to be offloading this, we are not looking for other operators.”

READ MORE: Free museum visits on the way for Hamilton library card holders

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Ward 14 Coun. Terry Whitehead says he looks forward to seeing the business plan, once the city has consulted with community partners who are interested in participating and in ensuring “access to the public.”

City council has also finalized a one-year pilot project that provides free admission to the city’s existing museums for Hamilton Public Library cardholders.

As a result of the direction given to staff, Auchmar could one day join the ranks of attractions like Dundurn Castle and Battlefield House.