Hangar 11 at Edmonton’s Blatchford Field designated historic resource

Click to play video: 'Hangar 11 at Edmonton’s Blatchford Field designated historic resource'
Hangar 11 at Edmonton’s Blatchford Field designated historic resource
WATCH ABOVE: A historic wartime hangar on the brink of demolition will soon get some much needed TLC. As Chris Chacon explains, construction on Hangar 11 -- a massive project -- will soon take off, giving Edmontonians a place to live, work and play. – May 29, 2022

An Edmonton hangar that was a vital link in supplying arms and materials to allied forces in the Second World War has been declared a historic resource.

Edmonton city council on Tuesday declared Hangar 11 at Blatchford Field a municipal historic resource.

The hangar was constructed in 1942 by the U.S. Army Air Force, now the U.S. Air Force. The city said Hangar 11 played a significant role in the Lend-Lease program that had the U.S. provide military equipment to the allies before and after it joined the war.

Hangar 11 at Edmonton’s Blatchford Field in an updated handout photo. Courtesy, City of Edmonton

“It’s doubtful that the eastern front war would have been won without the military supplies provided to US allies through Canada,” principal heritage planner David Johnston said.

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“Hangar 11 was vital in that phase of the war and is a remarkable piece of history Edmontonians can look on with pride.”

Once the United States entered the war, the city said the country built a series of airfields. Edmonton’s airfield at Blatchford Field became the headquarters of the Alaskan Wing and Air Transport Command.

Click to play video: 'City of Edmonton considers selling historic airplane Hangar 11'
City of Edmonton considers selling historic airplane Hangar 11

The city said the field was, at times, the busiest airfield in the world with nearly 900 flights arriving each day. It’s believed Blatchford Field supported the transfer of 7,000 to 10,000 Lend-Lease aircraft to the Allies between 1943 and 1945.

Hangar 11 is believed to be the last remaining building of its kind in western Canada.

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The historic resource declaration means the owners of Hangar 11 will receive a $5-million grant over the course of 10 years to assist with rehabilitation of the building.

Edmonton-based T3 Group bought the hangar four years ago with a vision of transforming it into a place with housing, stores and restaurants. The group plans to start construction this summer.

“I’ve been frustrated with these beautiful iconic buildings being torn down, and this was an opportunity to save something that’s incredibly important,” T3 Group co-owner Tim Antoniuk said.

“The sheer scale of the building makes the cost of rehabilitation significant,” Johnston said.

“The new owners are intending on repurposing the building to accommodate a mixed-use development with student housing and commercial uses The preservation of the structure also addresses sustainability and climate change adaptation considerations, with the retention of the embodied energy in the building and the diversion of demolition materials from the landfill.”

The grant will come from the city’s Heritage Resources Reserve.

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