Halifax Regional Council Votes to Sell Khyber Building to Community Group

For Immediate Release

Tuesday May 23, 2018

Halifax/ K’jipuktuk – Halifax Regional Council has voted to sell 1588 Barrington Street, commonly known as the Khyber Building, to the 1588 Barrington Building Preservation Society. The Society was formed in 2015 by Friends of the Khyber, the Khyber Arts Society, and Neptune Theatre with the sole intention of restoring the Khyber Building.

“We’re thrilled to finally put our plan to reinvigorate the Khyber Building into action,” said Emily Davidson, President of the 1588 Barrington Building Preservation Society. “This is the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the ongoing history of this beloved building.”

Once the purchase is finalized, the 1588 Society will embark on a capital campaign to fund the needed renovations, including investments from all three levels of government.

Building improvements will include affordable downtown office space for arts and community groups; rehearsal, performance, gathering, and meeting space for below-market rates; leasable space to businesses that complement the Society’s mandate; an elevator; and gender-neutral washrooms.

“Over the years we’ve heard time and time again how important this building is to the arts, the local music scene, the LGBTQ2S community and the municipality as a whole,” said Emily Davidson. “We look forward to collaborating with our supporters to re-envision the space as a venue for artistic and creative exploration as well as a welcoming gathering space for members of various communities.”

The elegant Victorian building, named a Canadian Historic Place in 2005, was bought by the city from a private owner for $1 in 1988 to prevent it from being demolished. The building has been home to various community groups, the city’s first community-run gay bar, an artist run centre, and several local businesses. The building also helped launch the careers of a number of well-known local musicians.

This summer marks four years since Friends of the Khyber started the campaign to save the Khyber Building and have it re-opened to the public.

Visit 1588society.ca for more information on the 1588 Society and our plan.

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For further information:

Emily Davidson, President of the 1588 Barrington Building Preservation Society, (902) 422-1405

Image credit: Stoo Metz