In 1947, Armstrong Bros. was awarded the contract to build a hall for the Royal Canadian Legion’s branch in Langley.
And after their regular work days, Branch #21 members would come out to assist in the construction.
The original hall opened in April 1950, after several years of sweat and labour.
The Langley Advance reported at the time how the new digs offered a “modern touch,” describing it as: “Smart and cozy is the club lounge through wide doors leading from the games room. Leather upholstered chairs blend with the veneer wall finish and tiled floor.”
An addition followed a decade later, in 1960 to accommodate a bigger main lounge and games room.
Well, that building constructed 70 years ago now came tumbling down last week, much like its founding and former occupant – the Langley legion – appears to be doing.
Back in 2010, the legion was facing financial struggles with a diminishing membership and aging membership, and the decision was made to sell off the legion building and the prime downtown Langley property on which it sat.
At the time, it was purchased by Marcon Homes Ltd., and used for a period of time as a temporary home of Timms Community Centre, while the new facilities were build adjoining the City hall.
When the City no longer needed to rent the space in February 2016, the old legion hall sat vacant – with the exception of a few months a year that winter and the next – when it was donated to the Langley Christmas Bureau.
In January of this year, that site – just under two acres in size – was sold to Luc Gosselin of CWL Construction and planning began for a two five-storey condo development called The Georgia, boasting 94 units each.
Demolition of the old legion hall began in early April, and much to Gosselin’s surprise, he found some solid stud walls in the building, commenting on the high-quality construction of the old facilities that took a little more time than expected to dismantle.
Excavation equipment was brought on site last week, and that once “almost indestructible” building was brought down.
Construction on the first condo project is expected to begin on the first condo building in July, Gosselin said.
They will be family-oriented complexes, aimed at younger families and include outdoor play areas.
“It’s really going to revitalize that area of Langley,” he told the Advance, noting that two commercial buildings to the west will come down in July to make room for the other condo building.
The Georgia is going to “significantly densify” and “dress up” that area of Eastleigh Crescent and of downtown Langley, he said, “bringing a lot of life to that area.”
The project is expected to be finished in January 2020, Gosselin said. He noted that his companies – CWL and Whitetail Homes – which as been working in the City for the past 15 years, recently finished The Benjamin 70-unit condo project on 201A Street, and have recently laid the foundation and are just starting to frame the sold-out Brydon Green, a 54-unit condo complex on Brydon Crescent.