Historic Steveston United Church receives grant for upgrades

A former Steveston church built by volunteers in 1894 will get a new foundation, thanks in part to a $150,000 city grant earmarked to preserve heritage buildings in the historic fishing village.

The owner of the building, Richmond Hospital/Healthcare Auxiliary, is replacing the foundation as part of a long-term plan to restore the building. Future plans include restoring the exterior, currently stucco, with siding.

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The Steveston Village Heritage Conservation Grant program comes from charges levied on developments in exchange for more density.

The money is earmarked for heritage preservation in Steveston. The funds have been collected since 2009 and the city currently has more than $1 million in the kitty, but this is the first time the fund is being tapped.

 A low estimate of the cost of the foundation is $343,000 – the grant cannot exceed more than 50 per cent of the cost.

Before it was a thrift store for the hospital auxiliary, the building housed Steveston Bicycle Shop.

It is one of the oldest churches in Richmond, and the oldest to be on its original site. At different times, it was the Steveston Methodist Church, the Methodist Indian Mission and the Steveston United Church. As the United Church, it amalgamated the Caucasian and Japanese congregations after the Second World War.

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