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It’s Biggar than LinkedIn

Suddenly, my interest in the abandoned railway roundhouse in Hanna, Alberta and electronic social media meet.  Kind of.

I’m helping the effort to restore the Hanna Roundhouse by donating a slideshow exhibit production describing the history roundhouses.  It’s all being produced through a part of my practice called Babuk Presentations, or for the 21st Century, www.learnaboutchicago.com . This exhibit will be on display in the Hanna Public Library for the month of November.  Babuk Presentations / www.learnaboutchicago.com provides public speaking and presentations about architecture and railroad history (see Page 4 of this website).

In researching this display presentation about Hanna railway roundhouse; I came across a 2008 news story about another railway roundhouse in Biggar, Saskatchewan that Heritage Canada placed on its “Endangered Buildings” list.  The story claimed that the roundhouse was slated to be demolished in 2009.

Former Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Roundhouse, Biggar, Saskatchewan
Former Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Roundhouse, Biggar, Saskatchewan

Neither I, nor my client had heard about this roundhouse until now.  It too is claiming to be the last standing roundhouse in western Canada.

“Biggar”, population 2341, is the town’s actual name.  Its motto is “New York is big, but we’re Biggar”!

With the presentation being due this week, I needed an answer last weekend.   I had just come from a friend’s presentation, showing the features of networking electronically through “LinkedIn”.  In his third degree of contact, he had more than a million and a half contacts!  He assured me that I had at least that many as well!

This being a Friday night, I dutifully tore through those LinkedIn contacts, going down to the third, or fourth degree – nothing!! 

Municipal offices – even the town’s newspaper – were bound to be closed on Saturday.  I pondered if there might be a local drug store that I could call on Saturday, and simply ask the clerk who answered if their roundhouse was still standing.

This called for a quick phone call to my brother in Calgary for help.  His wife is friends with a lady from Biggar.  I have an email message in to her.  So there…

Apparently, the Biggar Roundhouse is still standing, having been vacated last year by some sort of turkey farming operation.  Roundhouses have been known to be put through all sorts of indignities during their life.

An update on the Hanna Roundhouse:  not only has it made the cut to the second round of voting in the Aviva Community Fund contest, but apparently Nickelback has posted a message of support for restoring the Hanna Roundhouse on their Facebook Fan Club website.  Nickelback is from Hanna, and the roundhouse was featured prominently in their “Photograph” video.

Posted in Architecture, Community Organization, History.