Diefenbaker home needs major renovations.
Published Friday, December 28, 2012 4:27PM CST
Last Updated Friday, December 28, 2012 4:31PM CST
The home of former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker in Prince Albert needs major renovations. And the group that runs the home as a museum is hoping senior levels of government can come up with the needed money.
The two story home is a hundred years old, and was Diefenbaker’s Prince Albert home just before he became Prime Minister.
“There are some real structural issues with the property,” said Debbie Honch with the Prince Albert Historical Society.
For example, she said, the sunroom is leaning downhill. That part of the home has been closed to public tours because of it.
The bill to fix the various problems won’t be cheap.
“We estimate three to four hundred thousand dollars,” said Honch. However, they believe it is well worth the money to keep the home open as a museum for the public.
“It’s popular for schools as well, because it’s part of our history and education,” said Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne. “People my age, that were around during the Diefenbaker era, love going through the home andreminiscing about what a great Prime Minister he was.”
The home has been operated as a museum since 1983, and gets around 1600 visitors a year.
The historical society hopes if they can get some money, they can also improve the programming that goes with the home, to make it more interactive and user-friendly.
Prince Albert’s Mayor thinks the federal government should come through.
“I believe the federal government should step to the plate in this restoration, because he was the Prime Minister of Canada,” said Dionne.
Honch says if they can come up with the money, they hope to have the home fully restored in three to four years.