Gary Weick stands in front of his recently repainted shop.

Making Prince Rupert’s old look new again

It may be one of the oldest buildings in Prince Rupert’s downtown core, but it certainly isn’t showing its age.

It may be one of the oldest buildings in Prince Rupert’s downtown core, but it certainly isn’t showing its age.

Gary’s Lock and Security Shop Ltd., located at 617 Second Ave. West, was recently given a face-lift with restoration work on the store’s exterior being completed earlier this month.

Peace of Mind Painting’s Wayne Fast revived the building by applying a fresh coat of paint to its frontside, as well as sanding off paint on its entrance doors to expose original wood underneath.

“It was long overdue for a face-lift,” said Gary Weick, owner of Gary’s Lock Shop and Security.

“The doors are natural outside … it’s 104-year-old wood you see there now.”

Prince Rupert City and Regional Archives paperwork shows a permit for the building was taken out in early 1911, the first building on the block at the time.

Weick bought the heritage building in 1979, and said he is either the fourth or fifth owner.

The building has been well-maintained over the years, with the bulk of it being made of the same materials it was when it first opened.

Since Weick took over ownership, the only major maintenance jobs that have been done to the structure have been erecting metal cornices outside through a heritage committee grant, and replacing the rotted back wall approximately 15 years ago.

Preservation has been the goal, with Weick aiming to retain the building’s older style.

“It fits the stuff in here, and me,” he laughed, referring to the age-old items displayed in his shop.

The longtime business owner has complied an array of antiques and collectibles over the years, showcasing part of his collection in the shop that he has dubbed “Prince Rupert’s Other Museum”.

Weick said there’s potential to draw tourists to Prince Rupert with its heritage buildings, promoting the importances of maintaining the older structures.

“It smartens up the town when people look after [heritage buildings] and brings the community back to its original colours,” said Weick.

“Tourists like to see the old stuff.”

Weick added he would like to see the former-heritage walk resurrected, a tour that was previously put on for tourists in the community.