Mclean Mill

Port Alberni, BC
Client: Heritage Canada
Budget: $7.5 million

Innovation often emerges in response to challenge. In 1989, Heritage Canada declared the derelict McLean Mill in Port Alberni a national historic site and initiated plans to restore the mill to working condition. As project manager, Roger oversaw the restoration and re-engineering of the mill – in his own words, “piecing the puzzle back together.” He sought innovative solutions to the many challenges inherent in restoring the mill to its fully operational condition. Among these challenges was the need to upgrade the site to meet current safety and building standards (such as introducing sprinkler systems and earthquake-resistant features) while retaining the mill’s original historic character.

Completed as Principal of Merrick Architecture

Exterior view of the site prior to extensive renovation efforts.
The restored mill structure: acknowledging the site’s long industrial history.
Green chain for lumber output and selection.
Preservation of historical mechanical features integral to mill’s function.
Mechanical component detail behind the steam-driven log carriage.
Steam-driven carriage engine.
Detail behind the structural framework of the exhibition building based on the historic structure of the mill.
Activity at the only commercial steam-powered sawmill in Canada.
Exterior view of restored site.
The off-cut chain and sawdust hopper.
Confluence of new and old at the McLean Mill.
Visitor center and toilets at the exhibition center.
The new exhibit center.