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Issue No. 162 | May 3, 2010

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Feature Stories

  1. New OMB decision a
  2. Queen's Park Views Opinion Poll:
  3. Property Rights and Heritage Designation
  4. Ontario Heritage Conference Website and Registration OPEN

Events

Exhibition: Facets of Fame
April 24-September 11
+ read


John Sewell The Shape of the Suburbs
Tuesday, May 25
+ read


Book Launch:STROLL: PSYCHOGEOGRAPHIC WALKING TOURS OF TORONTO
May 18
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1. Heritage Toronto Walks - Early Schedule
Heritage Toronto

In 2010, Heritage Toronto is celebrating its 16th year of free historic walking tours. Held most weekends throughout May to October, Heritage Toronto Walks are a great way for residents and visitors alike to discover the people, places, events and stories of Toronto.

New walks that are part of the schedule this year include St. Clair West: Earlscourt, Oakwood and Regal Heights and The Village of Humber Bay, with more to come in the July to October schedule, which will be available in June.

Heritage Toronto Walks is a true community project. The tours are researched, designed and led by local historians, groups and professionals from across the city, who volunteer their time and energy. Walks are free and no reservations are required in order to attend.

This years April to July schedule includes tours of:

§ Saturday, May 1  Thomson Pioneer Settlement (part of Janes Walk)
§ Sunday, May 2  Thistletown (part of Janes Walk)
§ Saturday, May 8  St. Clair West: Earlscourt, Oakwood and Regal Heights
§ Sunday, May 9  West Toronto Junction
§ Saturday, May 15  Along the Boardwalk of Humber Bay
§ Sunday, May 16  Agincourt Village
§ Sunday, May 16  Atop the Davenport Hill in the 1920s
§ Saturday, June 5  South Rosedale
§ Sunday, June 6  Eglinton: From Woodland to Yonge and Eligible
§ Sunday, June 6  Parc Downsview Park
§ Saturday, June 12  Exploring Rural Willow Dale
§ Sunday, June 13  Beaconsfield Village
§ Saturday, June 19  The Village of Humber Bay
§ Sunday, June 20  Campus and Cosmos: Astronomy in Toronto
§ Saturday, June 26  Leslieville
§ Sunday, June 27  Atop the Davenport Hill in the 1920s
§ Thursday, July 1  Fort York: 200 Years of Lakefront Development
§ Saturday, July 3  Fringe Festival Sites
§ Sunday, July 4  Historic Moore Park
§ Saturday, July 10  The Township of York
§ Sunday, July 11  Torontos Railway Heritage
§ Saturday, July 17  The Queens Park Stroll
§ Sunday, July 18  The Splendour That Was Sherbourne Street

For full descriptions of Heritage Toronto Walks, please visit www.heritagetoronto.org or call the Heritage Toronto Information Line at 416 338-3886.

The Heritage Toronto Walks Program is generously supported by TD Canada Trust.


2. New OMB decision a
Dan Schneider

Talbot Apartments, a modest and familiar landmark on Bayview

An April 7, 2010 decision by the Ontario Municipal Board is getting a lot of attention in the heritage community and beyond. In ADMNS Kelvingrove Investment Corporation v. City of Toronto, the Board dismissed an appeal by a developer from the city’s refusal to approve a major redevelopment on Bayview Avenue in Toronto. The project would have required the demolition of a designated complex of three circa 1940 “garden apartment” buildings known as the Talbot Apartments.

The decision, hailed as a “landmark” by Conservation Review Board Vice-Chair Su Murdoch, adds to a small but growing body of decisions by the Ontario Municipal Board on heritage appeals since the 2005 changes to the Ontario Heritage Act. While the most important of these changes gave municipalities the ability to say no to the demolition or removal of designated structures, another gave the OMB the last word on appeals.

The more high-profile of the post-2005 OMB decisions include the Bronte Quadrangle (Oakville), Alma College (St. Thomas) and Port Dalhousie (St. Catharines). In these cases and this latest decision we see the Ontario Municipal Board grappling – valiantly but not always smoothly or consistently – with its expanded overseer role in heritage decisions in this province.

In stark contrast to the three earlier cases, the Talbot Apartments case is being seen as a clear preservation victory: “a good one for us,” said Built Heritage News editor Cathy Nasmith.

Contributing to its “landmark” status, this case – unlike the earlier decisions – included a fully contested dispute over whether individually designated buildings should be demolished. (This was also the issue in the Alma College case, but there the city and the owner reached agreement to demolish the building, the hearing was abridged, and, in the words of one observer, the OMB “was left with mopping up.”) Since the developer had also challenged the designation of the Talbot complex before the Conservation Review Board, which had recommended its designation, the case also raised an important issue about the how the OMB should treat the CRB’s findings.

On the demolition question, OMB member Marc Denhez begins by observing that the Ontario Heritage Act contains no criteria for how municipal councils, and the OMB on appeals, should make decisions on demolition requests. In response, the Board offers a kind of “roadmap” (the Board’s term) for approaching the review of a demolition refusal. Starting from the purpose of the Ontario Heritage Act – “to provide for the conservation, protection and preservation of the heritage of Ontario”, the decision goes on to give an interesting, even entertaining, analysis of these terms. The Board rejects the view that “[they] all mean the same hands-off, frozen-in-time approach – akin to ‘conservation of nature’, or even ‘conservation of food’ (what the [developer’s lawyer] called ‘Saran-wrap’ and ‘pickling in formaldehyde’).

Citing definitions of “conservation”, “development” and “intensification” in the Provincial Policy Statement, the Board concludes that there is “no need to presume a conflict between ‘heritage’ and ‘development’” and that “construction of a specific kind (rehabilitation, expansion and conversion) may indeed be entirely appropriate at heritage sites.” It also takes a swipe at the earlier Port Dalhousie decision’s “inaccuracy” in treating conservation as the opposite of development and in attempting to “balance” the two.

With the policy objective of the legislation thus elucidated, where does the “roadmap” on demolitions lead? The Board essentially concludes there is a rebuttable presumption in favour of conservation: “there should be no mistake: “conservation”, etc. is the general rule, and demolition the exception.”

Understanding that the heritage significance, or lack thereof, of the designated property would always be a relevant issue to the consideration of demolition, the “roadmap” also includes another presumption: deference must be given to any CRB decision on the matter.

In dismissing the appeal, the Board found “no persuasive reason” to disagree with the Conservation Review Board’s conclusion that the properties met the criteria for designation under Ontario Regulation 9/06; it also found “no compelling reason” to disagree with the city’s decision to refuse the demolition of the buildings.

The decision also includes an important critique – deserving of an article on its own – of arguments that the role of the OMB is to “balance” heritage interests against other provincial priorities, especially intensification. Again explicitly distancing itself from the decision in the Port Dalhousie case, the Board concludes that the case is not about determining which policy direction is the stronger one but about trying to reconcile different provincial goals, which should be seen as complementary.

Lawyer Michael Vaughan, a long-time heritage advocate and former CRB chair, calls the Talbot Apartments decision “hugely important”: “It is a thoughtful, convincing, powerful and needed analysis of the relationship between the Ontario Heritage Act, the Planning Act, the Provincial Policy Statement, Official Plans, growth plans, and related planning and heritage issues. It is hard to imagine that this will not become a leading or the leading Board decision on these matters.”
Read it for yourself: go to <http://www.omb.gov.on.ca/english/eDecisions/eDecisions.html> and enter “kelvingrove”; the actual decision is the last document that appears.
Dan Schneider

Dan Schneider is a senior policy advisor with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture.

Editor's Note:
The developer is appealing this decision to Divisional Court....that will also be an interesting decision. Cross your fingers!


3. Queen's Park Views Opinion Poll:
Catherine Nasmith

From Queen Street looking North

If Built Heritage News subscribers were adjudicating the OMB appeal by the of the development at 21 Avenue Road, the Legislative Assembly would win hands down. At the end of the article on the OMB hearing regarding protection for views of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, I asked readers for their opinions. Future of Queen's Park Views

http://www.builtheritagenews.ca/current.cfm#5

BHN received many responses, some just a simple yes, others with comment. Not one, not one.... agreed with the interpretation that the developer put forward, that the views to the north and the south were equally important, and because there were tall buildings in the background looking from the north, then it was okay to have them behind Queen's Park when viewed from the south. 

Below are several quotes;

Yes, the view should certainly be protected!

James McConica, O.C.


YES (I recently walked to the site to assess the view for myself).

Edward Smith, Peterborough


Yes! I do think the existing views from University Avenue should be protected.

Mary Ramsay Robinson, Walkerton

 

Yes I think the views and streetscape should be protected!

Susan Stock, Toronto

Your article made me think of a book on urban design that I read when I was a student. It showed examples of how the views of monumental heritage buildings were being compromised by having out of scale towers sticking up in the background. I forget the name of the book but I'm sure you know it; it was a classic back in the 60's - possibly Kevin Lynch's The Image of the City published in 1960. Anyway, back then I wondered why in Toronto we allowed such things to happen. And I still wonder.

Do I think the existing views from University Avenue should be protected? YES

Marcia Cuthbert, Toronto, retired heritage planner, formerly with the Toronto Historical Board

I strongly believe the existing views from University Ave. should be protected.


Bob Martindale
Principal
Martindale Planning Services
Urban Planning and Development Consultants
23 Elizabeth St.
Ajax, Ont. L1T 2X1

Yes - You know my opinion since it all started when the existing building was originally built.

William N. Greer, B.Arch, FRAIC, CAHP, Toronto, also former staff member, Toronto Historical Board

 
 

 


4. Property Rights and Heritage Designation
Scott James

Can municipal councils require an owner’s consent to designation?
The simple answer is “No”.

The ACO is still regularly informed by community members across Ontario that their local council refuses to designate a heritage property without the owner’s consent. As recently as August 2007, a member of a municipal heritage committee in the GTA wrote to the Toronto Star expressing outrage that another municipality had designated a property over the owner’s objections, citing the need to respect property rights.

If members of heritage committees don’t understand the legislation, it is easy to see why there is a widespread misapprehension of councils’ powers and responsibilities.

The facts are clear. The owner’s consent is not required for a designation to proceed, nor may a council adopt a policy to that effect.

In November 2003, an Ontario Divisional Court decision in the case of Tremblay v. Lakeshore (Town) held that requiring the owner’s consent to designation was not consistent with the intent of the Ontario Heritage Act. The main points of the judgment include:
• Requiring the consent of the owner is contrary to the intent of the legislation [23, 26]
• Protection of the heritage of Ontario…. may interfere with individual property rights [24]
• ….the very purpose of the Act must be to balance the interests of the public, community and the owner. This balancing would not be necessary if the owner’s consent were a precondition [27]

Having said this, owners clearly have rights which must be respected. The Act requires that council give owners notice which allows them, and others, the right to object and have the matter reviewed by the Conservation Review Board. It is also good practice to involve owners at the earliest stage of considering listing or designation. For a valuable discussion of this issue, consult the Ontario Heritage Tool Kit, “Designating Heritage Properties” (available on the Ministry of Culture’s website).

To find the full text of the Tremblay v. Lakeshore (Town) judgment, Google “Ontario Superior Court” and go to “Divisional Court”, “Judgments”, “2003”, “November”, and you will find “2003-11-04. Tremblay v. Lakeshore (Town), CanLll 6354 (ON SCDC)”. Paragraphs #23-28 explain why a council is not permitted to require an owner’s consent to designation.

Scott James
Manager
ACO PreservationWorks! Program

Editor's Note:
This memo was written for ACO Council by Scott James in 2007 to respond to local issues in several branches. It contains useful information so I am publishing. Just this week ACO president, Lloyd Alter in his column "In a Nutshell" was complaining of the ongoing practice in many communities of Council's refusing to designate when an owner is hostile.


5. ICCROM Building Watch

ICCROM - conserving culture, promoting diversity
 
 
 
 
For people who are interested in interning/volunteering for a heritage organization but are unable to travel, Heritage Watch is offering opportunities for people to work remotely. See their site for more information, and have a look at what this great organization is doing!

 

javascript:void(0);/*1272890865803*/ICCROM - conserving culture, promoting diversity Happy Monday, everyone! UNESCO World Heritage is launching a volunteer programme - 28 projects in 17 countries and locations. Great opportunities and a great way to build your career and c.v.!

http://bit.ly/93cj1o


 


6. Job Posting:EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HERITAGE TORONTO

Are you looking for a position where you can share your passion for Toronto’s history and make a difference to how people view their city? Are you a team-oriented and creative leader? If so, consider this opportunity to become the next Executive Director of Heritage Toronto.

Heritage Toronto is an agency of the City of Toronto, and also holds charitable status. It works to tell Toronto’s stories and raise public awareness of the importance of our history. It does this through a growing number of programs designed to reach out across the city. Heritage Toronto delivers a series of free walking tours, installs commemorative plaques and markers across the city, and celebrates the city’s heritage through an annual awards program. As well, it is exploring new modes of communication – through photography exhibits, school programs and new media.

The Executive Director acts as the agency’s CEO, responsible to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors for management and results of all day to day operations.

The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate:
• Proven capacity in all aspects of leading a small not-for-profit organization: team leadership; strategic planning; fund-raising and relationship management; budgeting and financial management; and ability to build partnerships and create strategic alliances.
• Ability to work effectively with a diverse set of stakeholders, including a 25 member Board of Directors, senior city staff and members of Council, donors and sponsors, Heritage Toronto members and volunteers, and the city’s heritage community.
• Familiarity with the major heritage issues in Toronto, and an understanding of effective advocacy techniques.
• Excellent written and oral communication skills, including a willingness to embrace new media.

Applicants should send a cover letter stating why their abilities would be a match for the position and a copy of their resume to:

Selection Committee,
Heritage Toronto
St Lawrence Hall
157 King Street East, 3rd floor
Toronto, ON. M5C 1G9

Or email: kczanie@toronto.ca
Deadline for applications: May 7, 2010. We thank all applicants for their interest in the position: only those to be interviewed will be contacted.
More information about Heritage Toronto can be found on our website www.heritagetoronto.org


7. blogTO: The Final Days of St. Clement's Church
Jonathan Castellino

The Final Days of St. Clement's Church

Click here for Link


8. Globe and Mail: Moriyama and Sakura Award
Lisa Rochon

Honouring a revered Canadian architect

Presented with the Sakura Award, Raymond Moriyama tells an epic tale of a life devoted to driving ‘a nail of gold’

It was an epic, once-in-a-lifetime speech, and it took nearly an hour to deliver. Raymond Moriyama, one of Canada’s greatest architects and the creative force behind the Toronto Reference Library, the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa and nearly 50 university buildings, spoke slowly and deliberately about the critical chapters in his life, his words carefully weighed, the paragraphs alternating between pain, comic relief and enlightenment.

The master architect recalled his life’s torments – being badly burned as a little boy and then being interned in Western Canada during the Second World War for being a “yellow Jap” – but also his reconciliation with Canada. Moriyama gave the speech before a rapt audience of hundreds at Toronto’s second annual Sakura Ball last Saturday night as the recipient of the prestigious Sakura Award for contributions to Japanese culture in Canada and abroad. (Brian Mulroney, who in 1988 as Canadian prime minister formally apologized for the internment of Japanese-Canadians, received the first Sakura Award.)

Click here for Link


9. Globe and Mail: Saving a Regency cottage - one piece at a time
Dave LeBlanc

An architecture professor and her students demolished a 200-year-old structure that was infested by mould. Now it will be rebuilt

If anyone can do it, Shannon Kyles can. No, not recite Henry Wadsworth Longfellow while standing practically waist-deep in demolition debris – although she’s quite good at that – but, rather, carefully disassemble, label and store key pieces of an 1830s Regency cottage in suburban Ancaster and then put this architectural jigsaw puzzle back together somewhere else.

 

And when she finally does install a shiny new crane into one of the Rumford fireplaces made to match the originals, she’ll either recite the rest of the poem or collapse from exhaustion.

Although she’s one of the most energetic architecture professors you’ll meet at Hamilton’s Mohawk College, it’ll probably be the latter. But hey, it’s her first time: She restored an 1840s cottage in the 1980s, but she has never gone whole hog before.

She first saw this hog, er, house, last summer. Owner Helen Vanner, who purchased it in 1989 and had loved it every day since, asked for help in assessing its ailing condition. Ms. Kyles’s contractors found dry rot, a leaky roof and an increasingly unstable floor, the result of constant flooding of the foundation (more on this later). Although worse than anticipated, Ms. Vanner intended to save the dignified one-storey home, so, by September, a gaggle of Ms. Kyles’s students descended on the place to “measure, record and draw everything” to assist with that goal.

Click here for Link


10. Toronto Life: The Lost Station
Stephen Henighan

After stalling for years amid corruption charges, lawsuits and bureaucratic bungling, the overhaul of Union Station is finally happening. But the plan we got funnels GO riders into an underground mall, leaving the iconic building's Great Hall empty and mi

Running on empty: some 65 million people pass through Union Station in a year. The majority never set foot in the Great Hall (Image: Scott Connaroe)
At five o’clock every weeknight, the homeward-bound commuters surge out of the subway station at Union and into GO Transit’s underground domain. Women and men, all wearing a similar expression of pressured anxiety, bolt across the open-air moat and pick up speed as they push through the heavy doors of the GO concourse. As soon as their feet hit the lower concourse’s 1970s tile floor, they begin to move in a stiff-legged rush that doesn’t want to admit to being a run. They look for seats beneath the grooved ceilings that are the undersides of the staircases and access pathways to the trains. The installation of these elevated pathways, to refit the station for commuter transit 30 years ago, has turned the waiting area into a space of rathole aggressiveness. Commuters talk on their cellphones, surrounded by garish logos promising sugar and caffeine. At a signal from the monitors, the passengers move forward in unison to board their trains with a purposeful, glazed-eye enervation, like cult members who retain their devotion to the faith in spite of having lost their enthusiasm for its rituals.

Union Station, once the emblem of an ambitious city, has become a commuter hub, serving 200,000 passengers every weekday. Some 65 million people pass through the station in a year, a figure that is expected to double by 2020. But the decline of long-distance train travel has left the upper level, where VIA Rail is based, underused. Proposals to renovate the station have come and gone with such monotonous regularity that it’s hard to believe a $640-million overhaul, which started in January and is scheduled to be completed in 2015, is actually happening.

Click here for Link


11. Ontario Heritage Conference Website and Registration OPEN
Marlee Robinson, John Taylor, Lisa Gilber

Jump, Early Bird Registration Ends May 7

We are pleased to be able to share with you the news that the the registration web site for the 2010 Ontario Heritage Conference is now live.

The URL for the website and event materials:

www.eplyevents.com/ontarioheritageconference

You may already have heard that our general web site went live last week - www.heritageconferencechathamkent.com. We continue to add information to it but you will find that it has details on almost all our speakers, sponsors and programme.

Before going to the registration web site, we encourage you to decide what sessions you want to attend. Make sure times do not overlap - or if they do, that you can make your own arrangements to leave a session early. Sessions have been planned so you can concentrate on one particular area of interest - or delve into a range of different subjects.

Please also make sure you know how you want to pay - by credit card or by cheque - before logging on to the registration site.

And if you have friends and/or family joining you, remember we have a Partners' Programme on Friday and Saturday. You may register people for that as well. You can also purchase tickets for the Friday night banquet and the Saturday night barbeque and barn dance.

We hope you will find this way of registering easy - even we can do it.

If you experience difficulties you will find contact information for Shelley Bechard of the Chatham-Kent Department of Tourism - her email address, work telephone number and an 866 number.

Shelley has taken training in this process but has kindly offered to help us as a volunteer with anyone who needs assistance registering.

Please feel free to forward this information to your colleagues.

We look forward to welcoming you to Chatham-Kent.

John Taylor (Chair) Marlee Robinson (Co-Chair, ACO) Lisa Gilbert (Co-Chair, CHO)


12. Ottawa Citizen: Horticultural Hall architect Francis Sullivan's legacy
Phil Jenkins


Francis Sullivan, a talented, ambitious architect, designed the Horticultural Hall at Lansdowne Park, shown.


Ottawa’s stock of buildings from the Art Deco era, unfortunately for us, is pretty meagre.

The Lemieux Island Purification Plant (gorgeous), the old Ottawa Hydro-Electric building on Bank Street (superb), a bank (bijou) and ex-bank (impressive) on Sparks Street, a few scattered distinctive houses and utility buildings, and there you are for a distinctive period that flourished throughout American cities for three decades between 1920 and the late ’40s.

You could put all of these lovelies into Lansdowne Park and still have room left for a new stadium or two. In fact, one of those rare art deco buildings is already sitting on the Lansdowne asphalt.

It’s the Horticultural Hall, now in a state of repair closer to dried flowers than the fresh bloom it once was. Built in 1915, even before Art Deco came into its full flowering, the hall carries the favoured curve-less, low-lying lines and geological strata-like proportions of the Deco style.

It was designed by an Ottawa architect who left a slight, but almost evangelizing mark on the architecturally conservative city. His name was Francis Conroy Sullivan, and he was ahead of the curve, or perhaps that should the straight line, in Canadian architecture.

Ottawa was a capital in name, but not so much in architectural style when an 18-year-old Sullivan arrived from Kingston in 1900.

He was from a clan of Irish builders. His father left the railway as a detective to take up the saw and hammer — and the younger Sullivan went to work as an apprentice carpenter for an uncle. But the young man’s heart and head were in architecture. He was already trading the pencil for the plumb line at day’s end, taking drafting and drawing correspondence courses.

Click here for Link


13. Owen Sound - Sun Times: Council withdraws intent to designate St. Mary's school
Denis Langlois

Coun. Jim McManaman called it shocking that his council colleagues would "even entertain" withdrawing its intention to designate the original section of St. Mary's High School under the Ontario Heritage Act, a year after voting to protect it.

But that is exactly what city council did Monday.

"If we don't hold them accountable for a public building, then how can we ever hold the next Queen's Hotel owner accountable?" McManaman said, referring to the controversial demolition of the downtown former Beach Brothers bar in 2006. The motion withdraws council's intention to designate and instructs the city to work with the Bruce Grey Catholic District School Board to find a "mutually acceptable" alternative to forcing the historic annex to remain standing.

The alternative could include saving historical elements of the 119-year-old annex for use in a new entranceway. Council's vote does not completely remove the threat of protection from hanging over the board's head.

"If satisfactory arrangements cannot be achieved, the city would still have the option to again issue a notice of intention to designate," city manager Jim Harrold wrote in a report to council.

But it does cancel a process almost a year in the making.

The other option before council was to continue with the designation process. The next step would have been a full Conservation Review Board hearing, since the school board appealed council's intent to designate.

Those who voted to withdraw from the designation process described it as a necessary step to continue a working relationship with the school board and come to an adequate solution to commemorating the historic structure.

Click here for Link


14. Owen Sound Sun Times: The iconic 129-year-old steeple at St. George's Anglican Church has been successfully saved
DENIS LANGLOIS

Saved but with a hefty price tag

The iconic 129-year-old steeple at St. George's Anglican Church has been successfully saved.

Now the congregation is pleading to the community to help it pay for the $521,000 restoration project.

"We need a lot of money. We need help from anywhere we can get it," said Nancy King, chairwoman of the project's capital campaign committee.

What began as a $150,000 project to repair the steeple's stone base ballooned to a half-million- dollar endeavour after workers with the heritage restoration company Roof Tile Management discovered structural damage inside the steeple's spire.

"The further they went, the worse the damage appeared to be to the point where it was a risk to the community," King said.
 

Click here for Link


15. St. Thomas Times-Journal: Alma plaque goes missing
Kyle Rea

The blue Ontario Heritage Trust plaque in front of Alma College is gone, and no one is sure who may have taken it, or why.

It's yet another blow to the historic school for girls, said Dawn Doty, neighbourhood resident and longtime Alma College advocate.

The school was destroyed by fire on May 28, 2008. Two teenage boys, 15 and 16 at the time, were convicted of arson last September in Alma's destruction.


"It (the missing plaque) is terrible, just terrible," Doty said. "It's another blow to Alma."

Doty said she last saw the plaque two weeks ago when she showed it to a visiting friend. But on Sunday, she noticed the plaque was missing. The steel post, on which the blue-and-gold plaque used to sit, is severed about four feet off the ground. It was installed 34 years ago by the Ontario Heritage Trust, a provincial agency, to mark the 100th anniversary of the historic school for girls. Each plaque weighs about 57 pounds (26 kilograms).


 

Click here for Link


16. St. Thomas Times-Journal: OMB and Alma
Eric Bunnell

OMB rejects order review

Alma College, or at least a replica front, may rise from the ashes of the landmark St. Thomas building.

For now.

Alma Heritage Estates has been turned down in its application to the Ontario Municipal Board for a review of an OMB decision requiring the company to rebuild the front of the former Alma College in any redevelopment of the property.

But in a decision last week, OMB member Steven Stefanko says it's only because the company's application didn't meet the board's very specific rules for requests for re-examination of its decisions.

And he encouraged Alma Heritage Estates to proceed:

"My decision . . . does not prevent the applicant from now proceeding with a specific request to the board . . . (and) I would invite the applicant to do so."

In an OMB-sanctioned deal two years ago for a demolition permit, Alma and the city had agreed that the college's signature tower would be preserved and the historic building's facade, reproduced.

But the company argued in a hearing last month that following a 2008 arson fire which destroyed the landmark, the OMB decision no longer was valid.

Stefanko said he didn't have authority to make a ruling on the highly-technical application. But with the fire, he acknowledged the OMB does need to update its order.

Click here for Link


17. Waterloo Record: A historic school should also be a school with the future
Julianna Thomson

My grandmother’s high school. My mother’s school. The famed sledding hill among the neighbourhood kids. This is how I describe Grand View Public School in Cambridge. Architecturally detailed. A building that lives its history. An inspiration.

All around the region we are promoting the line, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” We are doing this in many various ways. Using green bins and drinking from metal water bottles are but a few. By tearing down Grand View Public School and other old buildings and landmarks are we really promoting this line?

Should we tear it down or recycle it? That’s a good question. Maybe these facts will help you make up your mind.

Grand View Public School was built in 1923 and boasts architectural beauty. The school itself sits proudly on a hill and shows off its name, Grand View School, which is carved above the front doors. The building is not wheelchair accessible. There are classrooms in the basement. One of these classrooms has a singing air conditioner in it. The school needs to be updated. According to the school board inspection of the building, it was decided that it would cost $4.6 million to update and repair the school, and $7 million to build a new one. Which one sounds financially better?

Click here for Link


18. Waterloo Record: Historic buildings facing demolition part of tour
Terry Pender

Record staff/Record staff. Local architect John MacDonald stands near Halls Lane with the old Tannery in the background. MacDonald will be leading a walk on May 1 through Kitchener's warehouse district.

KITCHENER — John MacDonald jumped at the chance to lead a Jane’s Walk through the city’s Warehouse District on Saturday to talk about what’s happening to that section of downtown.

MacDonald, an architect who lives and works in the core and sat on a downtown revitalization task force in the mid-1990s, is a vocal opponent of the planned demolition of four historic buildings on Joseph Street that were part of the Lang Tannery.

Record staff/Record staff. Local architect John MacDonald stands near Halls Lane with the old Tannery in the background. MacDonald will be leading a walk on May 1 through Kitchener's warehouse district.

Click here for Link


19. Canadian Architect:Archigram Uncovered

Almost 10,000 images from one of architecture’s most revolutionary groups, Archigram, go online in a free website in April 2010. This initiative, from the University of Westminster’s Department of Architecture, creates probably the richest digital resource for modern architecture in the world. Now the astonishing range, sheer volume and continuing challenge of Archigram's work can be seen as never before through the openly available information technology they helped to predict.

 

Archigram were the most provocative and visionary of all the 1960s architecture groups. No architects before had looked so creatively at postwar consumer culture and the new possibilities that digital technology would offer. Much of Archigram's work became iconic – such as Ron Herron's image of Walking City arriving in Manhattan. Their importance to architecture was recognized when Archigram were awarded the RIBA’s Royal Gold Medal – that institution’s highest honour – in 2002. Until now, it has been almost impossible to get a comprehensive view of Archigram’s work.

 

Viewers of the Archigram Archival Project (http://archigram.westminster.ac.uk) can for the first time examine the full range of drawings, photographs and other material from over 200 projects created mainly in the 1960s and ‘70s by this group of six of architecture’s most influential figures: Warren Chalk, Dennis Crompton, Peter Cook, David Greene, Ron Herron and Michael Webb. The site reveals the extent of Archigram's ongoing challenges. World-famous projects including Walking City, Plug-in City and Instant City can be readily explored in detail, and seen against other visions of, and prototypes for, tomorrow’s lifestyles.

Click here for Link


20. Canadian Architect:Call for submissions for Open Doors exhibition
Christopher Hume

Inspired by the annual Doors Open event in Toronto, Christopher Hume - Urban Affairs Writer for The Toronto Star – is curating an exhibition that will take place at Gallery 1313 from May 26 to June 9, 2010.

 

The enormous success of Doors Open was a reminder of the great curiosity Torontonians feel for their city and its architecture. But architecture is about more than the design of buildings; each project, whether intended or not, is an argument for a world view, a way of life. This is where the artist comes into the picture. His or her task is to make the obvious apparent, if not visible.

 

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21. Globe and Mail: Governor General's Awards

Governor-General lauds architects Shim-Sutcliffe, Saucier + Perrotte win multiple medals for 2010

The Toronto firm of Shim-Sutcliffe took three prizes Tuesday among the dozen Governor-General's Medals in Architecture announced for 2010.

“The Canadian architects we are honouring have the gift of designing not only buildings, places and monuments, but living spaces that give soul to our cities, villages and communities,” Gov.-Gen. Michaelle Jean said in announcing the awards.

“The projects recognized this year are unique in their ability to blend the conceptual and the technical to bring together truly inspired contemporary Canadian architecture,” added Randy Dhar, president of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.

All the projects honoured were located in Ontario or Quebec. The awards, to be presented at a later date, are handed out in conjunction with the Canada Council for the Arts.

For photos and full list of winners go to RAIC website

http://www.raic.org/honours_and_awards/awards_gg_medals/2010recipients/index_e.htm

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22. Buffalo News: Atrium approved for Wright-designed gas station
Brian Meyer

Plans to build a gas station designed by Frank Lloyd Wright took a leap forward Tuesday when a city panel approved construction of a huge atrium to enclose the structure.

Planning Board members used words like "fabulous" and "great" to describe the second and largest phase of an expansion of the Buffalo Transportation/Pierce-Arrow Museum.

The board approved plans by businessman James T. Sandoro to build a 47-foot-high glass- and-steel atrium on the 200 block of Michigan Avenue near Seneca Street. The atrium will enclose the replica of Wright's filling station.

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Editor's Note:For more on this project, see http://www.wrightnowinbuffalo.com/whattodo/wright_legacy.asp#filling


23. Globe and Mail: Hollywood sign saved with a little help from the Hef
Jeff Wilson

Hollywood sign saved with a little help from the Hef
Property behind landmark won’t be developed thanks to a group of private investors

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said Monday a final $900,000 (U.S.) donation by Playboy founder Hugh Hefner completed the $12.5-million fundraising drive to protect the 138 acres behind the famous sign.

The Governor praised the public and private partnership in raising the money to keep the property out of hands of developers. The Trust for Public Land conservation group raised $6.7-million in private funds, the state raised $3.1-million and local funds provided $2.7-million.

Mr. Hefner, who calls the sign “Hollywood's Eiffel Tower,” put the effort over the top.

Mr. Schwarzenegger called it “the Hollywood ending we hoped for.”

“It's a symbol of dreams and opportunity,” Mr. Schwarzenegger said of the sign. “The Hollywood sign will welcome dreamers, artists and Austrian bodybuilders for generations to come.”

The Governor praised the conservation effort and public/private partnership, borrowing from his Hollywood days: “I did what the 'Terminator' was supposed to do, and that was to jump into action.”

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24. Michigan Now: School Demolitions in Detroit

DPS Razing School Designed by Guardian Bldg Architect

 Detroit Schools chief Robert Bobb is under court order to stop his plans to change the curriculum. But his plan to demolish 14 school buildings is moving ahead. Michigan Now’s Chris McCarus reports.

On Monday, the Detroit Public Schools, under emergency financial manager Robert Bobb, announced a new institute for construction. Students will learn building skills. The money will come from the multi-million dollar bond voters approved last year. Last month, Bobb announced his 5 year plan. It includes demolition.

“Last year we closed 29 schools, saving $14 million annually. We determined that we could not close buildings as they were closed in the past. So this time we removed all of the materials from the buildings, sometimes successfully, I might add, and sometimes unsuccessfully. But there are buildings that are school buildings that will be demolished in the next few weeks you’ll find desks, chairs and student records all over the place. What a shame. What a shame.”

Fourteen schools will be demolished by June. With more to go down in the future. Many were built in the 1950’s and 60’s. They lack the detail and strength of earlier buildings. But many schools are from the teens and twenties. Take Breitmeyer Elementary. It’s on the west side of I-75, right across from the Bing Group building. Near Holbrook. Real estate developer Joel Landy came to take a look.

“I’m very worried, we’re all very worried that our historic structures in Detroit are being thrown away.”

Before the Beal Demolition Company sealed it for asbestos removal 2 weeks ago, the back door was open. You could see graffiti and light switches ripped from walls. A sea of papers. Cardboard boxes. Bed sheets. A Detroit Federation of Teachers handbook. A plastic globe of the world, chopped in half. One wall had a poster from DPS, operation education, vision, mission, building brighter futures. In the grass was tossed a textbook from 1972. The history of Detroit, Wayne County and Michigan.

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25. New York Times: In Shanghai, Preservation Takes Work
DAN LEVIN

Wuijang Road. Jackson Lowen for The New York Times

In many ways development in this city has followed a pattern common to much of urban China since the economic reforms of the 1980s. After decades of neglect following the Communist revolution, the old fabric of Shanghai began to give way, first in a ripple and then a frenzy of demolition and new construction. Particularly since 2002, when plans were announced for the 2010 World Expo — an international trade fair that opened here on Saturday and is expected to draw 70 million visitors — the city has been in a state of perpetual reconstruction.

Amid the clang of jackhammers, swarms of migrant workers have been erecting glass-walled hotels and office towers, digging subway lines and building elevated highways — and in the process demolishing whole swaths of traditional lanes known as lilongs and venerable Western-style buildings from the days of the American and European settlements here. The government of Shanghai spent $45 billion on urban and Expo-related development in the last eight years, more than Beijing spent in advance of the Olympics.

But although this construction has radically changed the character of the city, which like Beijing has seen thousands of residents forcibly relocated in the name of instant progress, preservationists both in and outside China take some comfort that the demolition has not been as indiscriminate here as in other cities, including Beijing.

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26. The Independent: Condom Architecture???
Jay Merrick

A team of Sydney-based designers are the pioneers behind an unusual proposal for encasing buildings with hi-tech sheaths. Jay Merrick unwraps 'condom architecture'

Picture, for a moment, the buildings you really loathe – the ones you think are such a brutish affront to humane urban life that they should be flattened. The NatWest tower in London, perhaps? Or, if you want to think mendaciously big, what about the whole of the centre of Croydon? Now re-imagine them, but this time encased in giant condoms. You needn't be too shocked, because that's exactly what a trio of Australian-based high-tech architects called LAVA are proposing – and they've said the Barbican in London is a suitable case for treatment.

The idea of sheathed buildings is not entirely trivial. And the forms that LAVA, or the Laboratory for Visionary Architecture, are proposing raise fresh ambiguities about architectural causes and effects. Will buildings with high- tech skins make architecture an increasingly superficial experience; or are we seeing the first strange expressions of a new kind of environmental design? These designers are not just theorists. Led by Chris Bosse, and working with engineers, Arup, LAVA created the visually and technically advanced bubble-wrap that formed the weirdly cellulitic facades of the Water Cube at the Beijing Olympics. This is very much can-do technology.

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