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Issue No. 179 | July 19, 2011

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Feature Stories

  1. Heritage Toronto announces 2011 Summer Program of Free Walking Tours
  2. The Speaker's Neighbourhood
  3. 21 Avenue Road - A New Opportunity?
  4. Ontario Capital Precinct Working Group
  5. urban Toronto: 100 Adelaide St. West
  6. Oxford Properties: Proposal for New Office Tower at Concourse Building Site
  7. blogTO:The Concourse Debate

Events

1 and 2 Day Courses for Heritage Professionals and Masons, lead by Dr.Gerard Lynch
Tuesday August 9, 2011 OR Wednesday August 10, 2011
+ read


Tea and Book Launch - Windermere House
Saturday, August 6th
+ read


Heritage Planning Workshop
October 22-23, 2011 and November 5-6, 2011
+ read


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1. Death of Margaret Carter, Heritage Consultant and Advocate
Jodi Franklin, CAHP

Margaret Carter Hurford was a longtime member of CAHP since 1987 and a pillar of the heritage community. She mentored and influenced many professionals who today are key players in the heritage field. Margaret will be sadly missed by the heritage community.

Saturday June 18, 2011, Globe & Mail HURFORD, Margaret Carter Public historian and principal of Heritage Research Associates Inc. Passed away May 28th after battling cancer. She passionately dedicated her life to love of her family, children, and Canadian history. Born Margaret Ann Carter on June 17, 1947 in Hamilton, she was the beloved daughter of John Carter and Jean Hamilton, and older sister to Virginia, David, and Lynda. She is survived by her children Sarah, John and Kevin. A professional historian with a background in multi- disciplinary preservation research, she produced and managed diverse projects across Canada. She worked on many public heritage sites including the Byward Market and Rideau Hall. A memorial will be held in her honour at the Central Chapel of Hulse, Playfair, and McGarry at 315 McLeod St. (at O'Connor), Ottawa, June 25th from 6 to 9PM


2. Have a Great Summer
Catherine Nasmith

Just to let you know that BHN will be taking a summer break, will be back in September.

I am in Windermere for the summer, working on a couple of very interesting projects in the neighbourhood. 

Please continue to post items at BHN, they will appear on the website and go out with the September email newsletter.

Hope you are having  a great summer.

Cheers,

Cathy


3. Winnipeg's 1964 Modernist Airport under serious threat

The Winnipeg International Airport (now known as the James Armstrong Richardson Airport) was designed by Green, Blankstein and Russell, Winnipeg's most prominent post-war architectural firm. Opened in 1964, as one of the first series of terminals designed for jet passenger aircraft in Canada, Winnipeg's airport is widely recognized as one of the finest examples of mid-century modern architecture in the country. It remains the only major terminal that has not been either renovated beyond recognition or demolished.

Of particular note with this airport was the integration of public art into the design as well as the extensive use of the latest in Canadian and internationally designed furniture. The mounted artworks instill a gallery-like quality in the open spaces of the main hall and mezzanine level. The two mounted works of art, Eli Bornstein's Structurist Relief in Fifteen Parts (1962) and John Graham's Northern Lights (1964), are significant surviving modernist works, adding colour and playfulness to the subdued and minimalist space.

A new terminal is under construction and is scheduled to open in late 2011. No public announcement has yet been made on the future of the 1964 terminal, although the intent to demolish has been stated.
For more information, including where to write to express your concern, please visit:
save the winnipeg airport terminal on Facebook.


4. Heritage Toronto announces 2011 Summer Program of Free Walking Tours
Historic neighbourhood walks take part from Warden Woods to the Village of Humber Bay and in between

Heritage Toronto continues its 17th year of free historic walking tours all across the city. Held most weekends throughout April to September, 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 summer schedule include The Wonders of Warden Woods, Cabbagetown's Medical Heritage, Don Valley and Evergreen Brickworks, Exploring Broadview: From Todmorden to East Chinatown, Lawrence Park: A Garden Suburb, and St. Philip's Church Cemetery.

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 July to September schedule includes tours of:
 

  • Saturday, July 16  1:30 PM: THE QUEENS PARK STROLL
  • Sunday, July 17  1:30 PM: BETWEEN THE BRIDGE AND THE BREWERY: TRINITY BELLWOODS NEIGHBOURHOOD
  • Sunday, July 17  1:30 PM: THEATRES IN OLD TORONTO
  • Wednesday, July 20  7:00 PM: KENSINGTON MARKET
  • Saturday, July 23  10:00 AM: THE WONDERS OF WARDEN WOODS (NEW)
  • Saturday, July 23  1:30 PM: CABBAGETOWNS MEDICAL HERITAGE (NEW)
  • Sunday, July 24  2:00 PM: BABY POINT: 10,000 YEARS OF HISTORY
  • Saturday, August 6  1:30 PM: MOUNT DENNIS
  • Sunday, August 7  1:30 PM: WINCHESTER STREET AND THE NECROPOLIS
  • Saturday, August 13  1:30 PM: THE TREES OF QUEENS PARK
  • Sunday, August 14  12:15 PM: THE DON VALLEY AND EVERGREEN BRICK WORKS (NEW)
  • Sunday, August 21  1:30 PM: MACKENZIES TORONTO
  • Saturday, August 27  11:00 AM: EXPLORING BROADVIEW: FROM TODMORDEN TO EAST CHINATOWN (NEW)
  • Sunday, August 28  11:00 AM: YORKVILLE
  • Saturday, September 10  10:30 AM: LAWRENCE PARK: A GARDEN SUBURB (NEW)
  • Sunday, September 11  1:30 PM: ATOP THE DAVENPORT HILL IN THE 1920S
  • Saturday, September 17  1:30 PM: CAMPUS AND COSMOS: ASTRONOMY IN TORONTO
  • Sunday, September 18  1:30 PM: ST. PHILIPS CHURCH CEMETERY (NEW)
  • Saturday, September 24  10:30 AM: EDWARDS GARDENS AND THE TORONTO BOTANICAL GARDEN

Sunday, September 25  1:30 PM: THE VILLAGE OF HUMBER BAY

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 and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.


5. The Speaker's Neighbourhood
Catherine Nasmith

As the sole occupant of the Legislative Building, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly has a unique perspective on Queen’s Park and University Avenue. The current occupant, Speaker Peters, more than any Speaker in recent memory has shown a deep commitment to this place. To have him lead a walk through his front yard was a real privilege for the 100 or so people who took him up on a most unusual invitation to the public. It was also remarkable to be welcomed into the Legislative Building as if we were visiting him at home, which in fact we were.

This walk was a way for him to share his sense of the importance of these places. It is hard to imagine anyone in such high office in another jurisdiction, or even Ottawa, being so generous with the public. Anyone could come. Many joined in as we moved up University Avenue.

The tour began on the front lawn of Osgoode Hall, with about 90 people gathered. Speaker Peters welcomed everyone and then pointed out his concerns about development north of Queen’s Park encroaching on the dignity of the Ontario Capital Precinct. At several stops as we moved up University Avenue consultant Robert Allsopp explained the impact of potential and approved development from various vantage points.

The magic of the evening was the enthusiasm of our guide as we moved from one site to another. There are so many important monuments and buildings, such as Walter Allward’s monument to Adam Beck at Queen and University, the Airman’s monument at Dundas, a monument to fire fighters, various iterations of Ontario Hydro, Sir John A Macdonald at the southern end of Queen’s Park, the new war memorial. The best guide to them is John Warkentin’s book, Creating Memory.

Speaker Peters’ sense of ownership of the gardens around the Legislative Building came through as he asked people to keep an eye out for a pair of red hawks who have been nesting near his office window….and then as if on cue he spotted the pair, one perched on the centre of the peak of the great central roof and atop the flag pole. He pointed out to the refurbished plantings in the gardens, he has been responsible for planting the beds with perrenials…..Trilliums will now be found on the grounds of Queen’s Park….how obvious is that, yet amazing that it has only recently been done.

That would have been enough, but we were then invited in to have a look around his house, which iin fact belongs to all Ontarians. He skipped the places one can go on a standard tour of the building. We started in his office where he talked about his commandeering of his favourite paintings. an eclectic collection of important artists and includes pieces featuring St. Thomas where he lives, and also Jumbo the elephant…a St. Thomas legend. http://www.mysteriesofcanada.com/Ontario/jumbo_the_elephant.html 

Speaker Peters also pointed out the recently restored windows in his office, easily 8 or 9 feet tall, 4 to five feet wide, double hung and operated with just a finger. He even began a puppet show using the handmade puppet of himself given to him on his retirement by the Pages of the Assembly.

From there the group was divided to go to the attic, a grand piranesian space, and the legislative chamber. Many took advantage of the opportunity to have their photios taken in the Speaker’s chair. From the attic one can gain access to a balcony on the east side that has a magnificent view down University Avenue. On the other side is a grand circular window, Alas, getting a clock installed there will have to wait for a future Speaker, this government decided against the expense.

What was impressive was how invisible Queen’s Park security was as we toured the building. No doubt the guards were there, but we barely saw them. The evening ended with refreshments in the Speaker’s apartment.

All in all it was a real treat for everyone who took advantage of the invitation.
I hope the next Speaker is as open and welcoming to the public as Speaker Peters has been, and as interested in sharing and celebrating Ontario’s House and its gardens.


6. 21 Avenue Road - A New Opportunity?
Catherine Nasmith

Councillor Wong-Tam recently convened a large meeting to have a preliminary discussion with representatives of a potential purchaser of the 21 Avenue Road project. Camrost is considering purchasing the controversial property which  comes with permission from the City and the OMB to build two towers which will rise above the roofline of the L.A. when seen from anywhere south of College on University Avenue.

Adam Brown, who was the lawyer for the current owners, Menkes has been hired by the potential owners Camrost to undertake due dilegence for them, spoke on their behalf. Camrost is testing the potential public and planning reaction to their proposal.

WZMH architects presented preliminary plans for the site, converting the existing Four Season’s Hotel building to condominium. Interestingly WZMH were the architects for the existing hotel building, which is so well built it would take two years to demolish. Renovating rather than demolishing also allows the owner to sell units much sooner. The remaining density is proposed to be accommodated in a 900 m2 tower to the south which would be 128m including the elevator penthouse. This is 4-5 stories less than the current approved towers, but still considerably higher than the existing hotel so would have significant impacts on the view of the silhouette of the Legislative Assembly building from anywhere south of College on University Avenue. The ground level is all retail space, eliminating a nasty undercover car drop off and entrance off of Avenue Road.

Having the developer come forward to get public comment so early in their process was very well received.

Generally the proposal was seen as an improvement for keeping the existing building but there is still concern about the impact on the Queen’s Park Views. Councillor Wong Tam is hoping to at least eliminate any impact on the silhouette from College Street.

As representative of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario I suggested that the second tower be reduced to the height of the existing hotel and the density be transferred to the east of the existing hotel tower. At the OMB hearing the Legislative Assembly of Ontario’s appeal was that the new development not make the view any worse, ie no higher than the existing hotel building. Others, including ACO argued for a clear profile from Queen Street, which is considered to be the entrance to the “Capital Precinct”. However as the OMB decision so clearly points out there is no policy in place at either the City or the province to protect this view.

However, for the developer, changing the plans to accommodate the stated position of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario would create a lot of good will for the project.

Cross your fingers, kiss that rabbit’s foot…..it might prove more effective than the planning system has been so far. 


7. Ontario Capital Precinct Working Group
Catherine Nasmith

A citizen's group formed to celebrate and argue for protection for Ontario's Capital Precinct

Take a look at this website, more to come. 

As the election heats up, ask your candidates for MPP what they intend to do to protect the heritage views of the Legislative Assembly building in Toronto. 

If they don't know how to answer suggest they take a look at this site. And email them the link:

 

Click here for Link


8. Toronto Star: Opionion-Protecting Queen's Park Viewshed
Catherine Nasmith

What's that growing out of the Legislature?

“This is your house, this is my house, our house is a special place and must be protected.”

A citizen member of the Ontario Capital Precinct Working Group (OCPWG) penned the above phrase. OCPWG is a citizens’ alliance, formed following the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) decision permitting condominium towers at 21 Avenue Rd. that will have a huge negative impact on the silhouette of the Ontario Legislature.

The alliance aims to raise awareness of the need for a plan for Ontario’s Capital Precinct, a plan that will ensure the dignity of our most important civic place — University Avenue, Queen’s Park and associated areas. Dignity demands protecting our view of these democratic symbols.

The OMB decision made it clear that it’s open season on the view of Queen’s Park if government doesn’t step in. The visual materials prepared by the Centre for Landscape Research and the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario show what is entirely possible — and in fact quite likely — if no one acts.

Click here for Link


9. urban Toronto: 100 Adelaide St. West

Oxford Properties Release Renderings For New Office Building At 100 Adelaide Street West

The office space boom just keeps coming as Toronto's core continues to boom. Today we have word that Oxford Properties is now starting the marketing for a new tower at 100 Adelaide West. Also known as Richmond Adelaide III as it it part of the Richmond Adelaide complex.

Here we see the southwest corner of the 28 storey tower....

Click here for Link


10. Oxford Properties: Proposal for New Office Tower at Concourse Building Site
Comments, Catherine Nasmith

100 Adelaide St. W.

It is not clear whether the existing facade is being kept in tact or reconstructed stretched to suit new floor to floors for offices. It is astounding that Oxford can't seem to find a way to develop the tower as is, and build new office space to the north. 

Ten years ago, Margie Zeidler and the Toronto Preservation Board fought a highly public, but losing battle against a similar proposal, but alas Council agreed to gutting this building.

Public outrage was such that it built pressure for a stronger Ontario Heritage Act.

The Concourse has been on borrowed time since then....it would seem that rumours of a condo conversion were just rumours.

It is one thing to junk low rise buildings, but pretty amazing when office towers go in the dumpster.

Take a look.

Click here for Link


11. blogTO:The Concourse Debate
Derek Flack

Is facade preservation better than nothing?

I suppose the question that leads this post typifies Toronto's oft-troubled relationship with its heritage structures. Given the disdain shown for preservation in this city — an attitude more prevalent in the 1970s, but still alive and well today — one tends to have low expectations when it comes to matters involving the future of our historical buildings. These modest expectations, of course, tend to leave one satisfied by mediocrity.

Perhaps that's why I can't decide what to think about a new set of renderings for 100 Adelaide Street West. Currently occupied by the Concourse Building, one of Toronto's best examples of Art Deco architecture, Oxford Properties plans to build a 28-storey office tower on the site that, you guessed it, preserves the exterior of the original 1929 building but that guts the interior. Facadism once again rears its head.

On the one hand, the plans look quite impressive. In the absence of the heritage conundrum, the tower's a clear winner, even if it could be a bit taller. Given, however, that its construction necessitates the loss of the Concourse Building, it becomes more difficult to endorse the project without some major reservations. Why, many have asked, can't Oxford build the new structure on one of its nearby properties?

Click here for Link


12. InsideToronto.com
Tamara Shephard

Century-old cottage's future unknown: Councillors to vote on Gardener's Cottage's heritage designation or demolition this fall

Whether the Gardener's Cottage is granted heritage designation and preserved or demolished will be decided this fall. Etobicoke York Community Council this week deferred until September debate and decisions on both matters on properties at 2669-2673 Lake Shore Blvd. W. known as the Gardener's Cottage and Fetherstonhaugh Estates.

The deferral enables the owner to conduct a survey of the properties just west of Royal York Road, Sean Gosnell, lawyer for the Ontario numbered company that owns the property, told councillors Wednesday morning.

"The applicant has no conceptual difficulty with the (cottage's) heritage value," Gosnell said, noting his client has hired a heritage architect who has identified drywall in the cottage that needs to be removed. "My client won't do anything to the cottage in the interim. We're hopeful we're able to come to a mutual agreement.

Click here for Link


13. Toronto Modern, A Great Blog
Robert Moffat, forwarded by Tye Farrow

This blog contains the stories of many of Toronto's modern landmarks, many are gone now. 

Top Story, Four Season's Motor Hotel

Opened in the spring of 1961, the Four Seasons Motor Hotel at 415 Jarvis Street launched the Four Seasons empire of luxury hotels. Builder and budding hotelier Isadore Sharp approached architects Peter Dickinson Associates with the concept of a high-style, premium-service motor hotel in downtown Toronto, and Dickinson responded with a sophisticated yet relaxed urban oasis that became an immediate critical and commercial success.

Sharp’s Jarvis Street site was small and in a decidedly unglamourous neighbourhood, so Dickinson turned the Four Seasons inward, focusing the restaurant, bar and most guest rooms upon an interior garden courtyard. Parking and corridors lined the building perimeter, and a fieldstone wall enclosed the entrance drive and buffered traffic. Cubic forms of white-painted brick floated above the building’s fieldstone base, smartly contrasted by balconies and screens of black metal and oiled California rosewood. The lobby was reached by a bridge across a shallow reflecting pool, sheltered by Dickinson’s trademark flaring canopy. Floor-to-ceiling glass blurred distinctions between inside and outside and provided tantalizing views of the courtyard beyond.

Click here for Link


14. Toronto Star: First Parliament Interpretive Centre Announcement
Christopher Hume

The war (of 1812) is over, but the battle continues

It may be the first home of democracy in Ontario, but the way we carry on, you’d think that was something to be ashamed of.

Still, Michael Chan, provincial minister of culture and tourism — nice combination, that — did manage some good news yesterday when he announced the site of Upper Canada’s first parliament will become an interpretive centre for the War of 1812 and Toronto heritage.

Those who have been paying attention thought that decision was made years ago, when the province and the property’s former owner did a land swap. The Porsche dealership that once occupied the site moved out and across the road; that’s why there are now two identical dealerships — one open, one closed — at the corner.

Apparently, the politics of heritage are a little too hot for the provincial cabinet to handle. Rather than celebrate history, they prefer to leave it dead and buried.

As a compromise, the building will be wrapped in vinyl printed with appropriate historic images and “The War of 1812” in English and French. Inside, there will be artifacts, exhibits and text.

In case you’ve forgotten, the parliament building was torched (along with Fort York and the armory) by American troops in 1813 during their invasion of what’s now Ontario. In retaliation, British soldiers set fire to the building in Washington, D.C., now known as the White House.

The site of the parliament, on the southwest corner of Front and Parliament Sts., was abandoned as the city moved west and turned to industrial uses. The rest of the block east of the centre, privately owned, is a carwash and truck rental company.

The landlord has his own development plans, which include twin condo towers — though that scheme was turned down by community council this week.

However, explains local Councillor Pam McConnell — as crafty a political operator as any gathered for Thursday’s event — the announcement is a step in the right direction.

“I like to hang one thing on another,” McConnell explained. “This is an opportunity for us to acquire the land beside us. We are in the process of figuring out what the owner needs. It will also bring a focus to what is underneath the pavement here. It’s an incredibly important first step.”

Click here for Link


15. Urban Toronto: First Parliament Site Announcement with Pics
Dumitru Onceanu

Ontario Heritage Trust Announces First Parliament Interpretive Centre

Sheltered from the rain in the old Porsche dealership on Front Street at Berkeley, the Ontario Government announced yesterday the next step in the ongoing efforts to honour the site of the first parliament buildings of Ontario, then Upper Canada.

The event was hosted by Richard Moorhouse, Executive Director of the Ontario Heritage Trust, and the announcement was made by Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism and Culture. Other speakers included Glen Murray, MPP for Toronto Centre, Dr. Thomas Symons, Chairman for the Ontario Heritage Trust, and Rollo Myers, co-founder of Citizens for the Old Town. Pam McConnell, Councillor for Ward 28, Toronto Centre-Rosedale, was also in attendance.


Drawing of Upper Canada's first parliament buildings. Image from Canadian Heritage Gallery.


Ontario Heritage Foundation plaque currently marking site of the first parliament buildings. Image from torontohistory.org.

If anyone came to the event hoping to hear that the site would soon be cleared to unearth the remains of the First Parliament that are buried beneath the surface, they quickly learned that would not be the case. Amidst years of discussion to reunite the entire site, negotiations are ongoing, and no one should realistically expect an imminent resolution: the land remains divided into four properties. One parcel is owned by City of Toronto, one by the Ontario Heritage Trust on behalf of the Province, and the other two by PNF Holdings. While PNF pursues a zoning change to allow the erection of two condominium towers, rising to 20 and 57 storeys above an L-shaped podium, on their properties which surround the publicly owned portions, The City, Citizens for the Old Town, and the Heritage Trust seek to swap PNF's land for surplus publicly owned land nearby.

Click here for Link


16. Guelph Mercury: Disappearing School Buildings
Susan Ratcliffe

Old school buildings offer many new lessons

The halls are silent now. No feet running through the hallways. No voices calling out to friends. No homework on the black boards.

No more teachers, no more books, and for many downtown schools . . . no more buildings. In June 2012, Tytler Public School, built in 1908, will close its doors for the last time. In other small communities, like Brighton, Ont., many spacious and gracious pre-war brick schools are facing demolition.

Walk with me through James S. Bell Public School, in Long Branch, a former village now part of west-end of Toronto. It was like many brick schools of its era. Walk through the wide, wooden-floored corridors, walk up the well-trodden stairs worn by the feet of thousands of students who walked before me. As we enter the huge classroom, look through windows that stretch from the radiators to the ceiling, windows that open to let in the fresh air. Across the front of the room are the long blackboards with their dusty chalk ledges. At the back of the room, we enter the cloak room with hooks for coats and cubicles for wet boots. See the shadowy figure of a bad kid sitting on a stool facing the wall. Open the door with its big window and hear the creaky floors echo as our footsteps walk back in time.

I learned to read in that school by following the adventures of Dick and Jane and Spot.

I learned to write in that school by tracing the capitals and small letters with inky fingers holding the scratchy nib of the black-handled pen. I chased my friends around the grassed school yard and walked home every day, rain or shine.

Where is that school now? A pile of rubble in landfill.

Where are the wide hallways and high ceilings? An echo in my memory.

Click here for Link


17. Canadian Architect: Obituary, Detlef Mertins

Detlef Mertins: architect, historian, professor, writer, modernist (1954-2011) 2011-06-21

Detlef Mertins, a pre-eminent historian and professor of modern architecture, died on January 13, 2011. He was 56. The cause of death was kidney cancer after a year-and-a-half illness, said his wife, Keller Easterling.

Dr. Mertins was an architect, a professor and a prodigious writer. Born in Stuttgart on October 14, 1954, he immigrated with his parents to Canada in 1960. Detlef grew up in a family where design, art, and music figured prominently; his mother worked for Knoll Furniture in Stuttgart and his father was an architect. His sisters Heike and Doris described Detlef's contagious enthusiasm: "Walking through Toronto neighbourhoods, Detlef would eagerly point out building features and styles. Even before we could travel to Europe ourselves, we had already visited dozens of places with the help of Detlef's European slide shows."

Click here for Link


18. New York Times: Rem Koolhaus attacks "Preservation"
Nicolai Ouroussoff

Review. Exhibition, An Architect

That’s the conclusion you may come to after seeing “Cronocaos” at the New Museum. Organized by Rem Koolhaas and Shohei Shigematsu, a partner in Mr. Koolhaas’s Office for Metropolitan Architecture, the show draws on ideas that have been floating around architectural circles for several years now — particularly the view among many academics that preservation movements around the world, working hand in hand with governments and developers, have become a force for gentrification and social displacement, driving out the poor to make room for wealthy homeowners and tourists.

Mr. Koolhaas’s vision is even more apocalyptic. A skilled provocateur, he paints a picture of an army of well-meaning but clueless preservationists who, in their zeal to protect the world’s architectural legacies, end up debasing them by creating tasteful scenery for docile consumers while airbrushing out the most difficult chapters of history. The result, he argues, is a new form of historical amnesia, one that, perversely, only further alienates us from the past.

“Cronocaos” was first shown at the 2010 architecture biennale in Venice, the ultimate example of what can happen to an aged city when it is repackaged for tourists. In New York the show is housed in a former restaurant-supply store next to the museum on the Bowery, in a neighborhood where the threats to urban diversity include culture as well as tourism. The Bowery’s lively bar scene has been pushed out by galleries and boutiques. CBGB, the former rock club, is a John Varvatos store.

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:I would think that if Rem Koolhaus spent time talking to preservation urbanists like Anthony Tung he might find he has more in common with him than he thinks. Koolhaus is posing some good questions. Given Koolhaus' criticism it is amazing that anyone still objects to preservation on the grounds of depressing property values. The issue is quite the opposite.


19. New York Times: Restoration of London Terrace Gardens
Alison Gregor, forwarded by Penina Coopersmith

Restoration Revealed Piece by Piece

A $7.7 million facade renovation at London Terrace Gardens in Chelsea is set for completion this fall.

CHELSEA residents could be pardoned if they’ve forgotten what the Anglo-Italianate facade of the statuesque London Terrace Gardens apartment complex looks like: It’s been shrouded in scaffolding for years while undergoing a painstaking restoration.


The building has many interesting features like eagle-shaped scupper drains.

The eagle-shaped scupper drains required the creation of more than a dozen molds.


But that scaffolding, much of which is covered in colorful artwork, has been coming down piece by piece in recent months, revealing once again the grand entrances with columns and capitals along with the scuppers and spindles of cast stone that decorate the 10 buildings.

The entire three-year, $7.7 million facade restoration project, which is being done to the standards of the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (though the buildings themselves do not have landmark status), is expected to be completed by this fall, said Ellen Gribben Bornet, the general manager of London Terrace Gardens, which is managed Rose Associates Inc. Ms. Bornet said the apartment complex has an employee whose full-time job is to coordinate the restoration with residents.

“It’s a gorgeous building — or rather, 10 of them — so the owners were very committed to a full restoration project,” she said. “They view this as being for the next generation; their interest is in not only maintaining the place, but making it beautiful.”

Click here for Link


20. BBC Travel: The World's Strangest Buildings - OCAD, Toronto, Canada
Karrie Jacobs

The World's Strangest Buildings - Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto, Canada

British architect Will Alsop planted this collection of galleries and studios on bright columns so angled and skinny they look like they cannot support themselves.

Click here for Link


21. BBC News London: St Paul's Cathedral completes £40m restoration project

St Paul's Cathedral completes £40m restoration project

The St Paul's Cathedral programme of cleaning and repair took 15 years and is one of the largest restoration projects ever undertaken in the UK.

It is the first time in its history that St Paul's has been comprehensively restored inside and out.

The culmination of the cleaning project coincides with the 300th anniversary of the cathedral being declared complete by Parliament.

'Wren's original vision'

It is also the first time in 15 years that the landmark is free from scaffolding.

A service will be held to celebrate the 300th anniversary on Tuesday 21 June.

The project has seen the west front cleaned and repaired while the interior of the cathedral has been transformed by state-of-the-art conservation techniques.

The Right Reverend Graeme Knowles, Dean of St Paul's, said: "The two million worshippers, pilgrims and visitors who come to St Paul's each year can now witness [Sir Christopher] Wren's original vision and see the cathedral as fresh as the day it was completed."

Martin Stancliffe, Surveyor to the Fabric, who has overseen the restoration project, described it as a "privilege - and an extraordinary experience".

"This great building is now in a sound state, and probably looks better than at any time since its completion in 1711," he said.

St Paul's is the cathedral church of the diocese of London, which it has served for over 1,400 years.

Charles II

Each year nearly two million people visit the cathedral for services, concerts, debates, educational events, performing arts and sightseeing.

A cathedral dedicated to St Paul has stood on the same site since 604AD.

Sir Christopher Wren's 300-year-old masterpiece is the fourth one to have been built there.

Court architect Wren was commissioned by Charles II to build the cathedral after its predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666.

It took Wren a decade to design the building and 40 years for it to be built.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-13792581

Click here for Link