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Issue No. 196 | April 15, 2012

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Feature Stories

  1. Willowbank buys old Laura Secord school
  2. York Square Redevelopment - More Threats to Queen
  3. Ontario Northland: History for Sale
  4. Now Magazine: The State of Heritage Preservation in Toronto
  5. You can Help Save Mimico Wesley Church

Events

Hamilton on the Cusp
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
+ read


Riverdale Historical Society April event
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
+ read


Successful Ways to Promote Economic Development and Community Identity
Saturday April 14
+ read


The Art & Architecture of The Hamilton Club
Saturday, April 28, 2012
+ read


CHANGE OF VENUE - RIVERDALE HISTORICAL SOCIETY APRIL EVENT
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
+ read


Continuing Education Course -- Toronto Commercial Architecture: Shops to Skyscrapers
Wednesdays, May 2 - June 20, 2012 (8 sessions)
+ read


Building Storeys
May 2, 2012
+ read


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1. Willowbank buys old Laura Secord school
Niagara ADVANCE

ST. CATHARINES - A Queenston school steeped in history will expand at the end of the month.

Willowbank, the national historic site that also houses a school for cultural heritage, has purchased the former Laura Secord Elementary School property in the town in order to expand. The old public school, which was closed because of dwindling enrolment, is a stones throw from the historic site.

It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for us, said Frank Racioppo, treasurer of Willowbanks board of directors. We knew we had to act swiftly.

If all goes as planned, the expansion will allow the school to grow its enrolment to 24 students by 2014 and increase its programming.

This really takes us from being a boutique school to a campus, said Shelley Huson, Willowbanks director of development.

When the school heard about the opportunity to acquire the property from the District School Board of Niagara, it reached out to the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Together with a representative from the RBC Royal Bank, they secured financing of $600,000 to land the property.

Part of the school property will be converted to a park for town residents.

Were very grateful to the DSBN, Racioppo said. We understand all of the challenges they have had with closing schools and how hard it is. This is a good news story coming out of it.

Willowbank offers students, many of whom have previous post-secondary degrees, the chance to study how heritage properties can be maintained and used sustainably by a community. Their programming ranges from the theoretical to hands-on design work that helps repair heritage buildings.

The deal closes March 27. The first event planned for the facility is a graduation ceremony May 5.

The Willowbank board has launched a capital campaign to finance the purchase of the school, upgrades it will require and improvements to the Willowbank estate itself. The group hopes to raise $1.5 million over the next two years. Thus far, the campaign has brought in $250,000.

We want to make sure the school is still centred here at the estate, Huson said.


2. York Square Redevelopment - More Threats to Queen

According to Councillor Kristen Wong-Tam’s office there are now 8 or 9 development applications in the pipe which could impact on the historic views of Queen’s Park. The most advanced is a proposal from Empire Communities for a 38 storey tower on the site of Yorkvilles, York Square.


York Square was a revolutionary development in its day, designed by architects Diamond and Myers in the mid 1960’s. It was home to the famous Book Cellar, and remains home to Vidal Sassoon. Instead of razing all buildings and starting fresh, the project reused existing Victorian buildings and with some interesting additions, created a European scale shopping environment in Yorkville. The restaurant courtyard remains one of the city’s best places to enjoy a summer lunch.


Almost ten years before there was an Ontario Heritage Act, it was one of several projects from this inventive partnership that explored ideas of infill and historic preservation. Other projects along similar lines were the Hydro Block and the infill project at Dundas and Sherbourne. These were heady days in Toronto, days of the arrival of Jane Jacobs, Ken Greenberg, John Sewell, Karl Jaffary and David Crombie, figures who would set the stage for Toronto’s and other American cities for decades to come.


The proposal for redevelopment retains nothing of the original project, and seems like so many other entries into Toronto’s endless condo boom. However just as it seemed we might be making some headway with bringing the 21 Avenue Road down in height, this project will be even higher than what was approved by the Ontario Municipal Board. Its impact on the Queen’s Park viewshed will be significant.


The City has been crawling forward to develop views protection for the post card view of the Pink Palace from College and University Avenue, and there is discussion of trying to protect the silhouette from Queen Street. Even if the City succeeds in putting protection in place, it will have to continually defend those standards at the OMB to all comers. Sooner or later there is bound to be a chink in weak armour.


The best way for this view to be protected is for the province to introduce legislation. McGuinty has been dragging his heels on that file, but perhaps might be persuaded by an opposition that now holds the balance of power.

There is information about the York Square re- development at Urban Toronto.

 


3. Ontario Northland: History for Sale
Catherine Nasmith

Cobalt Train Station, John M. Lyle

This piece is being composed on the Ontario Northland train from Muskoka to Toronto. I am sitting in the dining car, nursing a beverage and watching the spectacular Ontario countryside slide by. We just passed Lake Couchiching, a view that probably hasn’t changed since the Ontario government built the rail iine to the north early in the 20th century. I am looking forward to the scenic trip into Toronto through the Don Valley, and the turn at the end when the City rises in front of you, almost magical after miles and miles through forest and lakes.

There is no doubt this train has seen better days, upholstery is worn, tracks need work, but it is staffed by some wonderfully cheerful people, always happy to welcome travellers.  

My other option for travel is to either drive or take the bus up and down the 400 past endless miles of blandscape. I love the train, I am so disappointed that it is on the Ontario government’s chopping block. That trainline is the history of Ontario’s north, and losing it will dim our future.

The construction of the train opened Muskoka, where I have a second office. From train to boat to resort….what could be more civilized? Further north Cobalt was founded because rail workers discovered silver along the track bed….leading to a mining boom that went on for several decades.

The story of how Cobalt’s exploitation by southern financiers who left the local town without the resources to serve its citizens seems to have parallels to a southern decision to cut off this lifeline to the north. Miners worked in appallingly dangerous conditions, faced housing shortages, mud roads, no hospital, disease, yet came they did to seek their fortunes. Mostly that fortune went to southern magnates such as Henry Pellatt who built Casa Loma.


Building the train to open the north also led to the settlement of the area around New Liskeard, and Haileybury, for farming. It is a unique pocket of soil sandwiched between the southern north (Muskoka and Temagami) and the far north of Timmins and beyond. Another amazing pocket of good farming soil exists at Kapuskasing, which is quite rightly called the jewel of the north.


With the lessons of frontier towns like Cobalt and Cochrane in mind, where ony a hardy few stayed beyond initial resource exploitation, the Ontario government set out to plan a garden city at Kapuskasing, partly to see if crops could be developed that would grow in the north, and to build a model town that might tempt people to stay. While farming didn’t have much success, Kapuskasing did develop as a pulp and paper town, served by rail. Royalty came and stayed at the Kapuskasing hotel. It is one of the most beautiful towns I have seen in Ontario. It continues to be a place people enjoy living in.

Cobalt Ontario, mine and rail present in this National Historic Site


All around “Kap” are miles of flat land with stubby trees, isolated houses with minimal windows, everything low seem to be hunkered down to duck the wind and cold. And then one enters Kapuskasing on a beautiful tree lined boulevard with an open view across the river basin to the public bulldings prominently sited on the top of a high embankment. To someone from southern Ontario the tree lined streets of “Kap” are unremarkable until you realize it has probably been at least 200 miles since you last saw a maple or elm tree. It continues to be a place of strong civic pride.

 

view of Kapuskasing Town Hall across the river


All of these places exist because of Ontario’s investment in Ontario Northland. In all these communities the rail staition is often the most important and substantial building. Cobalt and Cochrane’s rail stations were designed by John M. Lyle. 


Last time I looked the train was more sustainable than driving. The next generation seems to be more interested in travelling on public transport and leaving the driving to others. On every train I take, I see people working, texting, or just watching movies.


The decision to sell Ontario Northland came out of the blue, just as towns along the line were engaged in planning how to take better advantage of the service, improve stations, access, service. Shutting down trains runs counter to the generally green agenda of the McGuinty government. This line is an important part of Ontario’s heritage, and if better managed, could once again become a real jewel in our collective crown. Once lost it will be next to impossible to replace.


The NDP have made saving Ontario Northland a condition of accepting the McGuinty budget. An election may be fought over this. I have been writing to all the MPP’s I can think of.


I highly recommend the train as a route to the north, and am hereby offering to pick up anyone who wants to take the train and come and visit the northern office of Catherine Nasmith Architect at the Bracebridge station. if you bring your MPP with you, you get a free dinner. 

Buy a ticket and get on board….you may not get another chance.


4. Now Magazine: The State of Heritage Preservation in Toronto
Enzo di Matteo

5 reasons we should care about heritage preservation

1. Architectural beauty is good for your brain. A relatively new area of neuroscience known as neuroaesthetics posits the theory that beauty in art and design makes us happy. The synaptic payoff is real: scientists can track brain activity when people respond to design and beauty. Don’t you feel better already?

2. Historic buildings are physical links to our past. Yes, we’ve all heard that before. It’s not just about saving bricks, but about saving the layers and layers of information about our lives and those of our ancestors. Without that, we’d erase the stories of our past, as if the people who came before us never existed.

3. Historically significant buildings contribute to our city’s cultural and economic well-being – not to mention the vibrancy of street life. When re-purposed for modern-day use, like the Wychwood Barns redevelo pment or 401 Richmond, older buildings are great incubators for entrepreneurship, innovation and experimentation. The opposite holds true when older buildings are demolished to make room for high-rise development. Only chain stores like Shoppers Drug Mart can afford the street-level rents.

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:If I can blow my own horn a bit here, most of these points were ones I made in my interview with Enzo...... I have been giving a talk entitled Main Streets as Old Growth Forests lately, happy to come and give it to your group. Will also be writing up as a series in future issues of BHN.


5. Globe and Mail: Art in Toronto's Churches
Ian Merringer

Behind the closed doors of Torontos most stunning sacred spaces

Peter Holmes opens a door at the back of Yorkminster Park Baptist Church near Yonge and St. Clair and immediately turns sideways to squeeze past part of the church’s massive pipe organ.

The room is packed from wall to wall, ceiling to floor, with rows of pipes, wooden bellows and electrical switches.

Treasures like these are hidden in holy houses across the city. Though many congregations are dwindling, and more than a few churches have been reincarnated as condominiums, some places of worship have proven to be protective refuges for things very much in the material realm.

Eight years ago, guided by a spiritual and cultural curiosity, Mr. Holmes started the Pilgrimage of Sacred Spaces, a tour that traverses Toronto and its belief systems. It surveys the architecture and historic items that have survived to become part of Toronto’s heritage because they are ensconced in churches, temples, synagogues and mosques.

Click here for Link


6. Globe and Mail: Avro Arrow and F-35
Harry Swain

What the Avro Arrow should have taught Ottawa about the F-35

A Tory prime minister, secure in his majority but highly suspicious of his political enemies, finds himself blind-sided by obscure processes in the departments of Defence and Industry that had gravitated to the most advanced fighter plane in the world -- but one that cost more than the country could afford. It was fifty years ago, the prime minister was John Diefenbaker, and the plane was the Avro Arrow.

Bowing to fiscal reality affected the next election, and started a national myth of loss and betrayal as persistent as the National Energy Policy or the humiliation of Quebec.

The parallels to the F-35 are eerie, but there are important differences. The basic story of vested interests in both the public and private sectors reinforcing each others’ dreams of the biggest, baddest fighter in the whole world and devil take the taxpayer’s dollars is the same, as is prevarication and mendacity when the truth about cost starts to leak out. Both governments, half a century apart, initially defended their establishments while privately getting more and more alarmed about the financial cost of continuing versus the political costs of cancellation.

Click here for Link


7. Toronto Star: Avro Arrow and F35
Michael Byers

Ghost of the Avro Arrow haunts the F-35

Stephen Harper must have felt airsick this week after Auditor General Michael Ferguson exposed gross mismanagement of the F-35 procurement process.

Much of the blame rests with Defence Minister Peter MacKay, on whose watch the errors were made. But the seeds of the F-35 debacle were sown way back in 1959 — when former Conservative prime minister John Diefenbaker killed off the Avro Arrow.

The iconic Arrow was designed and built in Canada to fulfill this country’s need for a twin-engine, high-speed fighter-interceptor jet.

The Arrow was poised to become the world’s fastest aircraft — until the U.S. government persuaded Diefenbaker that missiles were about to render manned fighter jets obsolete. The prime minister ordered the program shut down, and all the aircraft destroyed, in favour of the U.S.-made, nuclear-armed Bomarc ground-to-air missile.

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:Found these stories on the Avro Arrow of particular interest given the threat to the Canadian Air & Space Museum at Downsview Park, in which the model of the Arrow sits today.


8. Toronto Star: 407 Blasts through Heritage Buildings
Carola Vyhnak

Heritage homes dismantled for Highway 407 extension to Oshawa

Nine old farmhouses in the path of Ontario’s newest superhighway will be dismantled and reused as roadside monuments and markers.

Big chunks of stone and reclaimed timber from the heritage buildings will stand as “memories of what they used to be” along Highway 407’s extension east through Durham Region, says Astrid Poei, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Transportation.

Monuments “that serve no purpose but are visually interesting” could be created from stones used to build the 19th-century homes, she explains. Other parts could be repurposed as functional or decorative pieces in landscaping, as welcome signs at towns along the route, or markers for walkways.

“It’s very important that we preserve a lot of the heritage aspects,” Poei says, noting the project is a first for the province.

The Ontario government had hoped to sell the houses and assorted barns, coach houses and workshops for relocation. But despite more than 200 inquiries, there were no takers, probably because of the prohibitive cost of moving the homes, says Poei. Estimates ran into the hundreds of thousands for stone structures.

Click here for Link


9. Toronto Star: Letter re: 407 and Heritage Destruction
Andrew Stewart

Cynical piece of tokenism

Re: Heritage homes dismantled for Highway 407 extension to Oshawa, 

In an age when Ontario’s unique legacy of historic architecture is disposed of like garbage, this is the worst and most cynical piece of tokenism by the Ministry of Transportation I’ve heard of yet. A small percentage of the toll on Highway 407 could easily pay the loan for moving, restoring and repurposing each of these irreplaceable and valuable buildings.

Moreover, road pricing should be used comprehensively across this province, which is being paved to death, to address the devastation that new road-building visits upon our history, architecture, agriculture, groundwater quality, forests and wildlife, not to mention the unsustainable urban sprawl and transportation problems it feeds.

Click here for Link


10. Toronto Star: Queen's Park Pedestrian Access
Chris Hume

Queens Park? More like Queens Island

There’s a good reason why people complain Queen’s Park is hard to reach – it is hard to reach.

The Legislative Building may be the home of democracy in Ontario, but today it has been marooned by the eight-lane highway that is Queen’s Park Crescent.

True, there are a couple of places for pedestrians to cross safely — both on the east side, at Grosvenor and Wellesley streets — but otherwise visitors must take their lives in their hands to get from the city to the site of one of the province’s most important landmarks.

No one could blame this on the building or its architecture; when it opened in 1893, the Legislature sat in the middle of a leafy green space. It was an idyllic setting. Designed by R.A. Waite in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, similar to E.J. Lennox’s Old City Hall (1899), the Pink Palace was more imposing than beautiful. Decidedly fortress-like in its appearance, it presented an image of Ontario as rock-solid, though perhaps not wildly imaginative.

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:A situation that needs addressing, but falls between municipal and provincial government......a hard place to get things done.


11. Toronto Star: Toronto condo boom
Susan Pigg

how heritage is at risk as old Toronto is transformed by the new

The Albany Club, and a handful of owners along this historic block of King St. E., have proposed a 47-storey condo tower for the site. It's unclear what will happen to the historic buildings

The prime King St. E. area where the Albany Club has stood proudly for decades has undergone many changes since it was built back in the 1840s.

 

But none compare to what’s about to hit the historic block — a 47-storey condo tower.

The private club, as well as a handful of other landlords of Nos. 71 to 95 King St. E., have proposed redeveloping the ragtag block of buildings into 355 condos with a four-storey podium and underground parking.

What’s not clear is what, exactly, that will mean for the collection of Georgian-style buildings designed by the once-prominent 19-century Toronto architect John Howard.

It’s a story playing out quietly in many other parts of the downtown as Toronto’s condo boom continues at a frantic pace and developers scour the streets for the dwindling number of sites within walking distance of transit and office towers.

Increasingly, that means the old is having to make way for the new. And some — including the Albany Club block — risk undergoing demolition or drastic redevelopment because they have yet to be designated as historic properties in need of protection.

Just a few months ago, locals were shocked when a historic house on Wellesley St., just east of Church St., was demolished. No redevelopment plans have yet been filed, but it’s expected to become a condo site.

 

Click here for Link


12. You can Help Save Mimico Wesley Church
Mary Bella

A group of Mimico residents is working towards preserving Mimico Wesley United Church, at Station Road and Mimico Avenue. This church has been an important historical gathering place and landmark in our community for nearly 100 years, and was designed by one of the most prominent Canadian architectural firms of it's time. The congregation is no longer able to maintain/repair and make necessary renovations to its building, and is looking at redevelopment options - some including demolition.

There is more information available at the link below about the issues, the church's heritage, and how you can help. We aim to bring the community and the congregation together to find solutions that will benefit all concerned while preserving this heritage building. The first step in that process is increasing community awareness of the issues and challenges.

Many thanks - and please spread the word!

Mary Bella

Click here for Link


13. Globe and Mail: Holderlin--Finding Redemption in Disaster
Lisa Rochon

Architect offers hope amid the globe's ruin and rubble

Where there is danger, some salvation grows there too.”
– Johann Christian Friedrich Hölderlin

During the catastrophic siege of Sarajevo – launched 20 years ago this week – New York architect Lebbeus Woods risked his life to enter the blockaded city and, armed with his provocative renderings of jagged, deformed appendages crawling out of damaged buildings, stood on the steps of the burned-out Olympic Museum, fully exposed to Serbian snipers and artillery gunners.


“I am an architect, a constructor of worlds, a sensualist who worships the flesh, the melody, a silhouette against the darkening sky,” he declared, holding his “scab architecture” up to the gathered crowd, knowing that Bosnians were being systematically cut down and that a strategy of urbanicide had begun. The National Library of 1896 had also succumbed to mortar attack, burning for two days and turning more than one million books to ash. Woods remained, like the local architects who surrounded him, unfazed. “Tomorrow,” he said, “we begin together the construction of a city.”

Two decades later, Woods’s exhilarating manifesto and his portfolio of War and Architecture drawings, published by Princeton Architectural Press, still matter. Back then, I was the editor of an architecture-and-design magazine called Insite when I published the colour renderings on our cover. They presented distorted growths crawling like parasites up and over scarred buildings. Even while the apartments and civic institutions of Sarajevo crushed people living inside, the drawings affirmed architecture as a powerful agent of collective memory and vessel of consciousness.

They suggested, too, a form of healing, by applying – like a poultice – new interventions to old structures, a principle of rebuilding that applies to cities devastated by war or natural disaster as much as it does for cities in China, Brazil or India (and, yes, Canada, too) undergoing rapid urbanization. Importantly, as historic buildings continue to come down all around us, including mid-century classics of modernism, Woods has placed his faith in a sensitive, aesthetic collage of historic and new.

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:Powerful ideas, beautiful reporting


14. Hamilton Spectator: Auchmar
Jeff Mahoney

Turning Auchmar around: Mansion built in 1850s needs TLC

It will take more than words and sunshine to return Auchmar to its erstwhile glory.

But when Grant Head walks me around the north wall on a bright spring morning and describes in simple, evocative language how the coaches and carriages clattered through the arcade, flanked by peach and quince orchards, tower tops teasing in the distance, it’s like he’s darning up the old sock of its ruins. The manor seems a picture of wholeness and utility again, if only momentarily and in the mind’s eye.

That’s the power of vision, informed by hindsight.

Vision. Now all that’s needed is a pile of mortar, cash and political will.

Fortunately, Grant, one of the city’s foremost heritage experts, is not alone. In late March, the recently incorporated Friends of Auchmar (Grant’s a member) drafted their constitution and are anxious to accelerate the pace of civic commitment and actual repairs of the buildings and grounds.

They see the furious plow of development on the Mountain brow — condos at the old Sanatorium property, the massive project at the old Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital grounds — and while Auchmar has heritage protection, the future of city ownership (the city’s had it since 1999) is a question mark.

After all, Auchmar, built in the early 1850s, has been turned around before, so to speak, having originally faced the other way. There was no Fennell Avenue back when it went up, and people came to the entrance southward, along the arcade and the Grande Allee. Hence the name Arcade Avenue.

Auchmar’s been turned around in another sense. Once the trophy house of a colourful, ambitious merchant and politician (Isaac Buchanan) and the architectural cynosure of Mount Hamilton, now it’s tragic-looking.

Vacant. Peeling paint, buckled ceilings, exterior walls crumbling in places. Perhaps the most pitiable indignity of all, the old manor house finds itself dragging the pinned-on donkey tail of an ill-fitting modern extension.

Even so, you can still see the bones of the beauty and the fading flourishes — ceiling medallions, ribbed vaulted arches, panelling in the ballroom, the grand staircase and the interior pilasters with ornate scrolled capitals.

Recently, on a tour of the place, Pat Saunders and Diane Dent of the Friends of Auchmar take me through the long, august halls and around the grounds. They point out the gingerbread and Gothic Villa styling. We’re joined later by Grant and Dr. Christine Lei, an expert on the period in Auchmar’s history when it was in the hands of the Sisters of Social Service.

Click here for Link


15. Winnipeg Downtown Places: Winnipeg's Avenue Building
Christian Cassidy

A History of Winnipeg's Avenue Building

Financed by Mark Fortune and designed by James Cadham, construction began on the Avenue Building in June 1904. Further up Portage the Eaton's building was well underway and The Avenue was among the first wave of smaller retail blocks constructed in anticipation of Portage becoming the retail street of Winnipeg....

Click here for Link


16. Winnipeg Free Press: Winnipeg's Avenue Building prepares to shine

Downtown Jewel Prepares to Shine

Developers Mark and Rick Hofer have spent more than two years and $12.4 million converting the long-vacant six-storey office building and adjoining three-storey Hample Building into a modern apartment/commercial complex....

Click here for Link


17. Selkirk Journal (Manitoba): New owner for Historical rectory ?

History in the making

The St. Andrews Rectory has stood for 160 years and now the St. Andrews Heritage Centre board wants to make history by engaging in a partnership with Parks Canada to run the local historical site....

Click here for Link


18. Financial Times: Historic Windows Best Bet
Simon Thurley

A window on energy efficiency

I’m filled with gloom. It is time for the once-a-decade redecoration of the windows on the street front of our house and we are about to kiss goodbye to the thick end of £10,000.

We really have little choice; quite apart from the pressing need to keep the weather out, our house is protected by national legislation (in UK jargon our house is “listed”) and is also in a locally protected historic zone (a conservation area). Conservation area legislation restricts the type of alteration that can be made to houses in order to preserve the historic character of an area – this means repairing and repainting like-for-like. But across Europe and North America the windows of houses like ours have become a hotly contested issue.


According to the UK Government around 27 per cent of the country’s CO2 emissions are from fossil fuels burnt to provide energy for people’s homes, so tackling domestic energy efficiency is a high priority. Building new energy efficient houses will make little difference, at least in the medium term, because by 2050 only 30 per cent of the UK’s domestic housing stock will have been built since 2007. The only way out is to dramatically improve the energy efficiency of existing houses. This is not just a UK problem – it is a global issue.

Retro-fitting hundreds of millions houses is an economic, political and cultural challenge for dozens of governments. It is a cultural challenge because although many newer buildings can be easily adapted without damaging their appearance and significance, older buildings in protected areas can be hugely diminished by ill-informed adaptation.

Click here for Link


19. CPP: Organizing to save the Coltrane House in Philidelphia

Philly seeks to repair Coltrane house

PHILADELPHIA — Jazz lovers and cultural officials in Philadelphia are promoting a fundraising effort to save the run-down John Coltrane House.

Preserving the national historic landmark is part of a broader mission to reclaim the city's jazz heritage and celebrate the current music scene.

Coltrane is a saxophonist best known for his recording "A Love Supreme." He lived in a rowhouse in the Strawberry Mansion neighbourhood from 1952 to 1958.

A non-profit organization now owns the property and is working with a preservation group to rehabilitate it. They are seeking $50,000 for immediate repairs and stabilization.

Click here for Link


20. New York Times: Preserving Brutalism
Fred R. Conrad

Architectures Ugly Ducklings May Not Get Time to Be Swans

GOSHEN, N.Y. — As Modernist buildings reach middle age, many of the stark structures that once represented the architectural vanguard are showing signs of wear, setting off debates around the country between preservationists, who see them as historic landmarks, and the many people who just see them as eyesores.
Related

The Orange County Government Center in Goshen, N.Y., has been closed since it was damaged by storms in September.


The conflict has come in recent months to this quaint village 60 miles north of New York City — with its historic harness-racing track, picturesque Main Street and Greek Revival, Federal and Victorian houses — where the blocky concrete county government center designed by the celebrated Modernist architect Paul Rudolph has always been something of a misfit.

Click here for Link


21. Tree Hugger: Interesting Mix of New and Old Dovecote Studios Britain
Lloyd Alter

Prefab and Preservation, Together At Last

Activists in historic preservation often are asked "when is a building too far gone to save?" British architects Haworth Tompkins demonstrate that when there is a will, the answer is never. At Aldeburgh Music’s ‘creative campus’ is based at Snape Maltings in Suffolk, Archdaily describes how "Nestled within the shell of an abandoned building, the firm responded to the existing conditions with a touch of sensitivity, uniting the old structure with the new aesthetic.

Click here for Link


22. Wall Street Journal: Unfinished at the Cathedral
EDDIE SMALL

For decades, New York City has considered designating the Cathedral of St. John the Divine as a landmark. But city landmark officials wanted to wait until the cathedral—under construction since 1892—was "finished."

 

But talk about landmark status for the perpetually unfinished Episcopal church is starting to percolate again, as developers ready plans for a new apartment building on leased cathedral property along 113th Street in Morningside Heights.

Real-estate firm Equity Residential hopes to start construction on the 15-story apartment building next year. The new structure's footprint would be some 70 feet north of the cathedral itself, replacing large metal sheds and parking spaces in the area now.

Church officials maintain that completing its "real-estate initiative"—as they call an apartment building already open at the southeast corner of the cathedral property as well as plans for another one on the north side—are an economic necessity to provide revenue for the cash-strapped cathedral.

The real-estate income "has a huge impact on our capacity both to operate the cathedral, maintain our mission and, really importantly, do the work we need to do on the cathedral building itself," said Stephen Facey, the cathedral's executive vice president. Now that the real-estate initiative is almost complete, he said the cathedral could renew discussion about landmark status for the cathedral and the rest of its grounds.

Click here for Link


23. And the Answer Is?
Catherine Nasmith

Regarding the Stone Fragment outside of Ogden Street School we have agreement from two experts:

 

From Robert Hill

 

Thanks for sending your latest Newsletter today. Your photo of the foundations on the south side of the street at No. 33 Phoebe Street, on the grounds of the current Ogden School, are almost certainly the walls of the original Phoebe Street Public School, designed by Joseph Sheard, Architect. Look at my image attached, taken from the Goad's Atlas in 1890. You can see that the building was right up against the sidewalk, unlike the present school which is set well back from the street. The school was destroyed by fire in 1905.

Here is the citation from our online Dictionary.....

SHEARD, Joseph, Architect

PHOEBE STREET SCHOOL, Phoebe Street near Spadina Avenue, 1854; burned 1905 (Toronto Board of Education, Report of the Past History and Present Condition of the Common or Public Schools of Toronto, 1859, 48, 52)

 

From Bennett McCardle

Okay, I think they may be fragments of the predecessor of the present Ogden School, probably the one that existed from 1905 to the 1950s. For evidence, see the 2010-Jan-22 posting by “Mustapha” at: http://urbantoronto.ca/forum/showthread.php/6947-Miscellany-Toronto-Photographs-Then-and-Now/page182 and its followup at http://urbantoronto.ca/forum/showthread.php/6947-Miscellany-Toronto-Photographs-Then-and-Now/page183 .

The excellent large photo at the first link may show the carvings on the top right of the building.

More on the two predecessors of the current Ogden Public School is at: http://www.tdsb.on.ca/profiles/5257.pdf andhttp://torontofamilyhistory.org/kingandcountry/tdsb/elementary-n-q )

The earlier of the two, known as the Phoebe St school, was designed by architect Joseph Sheard (PHOEBE STREET SCHOOL, Phoebe Street near Spadina Avenue, 1854; burned 1905 (Toronto Board of Education, Report of the Past History and Present Condition of the Common or Public Schools of Toronto, 1859, 48, 52)

– see http://dictionaryofarchitectsincanada.org/architects/view/1298 

Couldn’t find anything online about the architect of the second.

Bennett McCardle
Senior Policy Advisor, Corporate Policy Coordination Unit
Corporate Policy and Programs Branch, MMAH
Tel: 416-585-6071 (o) -- 416-906-2838 (cell)