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Issue No. 247 | January 10, 2016

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Feature Stories

  1. YouTube: Hogmanay Fireworks in Edinburgh, 2015-16
  2. Blog TO: 8 underrated architects who made Toronto beautiful
  3. The Guardian: Towers in London

Events

Riverdale Historical Society January Event
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
+ read


Heritage Ottawa Free Public Lecture
January 13, 2016
+ read


TSA Urban Affairs Forum
January 21,
+ read


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1. National Trust for Canada says 24 Sussex Drive can be both preserved and upgraded.
Natalie Bull, Executive Director, National Trust for Canada

In an article published in the Ottawa Citizen, the National Trust for Canada lays out its position on the future of the Prime Ministers residence.

Investing in making 24 Sussex Drive a comfortable, sustainable residence that showcases Canadian design, technology and history is an ideal way for Canada to demonstrate what it values, writes Executive Director Natalie Bull. Despite a level of heritage significance deemed by the Government to be on par with the Parliament Buildings, 24 Sussex is a victim of demolition by neglect, a longstanding failure to invest and maintain that was well documented by the Auditor General in 2008.

The heritage value of this limestone landmark dating to 1868 is determined in part by the evolutionary nature of the property. The land is linked to First Nations history while the construction of the house is tied to the story of Canadas lumber industry. Alterations made sixty-five years ago shaped the image which has become significant through association with Prime Ministers who have lived there. And like most historic properties, it can continue to change over time.

The National Trust believes that the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada give the buildings steward, the National Capital Commission (NCC), ample range to renew the property and meet evolving requirements.

It is not an either/or proposition, stresses Ms. Bull. There are extraordinary examples right here in Canada of heritage buildings that have been rehabilitated to meet demanding new uses and ignite the imagination of even the most discerning designer.

The National Trust offers its support and assistance, commending the NCC for taking the time to plan the future of the building, and Prime Minister Trudeau for his decision to reside at Rideau Cottage to allow for this important work to be undertaken.

Read the full article here:
http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/bull-24-sussex-can-be-both-preserved-and-upgraded


2. Colour Your City
Susan Algie

Colour Your City is a 32-page colouring book showcasing a variety of Winnipeg architecture, both old and new. Produced by the Winnipeg Architecture Foundation (WAF), the book features illustrations by Robyn Shesterniak (Burdocks Design), Carl Shura, Number Ten Architectural Group and 5468796 architecture.

Buildings featured in the book include the Winnipeg Art Garry, Fort Garry Hotel, Manitoba Legislature, the Mint, City Hall, Confederation Building, Centennial Hall at the University of Winnipeg and many others. It will be of appeal to both young and older colouring fans.

The Winnipeg Architecture Foundation is a registered charity with a mandate to educate the public about architecture. Activities include ongoing research about Winnipeg buildings, landscapes and designers; free walking, bike and bus tours; an annual Architecture+Design Film Festival and a series of publications and exhibits.

All proceeds from the sale are used to fund research and public programmes by the Winnipeg Architecture Foundation.

The book costs $20 and is for sale at WAF, (266 McDermot or winnipegarchitecture.ca/shop)ISBN: 978-0-9916865-6-8


3. Clear Cutting at Bala Falls
Catherine Nasmith

Area at Portage Landing cleared of trees,

Reports from Bala Falls this morning indicate that Swift River Energy Limited, proponents for the development of the Hydro plant on Ministry of Natural Resources lands at the falls, have started clear cutting trees. The Native Marker tree at the point was the first in the chipper. The tree is significant to both the nearby Wahta Mohawk First Nation and area residents. 


4. Tyndall Limestone Research Project
Susan Algie

Abi Auld, Winnipeg Architecture Foundation, is working on a book and exhibit about Tyndall limestone. Tyndall Stone is quarried at Garson, Manitoba, about thirty miles north-east of Winnipeg. Geologically, it is referred to as the Upper Mottled Limestone of the Red River Formation of the Ordovician System. This is equivalent to the Trenton Formation of eastern Canada and the United States. However, the decorative mottling "like frost ferns on a window pane", characteristic in Tyndall Stone is unique among building limestone, and as a result, the stone is sometimes called the "tapestry stone". The stone is particularly rich in a variety of fossils.

The stone is still actively quarried at the family-owned Gillis Quarries.

The project will focus on Manitoba projects but we hope to include projects across Canada featuring Tyndall stone. If you are aware of buildings or landscapes or reference material referring to its use, please send along to:waf@shaw.ca


5. YouTube: Hogmanay Fireworks in Edinburgh, 2015-16
Catherine Nasmith

Happy New Year to BHN subscribers

I celebrated New Years in Edinburgh, along with 70,000 others in Princes Street. Street party, concerts, processions all added up to a spectacular evening in one of the worlds most beautiful cities. 

Video taken with an iphone 6 camera.

 

Click here for Link


6. Toronto Modern: Blog celebrating Toronto's Modern Landmarks
Robert Moffat

Wonderful Blog with about 100 articles on important modern buildings in Toronto

Click here for Link


7. Toronto Star: Last Call for Dickinson's Regis College
Shawn Micallef

Peter Dickinson's modernist gem to be lost to Toronto

Visiting a building behind a demolition fence is like paying respects to somebody on their deathbed. Such was the mood on a recent visit to the old Regis College seminary in North York.

Opened in 1961, it was built by the Jesuit Fathers of Upper Canada and designed by Toronto’s original Mad Men-era architect Peter Dickinson. One of the city’s most influential modernists, he designed a flurry of mid-century modern buildings in Toronto, beginning in the early 1950s until his premature death from cancer at age 35 in 1961.

The seminary wasn’t a conspicuous Dickinson building, tucked away in what is now a cul-de-sac of houses east of Bayview Ave. just south of Steeles Ave. Crossing a small valley and a branch of the East Don River via Garnier Ct. is the only way to reach the isolated college.

When the Jesuits planned construction of their new seminary in 1958 this area was rural. Over time North York grew up around the college and some of the seminary grounds were sold off for housing developments. Today, a ring of houses that date to the 1980s and 1990s surrounds the building that is being demolishing to make way for yet more single-family homes.

Click here for Link


8. Toronto Star: Loss of Sheard Mansion. 314 Jarvis St. to Fire
Laura DaSilva

Fire guts heritage Beaux Arts home on Jarvis St.

Water pours down the front steps as a three alarm fire claims an old mansion of the West side of Jarvis Street just south of Carlton.

 

An unoccupied heritage mansion in Toronto’s Garden District was destroyed by a three-alarm blaze that broke out at about 5 a.m. Monday.

Officials say the fire at 314 Jarvis St. began on the second floor and quickly spread to the roof of the building, gutting the building.

Toronto Fire Capt. Adrian Ratushniak said no injuries were reported in the blaze.

According to a city report from 2012, the residence was built in 1865 and altered in 1901 for Dr. Charles Sheard, Toronto’s first chief medical officer. Sheard also served as a Conservative Member of Parliament from 1917 to 1925.

Click here for Link


9. Toronto Star: Threat to Maple's Heritage
Noor Javed

Is Vaughans heritage losing out to development?

 

The heart of the “village of Maple” is easy to miss.

To most, Keele St. near Major Mackenzie Dr., is another busy intersection in Vaughan, where suburban commuters battle the weekday gridlock to make it to work and back home on time.

But for long-time resident Jana Manolakos, the intersection is the gateway to the Maple of the past with its distinctive homes, classical buildings and churches. Maple was believed to have been established in the 19th century — long before it joined with neighbouring communities of Thornhill, Kleinburg and Woodbridge to create the city now known as Vaughan.

“I grew up in Maple when it was just a few thousand people,” said Manolakos. “Some families have been here for decades. There is a real sense of community here,” she said.

But as Vaughan faces development pressures, it seems preserving history is getting harder to do. Across York Region, residents and politicians are grappling with how to balance protecting established heritage areas from the pressure of infill development — while ensuring they live up to Places to Grow, the provincial policy for smart growth without sprawl.

Over the past few years, Manolakos started noticing a number of “For Sale” signs along the street in front of homes on large lots. As the neighbours moved out, developers moved in. At first, Manolakos and her husband William were unperturbed until they realized the developers planned to build dozens of townhomes where a single home once stood.

Click here for Link


10. Toronto Star: Alan Redway and de-amalgamation for Toronto
David Rider

The case for ending the Toronto megacity

Alan Redway wants to take Toronto back to the future. In his new book: “Governing Toronto: Bringing Back the City that Worked,” the former East York mayor, Metro Toronto councillor and MP says a review of the city’s governance is overdue. He favours return to a Metro system — small municipalities with local control linked to a citywide government responsible for regional issues.

Q: Why do you think the Metro system was better than our single-level megacity system that replaced it in 1998?

A: The joy of Metro was that there were not absolute bureaucratic rules that couldn’t be changed. You could go to your local councillor who had time to look into the issue thoroughly. They could then talk to the local bureaucrat and there would perhaps be some flexibility in the rules, which solved an awful lot of problems. Today, there are far fewer councillors and they often don’t have time to talk to people so it’s an assistant who deals with it and they say: “That’s the rule so that’s the way it’s going to be.”

Click here for Link


11. CBC: Mimico Train Restoration Deal Goes Sideways
John Lancaster/Jennifer Fowler

CBC Investigates $650k plan to restore Mimico train station off the rails, community group says

'Betrayal is not too strong a word': Etobicoke group demands to know how restoration cash was spent

Members of the Mimico Station Community Organization say a developer has failed to deliver on a promise to restore the historic Etobicoke landmark.
Members of the Mimico Station Community Organization say a developer has failed to deliver on a promise to restore the historic Etobicoke landmark. (CBC News)

An Etobicoke community group is demanding to know how $650,000 earmarked to help restore the century-old Mimico train station was spent.

The group that runs the historic station on Royal York Road says all they're left with is a condo sales centre. "We have spent the last four years under an illusion. Betrayal is not too strong a word. Not just for our group, but for the entire community," Richard McQuade of the Mimico Station Community Organization (MSCO) told CBC News.

· First-of-its-kind condo deal has been mired in financial troubles

· Etobicoke residents say neighbourhood lost out on $100K in negotiations with condo developer

The developer, Terrasan, its parent company Stanton Renaissance, and the City of Toronto signed what's known as a Section 37 agreement in February of 2011. Section 37 agreements allow a developer to contribute money to a community project in exchange for permission to build a taller tower than normally allowed. In this case, the developer agreed to renovate the 1,200-square-foot historic station at a cost of about $650,000.

In return, Toronto city council rezoned nearby lands so the developer could build a 26-storey condo project called On the Go Mimico. As part of the deal, city council also allowed the developer to use the station as a sales office and presentation centre for two years. It's located in a public park, across the street from the proposed condo development.

In an email to CBC News, Louie Santaguida, President of Stanton Renaissance, said "the first phase of the restoration was completed." Santaguida didn't say, however, what further work might be done.

 

Click here for Link


12. Blog TO: 8 underrated architects who made Toronto beautiful
Derek Flack, forwarded by Richard Longley

8 underrated architects who made Toronto beautiful

Toronto's architectural heritage can't be summarized in one short list. The history is just too diverse, and I was bound to overlook important contributions to the city's built landscape. While I've already mentioned some of the biggest names in Toronto's architectural tradition, it seemed important to commemorate and celebrate some of the urban designers who get less ink these days.

 

Click here for Link


13. Kitchener Waterloo Record: Stronger Measures for Heritage
Catherine Thompson

Kitchener Beefs up Heritage Protection

In the wake of the loss of the former Mayfair Hotel, Kitchener council has approved eight measures designed to improve the way it safeguards heritage.

The measures range from an emergency protocol that kicks into play when a heritage property is at risk of demolition or collapse, to improving the grants for heritage restoration and better inspection and maintenance of city-owned heritage properties.

Heritage activists praised the effort.

Kae Elgie of the local branch of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario said the proposal was "very thorough and well-researched" and reflected many of the same priorities for heritage preservation.

She had particular praise for plans to draw up a list of qualified heritage engineers the city would consult in an emergency.

"As you know, the frustration in the Mayfair-Hymmen Hardware affair was that an unsafe building ruling was done without an assessment by professionals experienced in heritage structures," Elgie said, referring to the demolition this spring of the Mayfair and the adjacent Hymmen Hardware building, both built in 1905 on a prominent site across the street from city hall.

Council requested a look at heritage best practices after a public outcry over the controversial demolitions.

"We can't turn back the clock," said James Howe. "For me the fight about the Mayfair was as much about making sure it never happens again."

Three of the measures would come into play almost immediately, such as the emergency protocol, modelled on a protocol Hamilton introduced after a former carriage house was condemned. The protocol would enlist expert heritage advice on short notice in emergencies affecting heritage buildings, while ensuring public safety, said Leon Bensason, the city's co-ordinator of heritage planning.

Click here for Link


14. Leaside Life: End of Durant Motors Office Building
Geoff Kettel in Leaside Life

How one word could save more of our heritage

Can a report be fatally flawed yet fixed by the addition of one word? I think so and heres how.

The Durant Motors office building at 146-150 Laird Dr. is proposed to be partially demolished and redeveloped as a seven-storey condominium with 109 units, linked to an eight-storey rental retirement home with 175 units next door.

The developers proposal is to retain only the front facade of the building and part of the north and south sides.

The staff report called Intent to Designate  150 Laird Dr. said, The heritage attributes on the exterior of the property at 150 Laird Drive are the south, east and north elevations.

But nothing was said about the west elevation, just a comment that, Please note that later additions to this property, the fire escape stairs and metal clad addition on the west side of the property are not included as heritage attributes.

The word west has now been added to the designation.

That is expected to create changes to the development plans. In effect the new word now secures full protection for the building.

The aerial image (Aerial View of Laird and McRae Drives, c.1930) of the Leaside Industrial Area (which accompanied my LL column in May 2015), clearly shows the west wall of the Durant Motors Administration Building as having the same brick and stone materials and Gothic Revival architecture as on the east, south and north walls.

After noting the omission I decided to check it out and see what exists today. So I rode over to the site and found that yes indeed the west wall is there.

The metal clad one-storey building is a separate accessory building, not an addition to the building, which extends behind the building for its entire length and partially hides the west side.

The rest was easy. I wrote Heritage Preservation Services to give them a heads up, and contacted our councillor.

So at North York Community Council I raised the matter by deputation, and Councillor Burnside made a motion directing staff to review the architectural value of the west elevation of the building and report directly to City Council for its meeting Dec. 9, on any recommended revisions to the Statement of Significance and heritage attributes of the property.

At that meeting, the revised report, which now included all four sides of the building as heritage attributes, was approved.

A key concern of the Leaside Property Owners Association was the unacceptably low level of heritage conservation of 150 Laird.

Now that the heritage attributes of the property have been revised to recognize the architectural unity of all four sides, and consequently the exterior structure of the building as a whole, it is expected that the conservation of this iconic Leaside heritage property will be materially affected and enhanced.

Click here for Link


15. Ottawa Citizen: Victims of Communism Monument Will Not be in Judicial Precinct
Don Butler

Victims of communism memorial to be moved, Joly announces

 

The Liberal government has decided to support the Memorial to the Victims of Communism, but the monument will cost far less, have a new design and if built, will be on a different site.

Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly announced Thursday that, subject to approval by the National Capital Commission’s board, the memorial will move to the Garden of the Provinces and Territories from the controversial location next to the Supreme Court of Canada chosen by the previous Conservative government. The way the project was handled under the Conservatives was “too political, too divisive and ultimately far from its goal of remembering the horror of victims of communism,” Joly said.

The memorial’s purpose should be to generate empathy for people who have been victimized by communist regimes worldwide, she said. Instead, it divided Canadians.

“Commemorative monuments play a key role in reflecting the character, identity, history and values of Canadians,” Joly said. “They should be places of reflection, inspiration and learning, not shrouded in controversy.”

Joly consulted more than 30 people before deciding what to do about the contentious memorial. There was a consensus that moving it to the Garden of the Provinces — the site originally chosen by the National Capital Commission in 2011 — was appropriate, she said.

The government plans to hold a national competition in 2016 to choose a revised design that fits with the memorial’s new location and budget, which has been scaled back to $3 million from $5.5 million. (The Conservative government, which had pledged more than $4 million to the project, already spent $370,000, Joly revealed.)

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:Hurrah! Congrats to the coalition of design professionals led by Barry Podolsky and Shirley Blumberg who worked so diligently to bring attention to the significant mistake that was contemplated. If not for their initiative courage, and legal appeal, the ground would have been broken last summer.


16. Ottawa Sun: Design Professionals Take Leadership In Monumental Debate
Elsa Lam, Editor Canadian Architect

Looking behind the controversy

As the year comes to a close, the misguided plans for a Memorial to the Victims of Communism adjacent the Supreme Court have happily changed.

The new federal government has announced it will relocate the Memorial from its contentious site, and restart the competition process on a new site.

This is not a simple case of reason prevailing, but rather, a hard won victory led by a coalition of design-sector individuals and organizations. Shirley Blumberg of Toronto architecture firm KPMB, Ottawa architect Barry Padolsky, and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) were key players in a strategic campaign opposing the memorial, and delaying critical decisions surrounding it until the new government came into place.

Padolsky first raised the alarm last fall, when he realized a large-scale memorial was slated to land near the Supreme Court, on a site he knew to be reserved for a major judicial building. He wrote an open letter to then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Blumberg added her clout as soon as the competition results were announced; as a jury member, she was under a confidentiality agreement prohibiting her from speaking out sooner.

A group of architectural organizations rallied together around the cause. The RAIC, Ontario Association of Architects, Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, Canadian Institute of Planners, Council for Canadian Urbanism, and Heritage Ottawa issued statements asking the government move the memorial to a different site.

National and international news media brought the memorial to public attention--criticizing the misallocated site, heavy-handed design, ballooning costs, and partisan politics behind the project. A petition opposing the memorial, organized by a group of University of Ottawa students, gathered more than 5,000 signatories.

Padolsky was the public face of much of the opposition. He fielded questions from journalists and led weekly conference calls with a growing group of core stakeholders opposing the monument.

Blumberg organized the nation's Order of Canada-bearing architects to write an open letter to Tribute to Liberty, the group that had initiated the monument.

Behind the scenes, Blumberg was figuring out how to prevent shovels going into the ground before a fall election was announced. Consulting with politically connected contacts in Toronto, she determined legal action would be needed. With Padolsky and the RAIC, she lined up Ottawa lawyer Paul Champ to take up the case. Heritage Ottawa also joined as a litigant.

When the NCC decided to allow site decontamination to start, the litigants pulled the trigger and filed suit. And not a moment too soon, the papers were filed in court at noon the day after the NCC meeting; that morning, the site had already been staked out for digging.

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:Heritage Ottawa, followed by Architectural Conservancy Ontario were the involved in this debate. This was the first time I can remember that so many traditionally apolitical professional associations organizing around an issue of national importance.


17. St. Catharines Standard:
Karena Walter

Archeologist has hope for historic canal site

More than seven years ago, archeolgist Jon Jouppien made a monumental discovery in Port Dalhousie.

The heritage consultant and a team of diggers uncovered the Lake Ontario entrance to the First Welland Canal in Lakeside Park in October 2008.

It had, Jouppien thought, the potential to become a huge tourist attraction, drawing people off the QEW to St. Catharines.

“This is of national and provincial significance,” he said Wednesday next to the lake, directly above the historic timber beams and wall supports that were reburied. “It’s a forum to bring people into the city.”

With recent talk at city council about Lakeside Park upgrades to washrooms and the pavilion, Jouppien can’t help but wonder when unearthing the hidden canal will make the list of priorities.

“We have a huge marine heritage here,” he said.

Jouppien hopes the city creates a park master plan and includes the canal as a feature in it. He said they could expose part of what was found and have an open exhibit.

At the same time, he said, the city could take marine artifacts from storage at the St. Catharines Museum and put them on display in a satellite museum at Lakeside Park.

“It’s so apparent to me, I don’t know why they keep missing it,” he said.

The timing may finally be right to explore the idea.

St. Catharines director of parks, recreation and culture services David Oakes said staff will bring a report to council in January about creating a master plan for the park.

The request for a comprehensive park plan, by St. Patrick’s Coun. Mark Elliott, came at the same time council asked staff to review the cost estimates of a pavilion restoration or replacement.

Oakes said a bigger plan for the park would include heritage aspects. But, he said, it would take some time. It’s not as simple as saying this is where the canal was located — heritage consultation has to happen.

“From our standpoint, we definitely haven’t lost sight of the heritage elements of Lakeside Park,” Oakes said. “It just haven’t been translated at this point into a heritage master plan for Lakeside Park that would include lock 1, but we definitely recognize that.

Port Dalhousie councillors Carlos Garcia and Bruce Williamson said the canal site is significant.

Garcia said he was involved with the dig as a volunteer.

“I would like to do everything possible to make that more of a feature of the park. The big challenge is it’s a very expensive thing and we have all the budget constraints,” he said.


18. Waterloo Record: Richard Florida Speaking Waterloo
Terry Pender

KITCHENER  Waterloo Region needs to start planning now for the negative impacts of an urban renaissance driven by an expanding technology sector, says renowned urban thinker and writer Richard Florida. The negatives include unaffordable housing, increa

KITCHENER — Waterloo Region needs to start planning now for the negative impacts of an urban renaissance driven by an expanding technology sector, says renowned urban thinker and writer Richard Florida.

The negatives include unaffordable housing, increased congestion and a nasty backlash from segments of the population that feel left out of a revitalized, urban-centred lifestyle, Florida said earlier this week at Canada Technology Triangle's annual international reception and dinner.

"We have to plan now," he said. "You do not want to find yourself in that situation."

Former Toronto mayor Rob Ford was elected as a result of that backlash, and it also explains the support for Donald Trump in the Republic Party primaries in the United States, Florida said.

The creative economy is dividing cities, he said. While the creative class prospers and thrives, about half the population is falling farther and farther behind. This has created a new urban crisis, said Florida, who will explore the subject in his next book.

"In San Francisco, oh my God, it is not only congested, nobody can afford to buy a house," Florida said. "That's one of the things we are finding in knowledge hubs and tech communities like this one, and it happens so fast."

It is a crisis of success because too many people want to live in the resurgent urban cores of technology hubs and they are bidding up the price of housing, he said.

Florida skyrocketed to international fame in 2002 with the publication of "The Rise of the Creative Class." He has since published four more books and has another one scheduled for release in early 2016.

Florida is the director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, a global research professor at New York University, and the founder of the Creative Class Group, which works closely with governments and companies worldwide.

Click here for Link


19. The Guardian: Towers in London
Rowan Moore

How a high-rise craze is ruining London's skyline

Catherine Nasmith, Taken from South Bank, St. Paul's rapidly disappearing from some angles
Catherine Nasmith, from bridge over Thames, cluster of new cranes

 

There is no nice way of putting this, but the skyline of London is being screwed. There are now, built and in the pipeline, at least 30 towers, typically in a height range of 150-200 metres (or 490-650 feet. The BT tower is 177 metres high and more slender than anything now proposed). They are the fulfilment of the desires of investors and of the policies of Ken Livingstone, pursued with equal vigour by Boris Johnson, even though he once promised to take a tougher line on height.

With minimum discussion, proposals are being waved through the planning system – and while both the mayor of London and the communities secretary, Eric Pickles, have the power to intervene in major decisions, neither has done so. A decade ago, plans for buildings such as the Shard and the Gherkin were widely publicised, provoked debate and were the subject of public inquiries. Now, developers and architects hold modest public exhibitions in the immediate neighbourhood of their proposals and are not overanxious that they should be more widely known about.

London's skyscraper boom - in pictures

It's well known that Ken Livingstone was a fan of the skyscraper and ushered in a new high-rise era during his time as London mayor. But the dash for height has continued under Boris Johnson, despite his initial promise to take a tougher stance. Most of the 20-plus towers currently being built or about to break ground fail to meet development guidelines, argues our architecture critic. So what has happened to the planning system? 

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:Some of the new buildings are landmarks in their own right, but many are just clutter. One thing that is noticeable is that these really tall buildings fail to rival St. Paul's. Sir Christopher Wren's masterpiece of the late 1600's makes most around it seem puny in ambition and substance.


20. Arch Daily: Detroit First US City City of Design

Detroit Becomes First City in the US to be Named a UNESCO "City of Design"

UNESCO has inaugurated 47 new cities into its Creative Cities Network, with Detroit being selected as the first "City of Design" from the United States. The Creative Cities Network is a selection of cities across the world that promote the creation of creative and cultural industries, within the categories of crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts, and music.

Following other United States cities to be added to the list this year, including Austin for Media Arts and Tucson for Gastronomy, Detroit has been made the first city in the US to be inducted into the network for design. Other Cities of Design from the recent addition to the network include Budapest and Singapore.

“Design continues to play a significant role in our economy, and it was important that our application reflect our city’s contributions to the golden design community, both historically and today,” Ellie Schneider, Interim Executive Director of the Detroit Creative Corridor, told Architectural Digest.

 

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:Definitely go to the site and watch the video of all that is going on in D. And book a visit.


21. Brantford Expositor: Paris Town Hall
Michael Allan-Marion

Paris Old Town Hall to become Bawcutt Centre

PARIS - Pride of a family and pride of a town converged in a $1-million gift from celebrated TV producers Linda Schuyler and Stephen Stohn to help buy the Paris Old Town Hall and help a heritage group convert it into The Bawcutt Centre.

The council chamber was filled with about 70 people Tuesday evening to witness the approval of a gifting agreement between the County of Brant and Skystone Media Inc. that allowed the county to buy the Old Town Hall for $1.1 million and help the Society for the Preservation of Paris Architectural Heritage save and renovate the historic, but deteriorating Gothic building on Burwell Street into a multi-purpose community centre.

Schuyler, who came to prominence as a co-creator of the DeGrassi television series, told the gathering how the example of her parents, Joyce and former Paris mayor Jack Bawcutt, led her and her husband to make the donation.

The Bawcutts and other family members were in the chamber for the signing celebration.

Schuyler explained how her father came to Canada in 1953 to find work to bring his immigrant family, including her, from England to live a better life. He got a job at Mary Maxim, which first operated from the building.

"I remember my dad used to take me to his office in this building," she said.

Schuyler said she also is aware that the Old Town Hall was built in 1853 in celebration of the creation of municipal government by the Baldwin Act in 1849.

Click here for Link


22. City Lab.com: In Memoriam Important Buildings lost in 2015
Kreston Kapps

In Memoriam Important Buildings lost in 2015

The Orange County Government Building as seen in Goshen, New York, in April 2015. (Mike Groll/AP)
Brutalism lost the good fight in 2015. One of its most important icons, the Orange County Government Center in Goshen, New York, fell to the wrecking ball this year. Paul Rudolphs many-eyed monster should still be standing today.

The odds were never so stacked against it as its detractors might think. The Government Center has been on the chopping block since 2011, when it was damaged by Hurricane Irene following decades of neglect. Its supporters rallied this year, when Gene Kaufman, a prominent New York architect , offered to buy and restore the building to turn it into an artists residency and exhibit space. Kaufman even offered to design a new government building next doorfor millions less than what Orange County was looking to pay. A no-brainer, as Michael Kimmelman put it in The New York Times.

The local daily, The Times Herald-Record, nodded in agreement. What started for [Kaufman] as a hope to preserve a unique building has turned into something else, a chance for the county and especially the Village of Goshen to get more and spend less than they have considered in any other circumstance, one editorial reads. By tearing down the Government Center, the county was giving up a cultural asset others had deemed valuableas in purchasable.


Mike Groll/AP
Steven Neuhaus, the Orange County executive, nevertheless plowed ahead, vetoing a county bill to hear out Kaufmans proposal for a two-building solution. County legislators declined to override the executives veto, and efforts by one attorney to stall the process through the courts ultimately failed. In lieu of a combined government complex and arts center, Orange County is proceeding with a demolition and replacement scheme that has been rife withcost overruns, charges of nepotism, and accusations of environmental neglect.

County residents are looking to us right now to stop a runaway train, one lawmaker told The Times Herald-Record earlier this year.


Rendering of a proposed replacement and restoration for the Orange County Government Center. (Orange County)
What a waste. Bids to complete a new building arrived in line with the countys budget projections in December, but still, the city is not getting as much for its money. Even critics who reject Brutalism for more-or-less ideological reasonsnamely the anti-intellectual charge that Heroic Concrete is uglyought to see that Orange County bungled this one. Any building neglected for decades, sacked by a Category 3 hurricane, then slobberknockered by Superstorm Sandy would have fared as poorly (or worse). Only an architectural gem would draw suitors promising to buy it, preserve it, and return it to the tax rolls, despite the battering it had taken.

Rudolphs Orange County Government Center isnt the only significant building that the architectural community lost in 2015. The demolition of Baltimores Morris A. Mechanic Theatre, designed by John M. Johansen of the Harvard Five, finished up this year. The orders were finally signed late last fall, although the effort to clear away the Brutalist theater began back in 2012.

Johansen, who died the same year, lived long enough to see plans emerge to erase his great accomplishment. Its one of my best buildings, and to see it torn downits very hard to take, he told Amanda Kolson Hurley.


The Morris A. Mechanic Theatre, designed by John M. Johansen, in Baltimore in 2008. (Allie Caulfield/Flickr)
Recounting the details of how the city lost the Morris Mechanic is like reading through a tragedy that might have been performed there. As Hurley explains, Baltimores Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation had hoped to landmark it several years back. At the same time, a developer proposed a plan that would have preserved 80 to 90 percent of the buildings exterior. Since the theatre wouldnt change that much anyway, the citys Planning Commission voted against the landmark designationthe first time it had rejected a landmark in 40 years. Later, those plans changed, and when they did, there was no circle of protection in place to preserve the building.

Demolition on another building by Johansen began late last year as well: Stage Theater, once known as the Mummers Theater, in Oklahoma City. The Oklahomans Steve Lackmeyer called the 1970 project the number-one modernist building in the city that should have been spared. (Unfortunately, modernist and retro architecture is leveled often enough in OKC that it takes a list to keep track of it all.) Preservationists had hoped to turn it into a childrens museum. Models of the building show what a delightful museum it might have made, but that proposal didnt gain traction fast enough.


The former Mummers Theater, designed by Johansen for Oklahoma City, in an undated picture. (OKC Modern )
The plans to replace the theater with towers are years old now, and the building was virtually cleared around the end of 2014. But nothing has happened since. Lackmeyer reports this week that the redevelopment scheme for the Johansen building site has hit some serious snags:

[P]romises of work starting this year . . . on two 26-story apartment towers and two 25-story office towers on the former site of Stage Center did not materialize. The project is being scoped down to two towers, one for OGE Energy Corp. and one for apartments. The height is reportedly going to be lower than planned. But as of this week, a deal has yet to conclude for any requested [public] assistance. Meanwhile, new leadership has taken over at OGE Energy Corp.
So this done deal was not so done after all. Yet Johansens theater is a hole in the ground all the same.

These stories (and several others from over the last year) serve as a cautionary tale: Haste makes waste. Moving too rapidly toward demolition has cost some communities irrevocable architectural wonders. Some deserving projects were torn down for opportunities that have failed to materialize, or while other options were still on the table. Executives, mayors, and councilors should move more cautiously when significant architecture is at risk. Demolition should be a last resort for projects that matter.

[F]unctionality is not the only standard for judging a building, Lackmeyerwrites about Oklahoma Citys lost Johansen theater. And I believe that regardless of what gets built at 214 W. Sheridan Ave., future generations will cast a harsh judgment on the demise of Stage Center.

Other major buildings demolished in 2015


John Madins 1973 Central Library for Birmingham, England. Demolished in January. (Tony Hisgett/Flickr)

Greyfriars Bus Station, pictured in 2011, was designed by Arup for Northampton, England, in 1976. Demolished in March. (diamond geezer/Flickr)

CityLabs Mark Byrnes explained the circumstances of Shoreline, an affordable housing complex designed by Paul Rudolph and erected along Buffalos waterfront in 1974. Demolished in May. (Barbara A. Campagna)

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23. Daily Telegraph: Dwindling Church Congregations Britain

Rural vicars drowning amid battle to keep empty churches open

Rural clergy warned they are “close to drowning” under the pressure of maintaining multiple medieval buildings with dwindling congregations as the Church of England considers radical plans to scale back its ancient parish network to cope with decline.

But the bishop overseeing a review into the future of the 16,000 Anglican places of worship warned against “Dr Beeching-type cuts” with thousands of little-used parish buildings effectively closed.

The Bishop of Worcester, the Rt Rev John Inge, insisted that such a mass closure would send out a signal that the Church and Christianity itself had “had their day in this country”.

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