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Issue No. 265 | January 11, 2018

1. Stephen Otto Order of Canada
Catherine Nasmith, Rollo Myers

Stephen Otto, taken during the 1990's in front of Fort York

The New Year began well for Canada's heritage advocates with the Order of Canada award for Stephen Otto.

Steve's friend Michael Vaughan noted " As long as I have been involved and it has been a long time now, whenever a heritage question has arisen, the first thing anyone says is "Call Steve." For generations of us you have been the 'call to' person, so the Nation's recognition of your contribution through your Membership in the Order of Canada, will be felt by many as recognition of their own work and confirmation of the public worth of their efforts. Also, and perhaps more than merely collaterally important, your lesson of active and engaged celebration of our heritage, has generated an institutional response including Heritage Toronto and Heritage Canada among many others."

Friend Rollo Myers writes--"I have known Stephen Otto for more than thirty years and have an ever-increasing admiration for his judgment, knowledge and impeccable research on anything to do with Ontario’s history -- and his determination invariably underpins tangible outcomes that have brought about positive, significant change."

He is a special friend to the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, a member of its President's Circle. 

Steve brings to heritage a unique set of skills; he is descended from a loyalist family who came to Upper Canada in 1794. He graduated in History from Cambridge and also has degrees from the University of Toronto and the Harvard Business School. He has an extraordinary memory for historic facts, and an exceptional interest in the people in any story, past and present. 

Steve's bio continues....His accomplishments are numerous. First there were his updates on Eric Arthur’s landmark Toronto – No Mean City. Then his Once More Into the Breach that chronicled Fort York’s long history of trials and tribulations, then his participation in the award-winning urban design proposal Fort York – Setting it Right, both of which gained Toronto City Council’s attention, and contributed to the success and achievements of the Friends of Fort York, a group of volunteers Steve helped found, provided continuing leadership to, tha funds the Fort York Guard, and raises funds for the new Fort York Visitors Centre, including a generous personal donation.

Steve initiated and advised Parks Canada’s precise delineation of the Fort York National Historic Precinct and encouraged and influenced the subsequent addition of significant additional open space for the fort.

His research brought back to public attention the original Walks and Gardens legislation – dating to 1818 – of how Toronto’s waterfront should be protected, and this in turn led to Council’s formation of the Walks and Gardens Working Group.  The successful international competition for the commemorative artwork to be installed at Union Station is a direct result of Steve’s initial research and participation.

Steve’s sought-after advice has influenced the development of – amongst many others -- Toronto’s Distillery District,  Spadina House, Todmorden Mills -- and he advised on and participated in successful efforts to return the site of Upper Canada’s First Parliament Buildings to public ownership.

Steve was head of Heritage Conservation Services at Ontario's Ministry of Culture and Recreation, and administered the newly enacted Ontario Heritage Act between 1975 and 1981. During this period his initiative resulted in the donation of the superlative Horwood Collection of architectural drawings to the Ontario Archives. He also organized a landmark exhibition in Toronto on the history of Toronto's City Halls.

He was a former director of the Ontario Heritage Foundation (now Trust), and a former director of the Canadian Association of Heritage Professional Consultants.

He was awarded the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977, the Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2015, and has received awards for Special Achievement from Heritage Toronto and from Architectural Conservancy Ontario.

Steve has been an active participant in the regular publication -- since 1996 -- of Fife and Drum, the journal of the Friends of Fort York. With book reviews, recipes, historical essays, biographies, research reports, architectural studies and other topics of interest to the 3000 readers.

Along the way, he has become involved in so many smaller projects, particularly around Toronto, such as finding a dignified location for the bust of Robert Gourlay, or commemoration for Joseph Bloor. 

Thank you to whoever made this most worthy nomination. No doubt many BHN subscribers have many things they are grateful to Steve for. Now would be a good time to drop him a card or letter to tell him how you feel and congratulate him on this recognition. No one ever tires of receiving nice notes in the mail!


2. Sean Fraser to Join Ontario Culture Division as Director of Programs
Kevin Finnerty, Assistant Deputy Minister

I am pleased to announce that Sean Fraser is the successful candidate for the position of Director of Programs and Services Branch with the Culture Division.

No stranger to the ministry or to the culture sector, Sean joins us from the Ontario Heritage Trust where he has held increasingly senior positions within the agency over the past decade. Most recently, he was the Director of Heritage Programs and Operations Branch, leading the team responsible for developing heritage policy and programs, overseeing the Trust’s natural and cultural heritage properties, operating its museums and delivering public programs, such as Doors Open Ontario, the Conservation Easements Program and the Ontario Heritage Act Register. Sean has also played a leadership role in establishing and maintaining relationships with a wide range of internal partners, stakeholders and Indigenous communities to deliver the Trust’s programs and projects. Most notably, he led his branch team in delivering the extremely complex reburial of 1761 Huron-Wendat Ancestors on Trust lands which garnered him and two of his colleagues an Amethyst Award in 2014 for this important act of reconciliation.

When he is not at the office, Sean is still immersed in the sector, mentoring students and emerging professionals and delivering lectures and workshops on heritage planning, the Ontario Heritage Act, sustainability and conservation topics at educational institutions and for industry associations.

Sean’s extensive experience operating, planning and developing museums and heritage sites, as well as delivering cultural programs, administering grants, undertaking cultural resource management, archaeology and heritage planning will be an asset to the Division as we continue to implement the actions outlined in Ontario’s Culture Strategy. Given his breadth and depth of cultural heritage knowledge gained over the past 25 years working in the sector, I have no doubt that Sean’s transition to his new role will be seamless and he will be able to hit the ground running when he starts with us on Monday, January 22.

In the interim, Chris Schiller, manager of the Program Planning and Delivery Unit, will be Acting Director of the Programs and Services Branch. 

I would like to thank Roselle Martino, Assistant Deputy Minister, Population and Public Health Division, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and Oz Seydali, Executive Talent Search Consultant, Centre for Leadership & Learning, for their help with this competition.

Editor's Note:
Congrats Sean!


3. Rescuing Historic Rock Inscriptions At The Bala Falls
Jack Hutton

Pittsburgh Rod and Gun Club, Bala Falls, 1888

The Muskoka branch of the Architectural Conservancy Ontario (ACO) had special reasons to pop champagne corks on New Year’s Eve. There was great suspense in November and December about whether it would be possible to preserve two rock inscriptions that were found on a large boulder at the construction site for a controversial hydro plant at the Bala Falls. The side by side chiseled inscriptions dated back to 1888 and 1919.

Balla Rock

As Christmas approached, Swift River Energy Ltd., the developer, announced that it had been able to separate a one metre deep slice of the gneiss granite behind the two rock inscriptions for a future display. The delicate separation was based upon bracing the rock thoroughly before carefully orchestrated line drilling followed.

That was the first Christmas miracle. Meanwhile, ACO members in the Muskoka and London branches, aided by a Bala environmental advocate, were able to identify all five mystery signatures on the two inscriptions, dating all the way back to 1888. That was the second miracle.

The boulder, which many would call a ridge (25 feet wide, 20 feet deep and 8 feet high), was discovered in mid-November after crew for Swift River Energy Ltd. (SREL) moved earth and soil in preparation for laying foundations for the hydro plant. They were astonished to see chiseled letters on one face of the rock.

As word of the find slowly spread, Gunta Towsley, ACO Muskoka branch president, called a vice-president of Swift River, Nhung Nguyen, to point out that the discovery had taken place near Bala’s recently approved Heritage Conservation District. Swift River, she learned, had already informed the Ministry of Tourism and Culture about the find and had retained an archeologist.

Things moved quickly after that conversation. SREL moved its construction work away from the historical rock while it consulted experts about how to cut away a portion of the rock surface with the inscriptions for a future display. The biggest worry was a crack that went through the inscriptions. A 3-dimensional digital scan and mold was made to preserve the inscriptions as backup.

On Dec. 20th, Swift River announced that the rock inscriptions had been preserved despite the knuckle-biting odds against its success. The dimensions of the future display are approximately 1.6 m high, 2.7 m wide and 0.8 to 1.0 m thick. Weight estimate: 10 tons.

Meanwhile, several ACO members from the Muskoka and London branches had identified all the signatures on two rock inscriptions with the added help of a Bala environmental advocate. The right side inscription read: W.A.T. AND G.G. BIRRELL, AUGUST, 1919, LONDON, ONT. We now know that W.A.T. Birrell, 18, and his brother, Gordon, 19, both worked as electricians for Hydro in London. A left side inscription read: 1888, G.V. WILLSON HIRAM DUPU(Y) PITTSBURG US Liz Lundell, founding president of the Muskoka ACO branch and editor of ACORN, found that the Pittsburgh Rod and Gun Club had tented at the Bala Falls connection in 1888. Both Willson, a prominent Pittsburgh businessman and DuPuy, a Pittsburgh dental surgeon, were members. Many are calling the discovery of the Bala historical rock one of the most exciting archeological finds in ACO’s recent history.

Read the spring issue of ACO’s ACORN magazine to learn the whole story.

 


4. OMB Motion to Dismiss Proceedings in Cambridge, re: HIP Southwards Inc Proposal
ACO Cambridge Executive

Image from Cambridge Times of Southworks Project
From ACO Cambridge
 
Update: OMB Motion to Dismiss proceedings 
 
Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018  10:00 a.m.

City of Cambridge Council Chambers

OMB Vice Chair, and the session’s Chairperson, Susan Schiller presided at yesterday’s hearing of the HIP Southworks Inc. Motion to Dismiss. 

The proceedings got underway at 10 a.m. and concluded at 1:03. Peter Pickfield (Garrod Pickfield LLP) represented ACO Cambridge & North Dumfries, supported by Allan Ramsay (planner). Eric Davis (Miller Thomson) represented HIP Developments, supported by David Aston and Dan Currie of HMBC Planners. City staff attending were Kelly Yerxa (City Solicitor) and Elaine Brunn Shaw (Director of Planning). HIP Developments staff attending were Scott Higgins (President of HIP Developments Inc.) and Joel Doherty (Director of Development). 

Several board members attended as did a small number of concerned citizens, some of whom are local branch members.

Submissions were presented by both legal counsels, and throughout these, Chair Schiller asked questions of Eric Davis, Peter Pickfield, and City Solicitor Kelly Yerxa. The Chair then concluded, stating that she ‘would not be delivering her decision today’ but would reserve her decision until further notice.

Those board members attending were impressed with Peter Pickfield’s submission, and by extension his team of Allan Ramsay and Christopher Andreae, and were reassured that ACO C&ND’s case has merit, regardless of the outcome.  

Board members were also impressed by the manner of the Chair and her questions and directions to counsel; and they expressed guarded optimism about the eventual decision from OMB Chair Schiller.

Thank you to those who were able to attend, and for everyone's continuing support of this community’s built and natural heritage.

-- 

The Board of ACO Cambridge & North Dumfries
formerly Heritage Cambridge
 
For background: Cambridge Times Article

 


5. Globe and Mail Opinion: The Need for a Canadian Architecture Policy
Toon Dreesen

Canadian architecture needs the support of a national policy

Toon Dreesen, former OAA President

Every building we see today, and build tomorrow, will be here for generations so it behooves us to invest properly and get the design right.

As architects, we think about how society will be using and interacting with the built environment. Are the entrances and levels accessible? Is the building pleasing to the eye? Does it respond to the context of its surroundings? Is it sustainable?

The built environment shapes our collective memory of place, and houses the important cultural events of our society. In 2016, the Ontario Association of Architects made a submission to the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, on the failure to include architecture in its cultural policy. This submission noted that "some of our leading architects do their best work abroad – often exclusively so – in jurisdictions that welcome and promote architecture as an important aspect of our culture."

 Doug Saunders, in his book Maximum Canada, explored this issue: our population density is too low to support major public institutions and "the situation is worse in Quebec, where the market size of media is even smaller …" When applied to architecture, this is even more true, because it is not just publicly funded buildings but also the private development that creates much of the built environment. When Mr. Saunders interviewed architect Frank Gehry, he said "Canada had not offered the well supported educational institutions, the critical mass of creative people to produce radical new ideas, or the consumer markets for architecture to support more inventive practices."

Click here for Link


6. Globe and Mail: Bentway Brings Skating to Fort York
Alex Bozikovic

The Bentway's surprising success shows Torontonians are hungry for unconventional public spaces

Lots of Torontonians, apparently. The new public space known as the Bentway opened to the public this weekend, under the Gardiner, west of Bathurst Street. And despite the clawing cold, the figure-eight skating rink was packed; the warming stations, in converted shipping containers, were overflowing; the cider was flowing, the DJs even got some people moving their hips.

It was an amazing beginning for a place that is, in many ways, kind of strange: a hybrid of path, recreation area and open-air performance space. Yet according to the Bentway Conservancy, the non-profit that operates the space, roughly 20,000 people came out during the first two days. 

There's a lesson here for Toronto: People are hungry for different kinds of public space, and the best way to respond is to get on with building it, fast.

So far, the Bentway is still "a work in progress," as the philanthropist Judy Matthews – who, with her husband, Wilmot Mathews, catalyzed the project with a $25-million donation – told media on Friday. Put more frankly, it's a construction site. A new warming pavilion isn't quite complete; the landscape is only partially finished; the temporary shipping-crate warming stations were just coming off trucks on Friday afternoon. The design, conceived by landscape architects Public Work and urban designer Ken Greenberg, is nowhere near done. One day, it'll be a mix of rough and polished design elements; for now, it's all rough.

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:Skating where the former shore of Lake Ontario was doesn't get mentioned, but that idea has been kicked around for decades, lovely to see it materialize.


7. Globe and Mail: Morton Katz projects in King City
Dave Le Blanc

Two groovy houses, two glaringly different outcomes

Sundial House, King City, Ont. Front elevation.

The King City, Ont., home of Amadio and Maria Scodeller. 

 

To paraphrase, you know what they say about the best laid plans of architourists and architects, right?

I wanted to tell the tale of the "Sundial House" in King City, an hour north of Toronto. Designed in 1968 for the co-owner of a concrete forming and masonry company, the 8,000 square foot, circular, poured-concrete home had once been an architectural showpiece. It still is, in a way, but it has also suffered from some insensitive renovations and most of its handpicked furniture and art is long gone.

An old photo of King City's 'Sundial House'.

An old photo of King City’s ‘Sundial House.’ 

ONTARIO ARCHIVES 

When I visited in late October, I'd watched architect Morton Katz, now 83, walk through, slowly, and shake his head in dismay many times. While I'm paraphrasing, quiet observations such as "These rooms have been widened, so the sundial effect has been diminished," and "This dining table isn't what we picked out," or "What's this pipe doing here?" were common. 

 

With bedrooms designed to catch the morning sun, other rooms able to trace the sun's daily path and a living room sunset show each evening, I could sense what this home once was, but I'd left wanting more.

While Mr. Katz and I agreed that such is the (possible) lifecycle of a private home, there was enough dejection hanging in the cool autumn air that Mr. Katz promised to visit the Ontario Archives, where most of his work is now stored, to borrow some photographs of the building in its prime.

Sundial House, King City, Ont. Morris Katz in front of Sundial House, Oct., 2017.

Architect Morton Katz photographed in front of Sundial House in October, 2017

But I did get more: As hands were shaking and I'd snapped a photograph of the white-bearded architect – who bears some resemblance to Donald Sutherland – in front of the home's front door, he suggested we knock on that of the neighbouring home. "I designed that one too," he said, "and they've kept it exactly as it was."

Click here for Link


8. Globe and Mail: Unceded-Canada's Indigenous Design and Venice Biennale
Alex Bozikovic

What Canada's entry at the next Venice Biennale really means

A rendering of the Unceded exhibition, which will be on display at the Venice Biennale in 2018.

A rendering of the Unceded exhibition, which will be on display at the Venice Biennale in 2018. 

HANDOUT 

Architecture is the art that forms the deepest roots. You can't make a building, or a city, without choosing a place. Yet Canadian architecture has often excluded those who have the strongest connections here: People of Indigenous descent and their traditions have been pushed aside.

Next year, a group of Indigenous curators will change that. The exhibition Unceded will be Canada's entry at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. It will "bring the Indigenous voice in architecture," architect David Fortin says, into the global conversation.

Curated by the eminent architect Douglas Cardinal, arts curator Gerald McMaster and Fortin, it will bring together work by a range of architects from across North America. And just what does "the Indigenous voice" have to say? Unceded promises to answer that question, and perhaps change the way Canada builds in this period of truth and reconciliation – not just in Indigenous communities but everywhere.

 

"There is a particular thinking that these architects are converging on," McMaster explains. "As with Indigenous art, it's a new medium, but there's a focus back on Indigenous principles and a discourse that's specific to them. That's what we're trying to articulate."

In conversations, the curators and some of their collaborators expressed a series of themes: valuing of local and traditional knowledge; deep consultation with the public who will live with a building; and a multigenerational perspective toward the Earth. It's not principally a question of a formal style or of particular building types, but of a world view.

"What is Indigenous architecture? There is no single definition," says Fortin, who is director of the McEwen School of Architecture at Laurentian University and associate director of the Maamwizing Indigenous Research Institute, the Sudbury university's centre for Indigenous research.

"At its most basic level, like with Indigenous art, there is a position that only design led by Indigenous architects can be considered as such," Fortin adds. But considered another way, it's "a region-specific design process that expresses the distinct cultures of the Indigenous peoples of that region," he explains, "including their specific social, ecological, visual, material and spiritual values."

Click here for Link


9. Hamilton Spectator: Westinghouse building restored to former glory, then some
Kathy Renwald

Hamilton office building, closed 30 years, is being transformed. Its first tenant is an architectural firm

Owner developer Meir Dick (centre) describes the architectural details of the main entrance. - Gary Yokoyama,The Hamilton Spectator

It's colder in the former Canadian Westinghouse head office building than it is outside.

It's -12 C on Sanford Avenue on a December day, yet the four people leading us on an icy tour of the long vacant building are so optimistic about its future they radiate warmth.

"The space in this building is phenomenal because it has incredible history and architectural details," says architect Joanne McCallum.

The Westinghouse office building, at 286 Sanford Ave. N., is being reborn and McCallum Sather Architects have signed on as the first anchor tenants. They will occupy the 10,000-square-foot second floor, with a move-in date set for June 1.

Click here for Link


10. TO Design Offsite Festival

Too many things to list, but if you are at all interested in design in all its forms, then take a look and sign up for some of the many events....and besides what could be better than being somewhere interesting INSIDE in January.

Click here for Link


11. Blackburn News: Future of U of Windsor Residence
Mark Brown

Fate of Historic Windsor Home Debated by City Council

Iona College on Sunset Ave. at the University of Windsor. (Photo courtesy of Google.ca/maps)Iona College on Sunset Ave. at the University of Windsor. (Photo courtesy of Google.ca/maps)

The future of a west Windsor house is in the hands of City Council.

Council is expected to discuss at its Monday night meeting a plan to designate the Iona College-Stuart MacDonald House on Sunset Ave as a heritage property, despite efforts by the University of Windsor to tear it down.

Council`s planning, heritage and economic development standing committee voted in November to recommend declaring the house as a heritage property.

The house was first built in 1924 and sits on a section of Sunset Ave near the U of W campus called Judges Row. The house was once owned by Judge Bruce J.S. MacDonald, who was Canada`s chief war crimes prosecutor during the Nuremburg Trials.

The building was purchased by the university in 2016 after the previous occupant, Iona College, fell into debt. The college had built an addition to the rear of the house in 1974.

The university has asked for the house to be demolished because, according to the report submitted to City Council, it does not have sufficient cultural heritage value or interest to prevent it from being demolished. U of W has announced a desire to turn the site of the house into green space.

According to the report, the house is not included in the university`s master transformation plan.

The city had placed the house on its Municipal Heritage Registry in 2008.

Click here for Link


12. Canadian Architect: Review of 50 Years of Canadian Architect Awards

They're 50

They’re 50

Looking back on five decades of architectural hopes, triumphs and signs of our times.

Canadian Architect Awards

James Murray, the first editor of Canadian Architect.

In 1967, Canadian Architect’s founding editor James Murray was joined by architects Macy DuBois and Eberhard Zeidler to deliberate for two days on the best of Canadian design. The three men pored over a field of 232 submissions, and in choosing a handful of projects deemed to “reflect the most advanced thinking” in the profession, launched the inauguralCanadian Architect Yearbook Awards.

Among that first year’s winners were Moshe Safdie, John B. Parkin and Raymond Moriyama, whose works in no small way still shape what and how we think about architecture in Canada. Also lauded was Clifford & Lawrie’s proposed scheme for the Spadina Expressway at the Eglinton Interchange in Toronto, a project that aspired to accommodate the freeway by “harmoniously” integrating an underground pedestrian passageway below it, and proving to the jury that “we no longer have to fear the car.” (Jane Jacobs et al felt otherwise, though, and the partially constructed Expressway was cancelled in 1971.) The offering in 1973 of an Award of Excellence for Sankey Associates’s urban-design scheme for Montreal’s Quartier Notre-Dame affirmed the still-dominant belief in separating urban areas into discrete sections for living, working, visiting, driving, walking, tourism, government and industry—all bordered off from each other with an artisanally hand-drawn turquoise line.

Canadian Architect Awards

One of the early Canadian Architect Award winners; the 1973 design proposal for the Quartier Notre-Dame in Old Montreal, by Sankey Associates

In the years to come, the annual Awards became a staple for the magazine and the profession, for the first 25 years always with James Murray as jury chair and two high-calibre architects rounding things out. Emerging as a new Canadian identity coalesced in the afterglow of the Centennial, the Awards came into being amidst a Canadian architectural awakening. 

The Awards increasingly came to reflect the growing diversity, pluralism and overall standards of the profession and its work. Beginning in the 1970s, the juries gradually evolved from a Toronto-centric all-male group to represent more varied demographics. The name changed from the Yearbook Awards to the Awards of Excellence, signaling a new rigour and higher standard of accomplishment and innovation. Consequently, fewer Awards were bestowed—and in 1980, none whatsoever. In 1997, the evaluations became more nuanced by offering awards in two tiers: Excellence and Merit. Recognition of the next generation was added in 1987 with the establishment of the first Student Awards. In 1991, Ruth Cawker become the first female juror.

Since 1968, the juries celebrated several hundred projects, with the full list of Awards of Excellence winners now published in the following pages. From the winners, a handful of design have been highlighted. These projects aren’t necessarily the objective “best” of the hundreds of entries, but they are works that encapsulate the architectural and social values of their decade. The other hundreds of projects tabled in these columns tell those stories too, and taken together, chart the profession’s remarkable evolution to the present.

What became of them all? Some projects, such as Craig, Zeidler & Strong’s massively ambitious Toronto Harbour City, were never built. Others, like Norman Hotson’s Granville Island redevelopment, have become national landmarks. Many more helped to push architectural thinking in quieter ways. Some winning projects have already been demolished, recognized as missteps or later recognized as tragically lost masterpieces. Others are facing the quieter erasure of being slowly forgotten, surfacing intermittently to graze the fringes of public consciousness through architectural Twitter or—ahem—a wistful magazine retrospective. All of them—whether built or not—express something about the profession, and about us. By virtue of being chosen, they are a record of our collective values.

Click here for Link


13. National Preservation Trust: Researching your House
Meghan White

How to Research Your House's History: Part Two

In Ontario, the source is Goad's Atlases, often held in the public library, Ontario Archives or Western University Archives

Part of living in an old house is being lucky enough to live in a place that was witness to dozens of lives. But if you don't know its history, where can you start? A while back, we brought you 10 tips to tackle your historic house's history. This was a great introduction into what kind of things you should look for to get started—tax records, Sanborn maps, deeds, and titles. However, where these documents can be found and how they can be used isn't always common sense. If your first thought was "what's a Sanborn map?" read below for part two of how to research your historic house's history. (Hint: Sanborn maps are really cool!)

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:While these references are American, similar sources exist in Canada


14. The Guardian: Death of British Preservationist, Gavin Stamp
Ian Jack

Gavin Stamp obituary

For nearly 40 years, Gavin Stamp’s pseudonymous column in Private Eye waged war on the property developers and planning authorities who disfigured British towns with their greed and ineptitude

His ancestry was distinguished but nonconformist by tradition and neither lavish nor rich. One great-uncle, Josiah Stamp (later Lord Stamp), was an economist and public servant who rose to become chairman of the London, Midland & Scottish Railway; another great-uncle, Sir Dudley Stamp, was an eminent geographer. Their father had been manager of WH Smith’s railway bookstall in Wigan before coming south to establish a small London grocery chain, Cave Austin, which his grandson, Gavin’s father, Barry, inherited and – in the face of competition from the new supermarkets – failed to sustain; Gavin’s mother, Norah (nee Rich), had also been involved in the business, travelling around in her mini to inspect the stores. Later Barry became a driving instructor, which some people think explained Gavin’s life-long hatred of cars. He never learned to drive one.

At Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, he took a history degree that included architectural history, and back again in south London, this time in a bedsit, began to piece together a freelance life that revolved around the Architectural Press, publisher of the Architectural Review. He was a fine and largely self-taught draughtsman and drew sketches and plans for the anti-modernist architect Roderick Gradidge, and helped the curator John Harris catalogue the Royal Institute of British Architects’ drawings collection; some years later, in 1977, he organised and designed the catalogue for the RIBA’s Silent Cities exhibition on the war memorials of the first world war, which was the start of a lasting absorption with that war’s physical remembrance. 

 
 Stamp’s scholarship deepened our understanding of architects such as George Gilbert Scott, Alexander Thomson and Edwin Lutyens.

His visits to the offices of the Architectural Press – and, just as important, to the pub beneath it in Queen Anne’s Gate – introduced him to celebrated contributors such as Osbert Lancaster, Betjeman and Nikolaus Pevsner. He became particularly close to Betjeman and it was at Betjeman’s suggestion that Stamp took over the Private Eye column, Nooks and Corners of the New Barbarism, that the poet had founded in 1971 and that his daughter Candida had continued.

Click here for Link


15. Do You Know Anything About Toronto Architect Isadore Feldman?
John Lorinc

Have you ever come across a Toronto architect named Isadore Feldman, who worked in the city just after the turn of the century? He designed a synagogue on Centre Ave. The building was demolished in 1970's, after being the home of Pearl's Furniture. The drawings for the building are in the City of Toronto Archives.

If you have information, please share with John Lorinc at lorinc@rogers.com