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Issue No. 123 | July 22, 2008

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Feature Stories

  1. St. Thomas Destroying Sutherland Press Building over Owner's Protests
  2. Some Good News on Window Rescue - 719 Yonge Street
  3. Talking Heritage? : Federal Standing Committee on Finance
  4. Sutherland Lofts Website
  5. Toronto Star: Window Rescue 719 Yonge Street
  6. Rogers: Lloyd Alter of Treehugger Interviewed on Building Conservation as a Green Pursuit

Events

Art and Artefact: Fine and Decorative Art from the City of Toronto's Collections
July 12, 2008 and runs through to October 19, 2008
+ read


Wasaga under Siege: A War of 1812 Experience
July 25th, 26th, 27th 2008
+ read


Marcel Breuer House Tour at Pocantico
Tuesday, August 19
+ read


An evening of reminiscences of Lambert Love's hotels: Elgin House and Glen Home
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 6, 2008
+ read


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1. St. Thomas Destroying Sutherland Press Building over Owner's Protests
Catherine Nasmith: News Editorial

Photo taken last night, demolition started on the top floor
You might think that after the loss of Alma College, St. Thomas would be working as hard as it could to save its remaining heritage buildings, but you would be wrong.

Mayor Cliff Barwick has declared war on owners of neglected property in the town. With the support of his Council and the City engineer Mayor Barwick has made it clear that demolition by neglect will not be tolerated in St. Thomas. But instead of undertaking repairs and back-charging property owners for those costs, which the town has the power to do, St. Thomas has embarked on a course of issuing demolition orders against property owners, tearing down the buildings, and then trying to recover costs. This leaves the owners with bills to pay without a source of revenue, and the town with empty lots. St. Thomas already has far too many of those.

As Mom would say, it is cutting off your nose to spite your face. The first victim is David McGee, the Toronto based owner of the former Sutherland Press building, a handsome warehouse building on Talbot  the main street.

Mr. McGee has been scrambling to save his property. He has had workmen in the building for the last few weeks undertaking repairs. One could quibble with the windows that were installed by a previous owner, but it is hard to understand why the town is not doing more to encourage investors. In destroying McGee's building, they destroy the townscape. Everyone loses.

It has been noted that the site would make a good location for a parking lot next to the town's new bus station.

The town has blocked traffic on Talbot Street to protect the public and town merchants are now waiting anxiously to have the building demolished so they can get back to business.

But wait....the owner has two engineer's reports which say the building can be repaired and is not a danger to the public, that the closing of the main street was not necessary. McGee contested the demolition order in Divisional Court, winning round one which asked him to post a large $100,000.00 bond in under two weeks time, and to get a building permit for repairs in the same period. McGee was unable to post the bond on such short notice but did apply for a building permit. His application was refused. In the meantime he has spent $50,000.00 on repairs which can be undertaken without a building permit.

When he went back to court on Monday the judge ordered the town to proceed with the demolitions. For technical reasons the owner's engineers reports were not in front of the judge. The Divisional Court judge, Justice David Little, wrote in his decision, released late Tuesday afternoon, "The city is effectively being held hostage, as are its citizens, by an apparent shell corporation that has proven itself unreliable . . . The city is free to proceed with demolition." Mr. McGee is appealing the Divisional Court decision, but meantime the demolition began yesterday, shortly after police removed Mr. McGee from his premises.

At the same time the wrecking crew were at work Mr. McGee was at City Council asking to have his building designated. According to Dawn Doty who attended tonight's meeting, the Mayor refused to hear Mr. McGee's lawyer's arguments for the designation. "The Mayor refused to look at any of the reports including the 3rd report which tells of the significance of the structure and why designation should be attained based on the construction of the building. The Mayor said his council has been vindicated by their[town's] report and was not interested in her [Mr. McGee's lawyer] reports." wrote Dawn.

There is great irony, when so many towns want an owner's support for a designation, that St. Thomas is spurning this owner's application for protection under the Ontario Heritage Act.

The building is not one of obvious provincial significance, nonetheless the province should be watching this case closely for the way the town is not using its new powers to protect heritage building stock. A funding program might have made the difference to getting ahead with construction.

Leaving heritage protection to municipalities alone has never worked in the past, there is no reason to think it will work in the future. The only thing that is certain is that more buildings will be lost.

Editor's Note:
For more information on the building and the owners efforts to save it go to LINKS http://www.sutherlandlofts.com


2. Some Good News on Window Rescue - 719 Yonge Street
Catherine Nasmith

We have only a few days to accomplish the rescue of the window and its stone surround from 719 Yonge Street, but the key things are in place to do it. John Wilcox has offered to advise and assist with removing the glass and the window frame on a volunteer basis.

In response to the request for information, Steve Russell of the Toronto ACO branch wrote as follows-"The Yonge St. bldg is a Gouinlock I believe. Can't remember where I read it. I've never had reason to doubt it though. Looks exactly like a Gouinlock." Can anyone else confirm Steve's recollection?

There has been a lot of interest in helping, with several members of the public offering donations as large as $1000.00. Until a location could be found it did not make sense to accept monies, but the ACO will be setting up a fund to assist with costs of putting the window into its final location.

The owner of the property, Michael Gold of Baziz has agreed to pay the costs of the relocation of the window and the Toronto Brickworks project has agreed to store it, until a final home can be found. Architect Joe Lobko, one of the members of the large consulting team working on the Brickworks project, advised that the team had considered options for re-use in the project but at this time were not certain it could fit into their plans, nonetheless they are willing to store it to buy some time at least. 

It may not be possible to save the stone surround. Three different masons have offered to advise and assist, Gus Butterfield, Leigh Bamford and Kevin Carter are willing, but note that the need to erect scaffolding over Yonge Street, and get some kind of hoist or crane into position to get those very large stones out make it highly unlikely that it can be done in the time available.

At a meeting between representatives of the Brickworks and the developer's staff tomorrow the details of what will happen, and how much can be saved will be worked out.

CBC TV is watching this so stay tuned to the local news. 


3. Talking Heritage? : Federal Standing Committee on Finance

The Federal Standing Committee on Finance recently announced the ten city schedule of hearings for its 2008 pre-budget consultations this October: Vancouver, Edmonton, Yellowknife, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Lévis, Moncton, St. John’s.

http://cmte.parl.gc.ca/cmte/CommitteePublication.aspx?SourceId=244914

Heritage Canada therefore convened a teleconference last Thursday to discuss coordinating our collective call for the introduction of federal financial measures for heritage buildings. Those able to participate were: Sheila Johnston (Historical Society of Alberta), Robert Shipley (University of Waterloo), Margaret Zeidler (Urbanspace Property Group), and Tom Urbaniak (Cape Breton University).

At that meeting it was decided that as many Canadian organizations and heritage developers as possible should submit briefs to the committee. This year, as the Finance Committee is accepting only one recommendation in each brief, it was thought prudent for the heritage community to emphasize one key recommendation. Each brief would reflect the particular interests of the individual organization but this key recommendation would be a common refrain.

Recommendation: Introduce a Federal Rehabilitation Tax Incentive for heritage properties in Canada.

Heritage Canada agreed to make research available for participants to draw on when they are crafting their briefs (maximum 5 pages). Please find these materials attached above (document available in English only).

The deadline to request appearance before the Committee: July 31
The deadline for submission of brief to Finance Committee Clerk: August 15.
Contact: Jean-Francois Pagé, Clerk, Standing Committee on Finance
Email: fina@parl.gc.ca
 <http://cmte.parl.gc.ca/cmte/CommitteeHome.aspx?Lang=1&PARLSES=392&JNT=0&SELID=e17_&COM=13187>

www.heritagecanada.org <http://www.heritagecanada.org>

Editor's Note:
As many people as possible should apply to speak, and to tell stories from your community of buildings you could have saved if funds had been available, and all the buildings currently at risk to demolition by neglect. It is a national crisis. Even if you don't get a chance to speak, a lot of people applying will register with committee members.


4. Pier Pressure: Saving Port Hope's Industrial Past
Pier Group Press Release

Standing forlornly at the entrance to the harbour, they are easily overlooked, but it’s time the old buildings on Port Hope’s Central Pier got their due. To many eyes, this group of early-1900s lakefront factories and office buildings appear to be past their usefulness, but there’s a newly formed citizen’s committee in town that thinks they deserve a second chance. It’s called the Pier Group and it hopes to influence town council and convince them that the venerable old structures can be rehabilitated and put to good use.

Currently, the town is debating how best to put Port Hope’s waterfront to future use. With talk of a marina, a lakeside trail and acres of green space, the plan is looking pretty good indeed. In fact, the rehabilitation of the Central Pier will give Port Hopers better access to the lake and provide much-needed parkland. The one hitch is the fate of three industrial buildings. It seems to be assumed that the site should be wiped clean and that the buildings ought to be demolished.

The Pier Group thinks there are plenty of good reasons to rethink this. The Central Pier is a good example of what urban theorists call a “brownfield site,” places that were once the hub of industry and activity but now lie abandoned, their future uncertain. Many brownfield sites in Canada and around the world, previously written off as derelict, have been restored into the jewels of their respective communities. They are also shining examples of “green” rehabilitation, proving that old buildings can be recycled thoughtfully. In Toronto, there’s the Distillery district, a 19th-century industrial site that has been rehabilitated into a major tourist draw with its buildings intact. Closer to home, there’s the old cutlery-box factory in Newcastle, while in Cornwall, there’s the Weave Shed Buildings, both former industrial sites now put to imaginative new uses. And Port Hope has its Central Pier.

Unlike some other brownfield sites, the Pier has an ace up its sleeve. In fact, it has two. Not only does it lie smack-dab on the waterfront, it also boasts some great buildings that appear to be in reasonable condition. Although most people don’t give them a second glance today, they are amazing structures: huge, cavernous warehouses that are flooded with sunlight all day. Just think of the possibilities: a new location for the farmer’s market, an events centre, a sports facility, a new location for the Firefighter’s Museum, a conference site… all within a newly landscaped park setting. It’s exciting to think of the potential. And that’s why the Pier Group hopes council will think twice before assuming the buildings have to come down.

Alas, there may be a good reason in favour of demolition. Trouble is, council isn’t discussing this and hasn’t revealed why it favours wiping the site clean. For now, the Group assumes the decision was made in haste and that as the light dawns and the public becomes better aware of the possibilities, council will change its mind. Meanwhile, the Pier Group urges everyone in Port Hope to sit up and take notice. Take a drive down to the harbour and look around. Just imagine how the Central Pier could look with its buildings rehabilitated and put to new use within Port Hope’s new park system.


5. Gone - John Ross Robertson School Windows
Stephen Pearson

It appears the John Ross Robertson School has begun the process of tearing  out the windows. These are beautiful historic windows, the woodwork is outstanding.

This past week the yard had a very garbage container and on I believe Friday the 18th. 5 windows had some work done, 4 are covered in plywood 1 covered in some glass system.

I live at 156 Glenview Ave. and I’m not sure I can understand how something of this significance be done to a neighborhood school without some sort of hearing?

These windows can be restored they are in sound condition. Is it not possible to put up a stop to it until the situation can be assessed?


6. Sutherland Lofts Website
forwarded by Catherine Nasmith

Background Information

The owner David McGee has posted legal notices, photographs and videos of the Sutherland Press building exterior and interior, as well as his engineering reports. The building seems to be in similar condition to the neighbouring railway station, a project that has been assisted by St. Thomas Council with a donation of $50,000.00. It will cost the municipality an estimated $154,000.00 to tear this building down.

I presume what will follow today are postings of the demolition by St. Thomas forces.

See News for more detail on this story.

Click here for Link


7. St. Thomas Times: Topsy Turvy in St. Thomas

Sutherland owner plans appeal

Sutherland Press building owner David McGee says he's planning to file a last-minute appeal to try to save the building from demolition after a judge ruled in the city's favour following a court hearing Monday.

McGee said Thursday he is scheduled to meet with lawyer Peter Sengbusch today to work out the details of appealing the decision, which allows the City of St. Thomas to go forward with demolition work on the Talbot Street site.

But he's not sure if it's too little, too late.

"We are going to appeal it," he said. "The reality is, I probably won't have an appeal

filed in time before they have the cranes and the bulldozers there to tear it down."

Plus, the power was cut to the building yesterday, he said, so he's looking at any options he can to save the property.

"I was thinking of sending out 30,000 flyers to people, but I don't know if I have time to do that," he said. "I'm basically just going to try and make everybody completely aware of all the facts. That's all I can do."

Click here for Link


8. BIA Proposal for Signage at Toronto Preservation Board

The BIA for Yonge Street is proposing a major change to signage between Queen and Gerrard. Have a look at pages 34 to 37 for some interesting visuals. The report is going as an information item to the Toronto Preservation Board on July 17, and should go to Council for approval in September.

It is a large pdf, but interesting reading.

Click here for Link


9. Toronto Star: Museum of Toronto at former Canada Malting Site
Rick Westhead

City's history in our future

CHICAGO–At about 10 p.m. on a Friday night in April of 1865, mortally wounded U.S. president Abraham Lincoln was rushed from a Washington theatre to a cramped bedroom in a nearby boarding house.

Doctors concluded the president, who had been shot in the head by an assassin, would not recover. Unconscious and clammy to the touch, the 6-foot-4 Lincoln was laid diagonally on a tiny bed. Until his death some nine hours later, doctors and politicians streamed into the room to pay their respects.

Today, the humble bed on which Lincoln spent his final hours is a signature piece in Chicago's history museum. (Lincoln was an Illinois congressman before he was elected president in 1861.)

The bed and a clutch of other Lincoln paraphernalia, which include a coiled tuft of his hair, a fringe from his casket, and a pair of half dollars that allegedly were placed over his eyes when he died, are among the museum's 3 million exhibits.

Other popular items include stacks of coins and marbles that melted together during the great Chicago fire in 1871, historically significant paintings, Chicago Blackhawks star Stan Mikita's flat-bladed hockey stick (although the NHL player would later become the first pro player to use a stick with a curved blade) and the city's first L-train, built in 1892 with etched glass windows and wicker seats.

Toronto is considering opening its own history museum at the foot of Bathurst St. – former mayor David Crombie has been spearheading efforts to open the attraction as soon as 2015 – and Chicago's history museum, which operates on an $11 million budget and drew 201,952 visitors last year, provides a glimpse of the kind of exhibits Toronto might pursue.

Click here for Link


10. Toronto Star: Window Rescue 719 Yonge Street
Joe Fiorito

Look up, there's a window worth saving

When is any window not worth looking through and what view, in the city, is not better framed?

Allow me a digression.

There are the early signs of construction at the corner of Yonge and Bloor Sts. We will soon have a new tall tower, part of Toronto's ongoing facelift.

Facelift might not be the right word.

We have been pierced – the metal shards that squat on the old stones of the Royal Ontario Museum are like your granny with a tongue stud and an eyebrow ring.

We have been botoxed – that bland block of banality on the southeast corner of Bay and Dundas Sts. is the face of the city frozen in a grim commercial grin.

We will, I suppose, get used to it. This is how it has always been around here. No one has the guts or the power to stop a lousy project.

I have nothing bad to say about the tower coming to the southeast corner of Yonge and Bloor. It will be elegant enough, and only the merest handful of ordinary old buildings will be torn down to make way, and we won't miss them a bit. But one of those ordinaries contains an extraordinary two-storey window, arched, stone-framed, metal-clad, and as striking as Clark Gable in a crowd of lesser men.

Cathy Nasmith, president of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, stood on Yonge St. and looked up at the old window the other day.

Click here for Link


11. Globe and Mail: Ron Thom's Watch Hill Road House
DAVE LEBLANC

A love letter set in bricks

Architect Ron Thom's Watch Hill Road house 'tumbles down a 2.8-acre site like a gleeful child'.

Architect Ron Thom's Watch Hill Road house 'tumbles down a For true lovers of architecture, the craft transcends styles and eras. Their hearts will sing whether in a glorious cathedral, a Palladian villa, a well-designed Victorian warehouse or a sublime modernist home.

Take the Harding family. They had never set foot in a modernist home and "never sought one out," but six years ago, they saw a 1974 residence designed by architect Ron Thom and were so dumbstruck by his masterful manipulation of light, views and a challenging ravine property, they bought it.

In other words, their hearts sang.

That's because Mr. Thom (1923-86) had been enjoying a love affair with architecture since abandoning his art school training in order to learn all he could — first by sweeping floors and filing drawings — as an apprentice at the Vancouver firm Sharp & Thompson Berwick Pratt in 1949.

It was a love so passionate, so consuming, his buildings read like love letters to his clients and to the sites.

Click here for Link


12. Rogers: Lloyd Alter of Treehugger Interviewed on Building Conservation as a Green Pursuit
Catherine Nasmith

Worth waiting through the ads, Lloyd's interview makes several important points on the environmental value in conserving old buildings.

This subject was the theme of the Ontario Heritage Conference this year in Collingwood,

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:Lloyd is on the Board of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario,a former architect, a former President of the Toronto Society of Architects, a former developer, and currently writes full time for Tree Hugger magazine. He presents the material in a very engaging way...


13. London Free Press: Ontario Government Practicing Demolition by Neglect
Joe Matyas, forwarded by Donna Moore

Demolition permit opposed

from London Free Press

KILBOURNE HOUSE: London Advisory Committee on Heritage says the Ontario government has already allowed demolition by neglect

The Ontario government is being challenged to honour its own laws in a standoff today with the London Advisory Committee on Heritage.

Joe O'Neil, chairperson of London Advisory Committee on Heritage, talks about the Kilbourne house located in Komoka Provincial Park off Oxford Street West. O'Neil says the house is a relic of the 1880s and should be maintained. (MIKE HENSEN/Sun Media)


The west-end house on the grounds of the Child and Parent Resource Institute slowly deteriorates. LATCH chairperson Joe O'Neil cites this building as an example of demolition by neglect. (MIKE HENSEN/Sun Media)

The committee opposes the province's application for a permit to demolish the historic Kilbourne House in Komoka Provincial Park, off Oxford Street West.

The 1880s home was listed as a Priority One heritage building, the top classification, in a 2006 inventory of London sites, says the committee.

Click here for Link


14. Hamilton Spectator: Lister neighbour in heritage debate
Nicole Macintyre

LIUNA vows to fight move to designate Thomas Building

William Thomas Design, 1854

The city is pushing for a heritage designation for the William Thomas building -- the Lister Block's neighbour -- despite opposition from its owner. LIUNA warned city councillors yesterday that it would fight a heritage designation on the vacant James Street North building that it wants to tear down.

Click here for Link


15. Fantastic Photos of Lister Interior

Take a look, the light and state of ruin are very photogenic.

Click here for Link


16. Owen Sound Sun Times: Flesherton School lost to Fire
Don Crosby

Fire destroys historic school

Flesherton has lost an historic building. The walls of the Flesherton Public School were knocked down Friday morning on the recommendation of a Grey Highlands building official. The 117-year-old building was gutted by a fire Thursday evening. The roof and part of one wall had fallen in and the rest of the building was in danger of collapsing, Grey Highlands fire chief Dave Kell said on Friday. Kell said he asked that the building be inspected with a view to having the walls knocked down so his men could enter the building to continue putting out the smoldering fire. He was also concerned the building was a public safety hazard.

Click here for Link


17. National Post: Closing of Dunlap Observatory
Jenny Wagler

Dunlap Observatory closing sparks anger, frustration

Dunlap Observatory

The astronomer who discovered the first black hole stood crying yesterday in the foyer of the David Dunlap Observatory as helpers carried out boxes containing 37 years of his work.

“You probably can’t print what I think,” said Tom Bolton, a long-time professor of astronomy and astrophysics, who has explored the heavens using Canada’s largest telescope since 1971. “The nicest way I could put it is ‘disappointed.’ ”

On Wednesday, the University of Toronto sent him an e-mail giving him 10 days to get off the premises.

In November, the university voted to close the observatory and sell it to the highest bidder, and redirect the money from the sale back into the school’s astronomy program. Yesterday it confirmed it has a “firm agreement” with a buyer and it’s looking to close the deal by month-end. It did not disclose the buyer or the price.

“The donor’s original intent back in 1935 was to support world-class astronomical research and teaching at the University of Toronto,” the university’s assistant vice-president, Robert Steiner, said yesterday, adding that because of light pollution, “You can’t do world-class astronomical observation from the GTA any more. You just can’t.”

Click here for Link


18. Windsor Star: Historic inn might be leveled to make a parking lot - Windsor Heritage Committee might thwart demolition
Rebecca Turcotte

Kim D'Amore spent countless hours stripping oil paint from the wooden cabinets of her 1915 home to restore their original beauty. In fact, it took nine years of sweat to renovate her former property into the quaint Nisbet Inn at 131 Elliott St. W. Now, the arts and crafts style house D'Amore so lovingly restored into a bed and breakfast is at risk of being demolished -- paved over to create parking spots.

Click here for Link


19. The Port Hope Evening Guide: Editorial July 8 2008

What heritage is, and isn't

Heritage is one of the most overused and least understood words in English today. The word is used to market everything from new homes to groceries -- erroneously. Heritage, obviously, comes from the same root word as "inherit," which implies something the current generation received from a previous one. It's that simple. Nothing else is heritage.

In Northumberland, particularly, architecture comes to be described as "heritage." It is, and it isn't. What's left, relatively uncorrupted, from the past is heritage architecture. Re s t o r a t i o n takes place when heritage buildings are restored to their original appearance using materials that would have been available at the time. Destroying something old and replacing it with a new version in heritage style is not conservation and it is not heritage. The best of it might be described as replication or reproduction, but it's not the real thing. Some old things are interesting and worth preserving simply because they are old. But, if they were in any way remarkable when they were new -- like Cobourg's Victoria Hall, for example -- their value increases exponentially as they age. Old buildings are not just useful for looking pretty -- some of them don't. They are worth preserving because they open a door into a world that no longer exists, and to which we owe our existence. In Port Hope and, to a lesser extent, in Cobourg, poverty saved many old buildings from the wrecking ball. People simply didn't have the money around here to build new buildings, so they had to keep the Victorian-era structures going for many years beyond what many would have preferred.

Now, Port Hope has a chance to celebrate its waterfront as

Cameco's Vision 2010 and the Port Hope Area Initiative (to clean up historic low-l evel r a d i o a c t iv e waste) gear up more or less simultaneously.

Right in the middle of all the grandiose plans are the historic industrial buildings of the centre pier. They've been proposed for demolition.

A new group has been formed to exert some "pier pressure" on the municipal council to preserve these buildings and adapt them for reuse. Since money is a great persuader, let's try approaching the problem from that angle. Heritage has been very good for Cobourg and Port Hope. You can't build it anew. It's like land -- they're not making any more of it. Tearing down a heritage building and erecting something that looks Victorian, is not heritage. Once it's gone, it's gone forever, and with it, much of the appeal that draws investment to our area. There ain't nothin' like the real thing, baby

Click here for Link


20. The Cobourg Daily Star
CECILIA NASMITH

Harwood Museum picks target opening date

The Harwood Station Heritage Museum has picked 2010 as its target date to open. This will be the 150th anniversary of the historic occasion when the Prince of Wales (the future Edward VII) visited the community and actually rode the train, explained committee member Pauline Browes.

At last week's information meeting, the committee presented details of the business plan it is preparing to ensure the museum's financial viability and sustainability through admission fees, memberships and on-site donations. Having studied local tourism patterns, they have made some projections that take 2010 as the first year of operations: * Visitorship should rise from 3,800 in 2010 to 4,500 in 2019. * Over the same period, annual revenues should rise from $32,286 to $39,360. * Annual operating expenses, which include a curator and manager to keep the museum open between May and October, should rise over the same period from $26,000 to $35,000.

The museum will showcase the history of the Cobourg and Peterborough Railway and the impact it had on the development of the surrounding area. Built in the early 1800s, it was one of Canada's first railways. It connected the two towns by virtue of a causeway across Rice Lake, a great engineering feat that was ultimately abandoned because of the expensive damage wrought by winter freeze-ups.

Click here for Link


21. Owen Sound Sun Times: Council moves to save St. Mary's oldest wing
DENIS LANGLOIS

School board left in difficult position as city serves notice it intends to stop planned demolition

Heritage advocates are applauding city council's move towards saving the 19th-century wing of St. Mary's High School from the wrecker's ball, while putting the blame for its decay on the Ministry of Education. John Harrison, a local member of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, said historic schools are being lost at an alarming rate because of a "skewed" funding formula that favours new construction over restoration. He accused the provincial ministry of violating the 1990 Ontario Heritage Policy, which puts a priority on conserving historic buildings.

Click here for Link


22. London Free Press: Demolition permit opposed
JOE MATYAS

KILBOURNE HOUSE: London Advisory Committee on Heritage says the Ontario government has already allowed demolition by neglect

The Ontario government is being challenged to honour its own laws in a standoff today with the London Advisory Committee on Heritage. The committee opposes the province's application for a permit to demolish the historic Kilbourne House in Komoka Provincial Park, off Oxford Street West. The 1880s home was listed as a Priority One heritage building, the top classification, in a 2006 inventory of London sites, says the committee. The Kilbournes were one of London's founding families, their history dating back to the 1790s, LATCH chairperson Joe O'Neil said yesterday. For years, the house served as the Kilworth Bridge post office managed by Harvey Kilbourne. It was bought by the province in 1974 and used as a Natural Resources Ministry office until 1997, but has been closed since.

Click here for Link


23. Georgetown Independent and Free Press: Fight over Norval store nearing end?
Cynthia Gamble

What The Carpet Palace owner George Kanichis has described as a "stressful rollercoaster ride to get to this point" is slowly coming to an end. Kanichis and partner Steve Klintsaris have been stymied in their bid for a new building to replace their aging structure on the southwest corner of Guelph St. at Adamson St. in Norval for the past four years. Monday night, Halton Hills council made a series of decisions"full of compromises" that made The Carpet Palace owners happy but left Norval Community Association president Kathy Gastle with some uncertainty. In an unanimous decision council voted: To not designate the 150-year-old building, where Anne of Green Gables author Lucy Maud Montgomery, who lived in the village for nine years in the 1930s, used to post her manuscripts.

Click here for Link


24. Victoria Times Colonist: Maycock stunned his building historically important
Carolyn Heiman

>Brian Maycock was stunned when told by Victoria city staff that his downtown business building is historically important. No one even knows who the architect is. "When I bought the building in 1995 I would never have thought for a moment it was a heritage building," Maycock told city council this week as he joined a chorus of downtown property owners opposed to their modern-era buildings being put on a heritage registry. Maycock said his eyeglass business is outgrowing the building at 1018 Blanshard St. and putting the building on the registry could limit his ability to expand and will create a negative perception about the property's worth. Despite property owner's objections council agreed to put 11 buildings - constructed between 1945 and 1975 and part of the Modern Movement of architecture - on a heritage registry. "The application of those words has incredible impact on a property," added the owner of the Bentall Building at 1060-1080 Douglas St. "It is frivolous of you to pick on some property owner and say we're going to impose some restrictions on us."

Click here for Link


25. Canadian Architect: - The Renovation Of A 1932 Art Deco Building Brings An International-Calibre Performing-Arts Venue To The Gates Of Quebec City's Historic Centre.
TANIA MARTIN

TEMPLE OF MUSIC

PROJECT PALAIS MONTCALM AND SALLE RAOUL-JOBIN, QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC ARCHITECT M.:U. S. E. CONSORTIUM (L'ARCHITECTE JACQUES PLANTE; LES ARCHITECTES BERNARD ET CLOUTIER; ST-GELAIS MONTMINY, ARCHITECTES) Having once contained many dynamic performing-arts spaces, Quebec City has witnessed several well-known and highly valued performance venues close their doors over recent years. Some of these venues were religious buildings, each offering its own acoustic qualities: for instance, the Chapelle Historique Bon-Pasteur, which shut down six months ago, and the former chapel of the Mother House of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, which hosted a significant number of amateur and professional musical groups before closing down. Quebec City has no shortage of religious spaces, but it also has a number of historic buildings--religious or other wise--seeking new viable functions. And so, it was with great celebration that after four years of renovations, the Palais Montcalm reopened in March 2007, giving an important concert hall back to Quebec City.

Click here for Link


26. Victoria Times Colonist: Photos as cool as the buildings
John Mackie

New exhibit in West Vancouver highlights work of Selwyn Pullan

Selwyn Pullan isn't as well known as West Coast modern architects such as Arthur Erickson, Ron Thom or Ned Pratt. But his photographs of their buildings played a big part in exposing their work to the world in the 1950s and '60s, when their careers were taking off.

Click here for Link


27. Victoria Star (Grand Falls,NB): Historic building restored
Aloma Jardine

Dieppe businessman works to save former Shediac Cape tannery

Treasure cannot always be valued in dollars and cents. Although David Whitton is a businessman, that's something he understands intrinsically. Whitton's treasures these days are bits of old leather, hand-hewn beams, scraps of information, and tools of a largely forgotten trade.Whitton, who runs CE3 Custom Electronics Integrators in Dieppe, recently purchased a Shediac Cape cottage from Jean Cadieux, son of the former Université de Moncton president of the same name. The cottage had been in the Cadieux family for decades. But 150 years ago, long before it became a summer retreat, the building was the community's tannery, the main place where local residents could acquire leather goods, from shoes to saddles. The Cadieux family agonized over what to do with the cottage. They no longer needed it and wanted to reclaim use of their whole property, but they didn't want to see the building end up in the landfill. Whitton, who owns several other historic properties, saw its potential. The building had to be moved, but rather than tearing it down and selling off the pieces -- a move that would no doubt have turned a tidy profit -- Whitton is painstakingly taking the tannery apart, bit by bit, with plans to restore the wood and rebuild the structure at a different location.

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28. Globe and Mail: Canada's Newest World Heritage Site
DAKSHANA BASCARAMURTY

Fossil cliffs' ancient layers a gateway to world's past

The dramatic Joggins Fossil Cliffs along the shore of the Bay of Fundy, recognized as the site where the earliest scientific evidence of reproductive life on land was discovered in the mid-19th century, will now serve a new international audience as Canada's 15th UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The sea cliffs have been dubbed the "Coal Age Galapagos" for their rich deposits of fossils from layers of ancient ecosystems. Each time the high tide from the Atlantic Ocean licks at the cliffs, which can reach heights of 30 metres, the gently dipping rock layers are eroded, exposing embedded evidence of ancient vegetation and life.

The UNESCO designation came yesterday evening from Quebec City, where the World Heritage Committee conferred on several new additions to its list.

"We knew there would be tears, but we weren't quite sure why they would be flowing," said Melanie Cookson-Carter, operations co-ordinator at the Joggins Fossil Cliffs Interpretation Centre. She and 10 others had campaigned for 12 years to have the site recognized internationally, and the group was gripped with anxiety on the eve of yesterday's announcement, she said.
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But even before the designation, the cliffs were hardly a hidden treasure trove of geological evidence tucked away in the Nova Scotia community of Joggins, with a population of less than 1,000.

The site was referenced by Charles Darwin in The Origin of Species, after the father of evolutionary theory heard about it from Charles Lyell, the pre-eminent geologist of the mid-1800s. When Mr. Lyell and fellow geologist William Dawson discovered a fossilized reptile embedded in the cliffs, they rocked the scientific community. The stratified layer the ancient reptile was found in showed evidence of life on land that predated previous discoveries of reproductive life.

"It was walking, living, and making footprints on land," Ms. Cookson-Carter said. "In evolutionary terms and global terms, it's an amazing site."

From a visual standpoint, what struck geologists from the mid-19th century were the trees - some towering as high as seven metres - entombed among sand and stone in the cliffs.

"There are many places in the world where there are one or two that are still standing, Joggins simply has a huge number of them," said Martin Gibling, an earth sciences professor at Dalhousie University. He said on regular tours of the cliffs, he has encountered groups of 15 exposed trees.

"Not only have you got a tree, you've got a tree and its entire swamp vegetation. You have a representation of ... many ecosystems one on top of the other in the Joggins Cliffs," Mr. Gibling said.

He and fellow researchers spent months measuring the strata of the cliffs, which is one-kilometre thick.

Daily discoveries include everything from soil remnants to footprints to skeletons of ancient fauna.

The nomination was submitted to UNESCO in January of 2007, and, in April, an interpretation centre on the site opened its doors. So as not to disturb the delicate geological site, the centre was built to high environmental standards, Ms. Cookson-Carter said.

The centre has so far attracted 6,000 people, a number that Ms. Cookson-Carter anticipates will rise dramatically in the coming years after the UNESCO designation.

From supercontinent to seven

Three-hundred-million years ago, instead of having its coast lapped by the Atlantic Ocean, Nova Scotia lay in the centre of supercontinent Pangaea.

Its climate was vastly different at that time: The wet conditions made it the perfect setting for lush rain forests thriving with a variety of vegetation.

Scientists estimate that Pangaea existed for 100 million years before the plates beneath the supercontinent's surface began shifting and colliding about 250 million years ago.

As the plates continued shifting, the massive land mass fractured into the seven continents as we know them today, slowly drifting away from each other. While the climate and landscape of Nova Scotia went through dramatic evolution, especially during the period of glaciation, telltale evidence of its past environments remained preserved in fossil and rock deposits.

The outer bark of plants and trees eventually turned to coal during the Carboniferous period about 300 million years ago, their cores filled with sediment. But caught in this ancient vegetation was a rich diversity of reptile and amphibian life - its highest concentrations in the Joggins area, along the coast of the Bay of Fundy.

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29. Saskatoon StarPhoenix: Community works to save historic roundhouse
Darren Bernhardt

The fight to save a rare locomotive roundhouse in Biggar from the wrecking ball is gaining steam. And CN Rail says it may give the community more time to come up with a plan.

The company has set 2009 as the year the building is to come down -- exactly 100 years after it went up. The circular structure, used for servicing and storing engines during the heyday of the iron horse, was constructed by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway in 1909. It is the last remaining GTPR roundhouse in the world, says the preservation group trying to stave off its demolition. "The building is rich with history ranging from the very construction techniques used . . . to the silent reminders of a lost technology, as in the tell-tale outlines of locomotives that accidentally ran though the back walls," Thom Cholowski, a steam locomotive specialist and conductor with CP Rail, said in a meeting this week with CN representatives in Biggar. That meeting ended with more frustration than the group felt going in, said Biggar Mayor Ray Sadler. "We stated our case but they have a hard line on what they want to do. They want it gone," Sadler said. But CN spokesperson Kevin Franchuk said the company showed flexibility at the meeting by possibly allowing the community more time to see if preservation is viable. The roundhouse was slated for demolition in the 1970s but saved when a local family bought it for $1. CN maintained ownership of the land, which it leased to the Kurulak family.

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30. Bugle-Observer (Woodstock, New Brunswick): Preserving history in Bristol
Angela Ferguson

Six locations in Northern Carleton community chosen as Local Historic Places

The Province of New Brunswick is rife with places exhibiting historic significance, and the former Village of Bristol is adding to the tradition. In October 2007 the Carleton County village received funding by Parks Canada through the Historic Places Initiative to participate in the Local Historic Places Program. Greg Campbell, curator of special collections at L.P. Fisher Public Library in Woodstock, worked as the initiative’s municipal registrar. Using books, newspapers and microfilm, he researched several structures in Bristol. Campbell said information from a book titled Of Interest to Recall helped with the process. It was written by Marcus Meed, who was born in Bristol in 1901. Work completed by Marcus's son Miles, who currently lives in the village, was also beneficial. "Miles has done a lot of research carrying his father's research farther, and he has an unpublished manuscript that I was able to obtain to sort of use as a basis," Campbell said. On Canada Day 2008, the village was amalgamated with Florenceville and became the Town of Florenceville- Bristol. The town's tourism co-ordinator Melanie Clark said six buildings were chosen as historic places, not because of their age but for the significance to the community. She said the town is currently working on constructing and installing information plaques at the designated locations and hopes to have them comp l e t e d by the end of August.

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31. CBC News: Somerset Building in Ottawa

City urged demolition of historic building knowing it could be saved

Engineering reports obtained by CBC News show that some City of Ottawa officials knew that a historic building could be saved even as they continued to order its demolition last October.

The downtown intersection of Bank and Somerset streets was closed for two months by the partial collapse of Somerset House.<br /> <em>(CBC)</em>

The downtown intersection of Bank and Somerset streets was closed for two months by the partial collapse of Somerset House.

The city had closed the corner of Bank and Somerset streets after Somerset House partially collapsed.

The building was eventually spared from demolition when the owner agreed to carry out recommendations suggested by city engineers.

Bickering between the building's owner, T.K.S. Holdings, and the city kept the intersection closed for two months, causing serious loss of business for merchants in the area.

Now, engineering reports commissioned by the city and obtained by CBC News under the municipal freedom of information act suggest the dispute could have been settled much earlier.

Ottawa heritage developer Sandy Smallwood led a lobbying effort to save the historic building.

He told CBC News that rumours about the existence of the engineering reports are what tipped the balance in favour of saving Somerset House.

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Editor's Note:The parallels to St. Thomas are striking, but the ending will be very different.


32. Halifax Chronicle Herald: Is this the new Roy Building? Public lukewarm to proposal for Barrington Street office building
DEVIN STEVENS

The developers of a proposed 17-level structure on the site of Barrington Street's Roy Building made their pitch to the public Wednesday night, but the list of complaints was long, with some wanting minor changes and some asking that the project be scrapped altogether. "It is a completely new building," said developer Louis Resnick in front of about 30 people gathered at city hall. Mr. Resnick explained that the Roy Building can't be saved and restored. Brick and metal are falling off the structure that is more than a century old, the building is a fire hazard, there's poor insulation, and the windows are dotted with air-conditioners leaking onto the street below. In its place the developers, 778938 Ontario Ltd. and Starfish Properties, say they will build an almost exact replica of the Roy Building. Brick, stone and oak finishing will be preserved and incorporated in the construction.

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33. New York Times: Removal of 1970's facade from 19th Century Church of Christ Scientist

Uncovering the Past, a Church Shapes Its Future

The recent stripping of the daringly modern facade at the 10th Church of Christ, Scientist, on Macdougal Street, to expose the decaying face of its 19th-century precursor seems almost evocative of Dorian Gray. And, eeriness aside, it also poses a curious question in preservation: If destroying the past in favor of the future is sometimes unacceptable, what about destroying the future in favor of the present?


The 1891 facade has decayed but is mostly intact after the removal of the plain veneer of orange brick of 1967.

The original facade is being reconstructed, to the design above.

In 1891, Archibald D. Russell, a banker and investor involved in real estate development, built a factory on Macdougal Street just north of Washington Square.

Used as a printing plant, the six-story red brick structure at No. 171 was designed by Renwick, Aspinwall & Russell. With high ceilings and three broad bays across the front, it was almost unornamented, except for sophisticated arrangements of bricks set slightly inside and outside of the building plane, as well as a rich terra-cotta cornice. Businesses in the book industry occupied the building. One, the Caxton Press, printed “Christianity and Infallibility: Both or Neither” by Daniel Lyons in 1891.

In 1927, in an unusual transaction, the 10th Church of Christ, Scientist, bought the aging structure and moved in, using the lower part for worship and apparently leaving the upper section empty.

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Editor's Note:Interesting conundrum


34. New York Sun: Quincentenary of Palladio's Birth
JAMES GARDNER

Palladio, Architecture's Virgil

Given the nearly total absence of fanfare, you could be excused for not knowing that this was the quincentenary of Andrea Palladio's birth. Generally it is a kind of condescension to treat the great cultural figures of the past as though, in some sense, they were, or needed to be, our contemporaries. And yet a respectable case could be made that, of all the architects who lived before the 20th century, few were as influential as Palladio (1508-80) or came closer, in the arc of their reputation, to being what we would now call a 'starchitect."

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35. Atlantic Magazine: Brasilia
Benjamin Schwarz

A Vision in Concrete - Oscar Niemeyer

It was a heroic and inhuman scheme. From 1956 to 1960, Brazil-in an effort to cleanse itself of its colonial past, to flee its burgeoning social afflictions, and to fulfill its long-prophesied emergence as a great power-conjured a new capital, Braslia, on an empty plateau in an endless savanna 3,500 feet above sea level.

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36. Atlantic Magazine: Little Skyscraper on the Prairie
Wayne Curtis

A rare Frank Lloyd Wright tower

In 1952, an Oklahoma businessman named Harold Price met with the 85-year-old architect Frank Lloyd Wright to ask him to design a headquarters for his pipeline company in Bartlesville. Wright agreed. Price told Wright he wanted a three-story building and was willing to spend $750,000. Wright suggested a 10-story tower "Modern elevators and all that," he explained). In the end, as Price later wrote, "we finally compromised on nineteen floors." Price Tower, completed in 1956, cost $2.1 million.

Interesting audio slide show accompanies this article. http://www.theatlantic.com/slideshows/price-tower/

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37. Calgary Herald: City moves to protect more of its history
Terence Leung

>Five Calgary buildings, including the former residence of wrestling's famous Hart family, are in line for historical designation. If aldermen approve the plan, the historic structures would get special designation protecting them from demolition and major alterations. For a member of one of Calgary's best-known families, it is encouraging the former Hart House could be saved.

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38. New York Sun: Raising the Roof in New York City
CARTER B. HORSLEY

Five of the 26 items on the calendar for the next meeting of the Landmarks Preservation Commission involve rooftop additions. Rooftop additions can prove controversial, as was the case when Landmarks recently sent back to the drawing board a proposal for a Sir Norman Foster-designed, 22-story glass tower above 980 Madison Ave. It did the same for a plan to tack on a substantial addition to the two-story building at 746 Madison Ave.

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39. New York Sun: An Architecture Show That's Better Than the Book
JAMES GARDNER

Most architectural exhibitions are not worth seeing. In general, they consist of little more than panels whose text and illustrations are already available in book form or on the Web. Which is also to say that they are typically text-heavy. And because text is best consumed by a reader sitting with a book in hand, there is often something laborious, even backbreaking, about having to consume an abstruse argument while standing for an hour or more in front of walls of diagrams, renderings, and blocks of text.

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40. CanadianDriver.com: Ford Model T plant opens after restoration

Ford

Dearborn, Michigan – Ford's Piquette Plant building, the birthplace of the Model T Ford one hundred years ago, is being restored and is open to the public. The three-story brick building, on the corner of Piquette and Beaubien Streets in Detroit's New Center neighbourhood, is now known as the Model T Automotive Heritage Complex, or "T-Plex" for short.

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41. Globe and Mail: England's heritage sites in danger

LONDON — Thousands of England's historic sites and monuments are endangered by threats ranging from neglectful landlords and wet weather to burrowing rabbits, the country's heritage guardian said Tuesday.

English Heritage has surveyed about 70,000 buildings, monuments, parks, battlefields and shipwrecks and says one in 12 is in danger of neglect, decay or “inappropriate change.”

The prehistoric Birkrigg Stone Circle in northwestern England has been defaced by spray painters; the neo-Gothic Lowther Castle is still imposing despite having no windows or roof to keep out the weather; the 1935 Uxbridge Lido swimming pool in London is the country's only example of a 12-sided “star” pool has closed.

English Heritage chief executive Simon Thurley said these and other monuments – “the vandalized standing stones, the crumbling pillbox on the beach, the overgrown country park and the rusting colliery winding gear against the sky ... are places, buildings and landscapes that have the potential to shape the quality and even the course of our lives.”
A photo made available on Tuesday by English Heritage shows a general view of Lowther Castle near Penrith, Cumbria. Unoccupied for over 50 years, the gothic revival castle has fallen into dereliction, requiring work to prevent further decay and transform the ruins and gardens. The Associated Press
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A photo made available on Tuesday by English Heritage shows a general view of Lowther Castle near Penrith, Cumbria. Unoccupied for over 50 years, the gothic revival castle has fallen into dereliction, requiring work to prevent further decay and transform the ruins and gardens. (The Associated Press)
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The organization said it hopes to compile a database of all threatened heritage sites in the country.

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42. Guardian.co.uk: The many contradictions of Le Corbusier
Steve Rose

An urbanist who lived in a fishing cottage, an iconoclast who invented the highrise, an architect who wanted to be a painter

Le Corbusier is difficult to get a hold on. He's still admired, even worshipped, in architectural circles, but practically forgotten everywhere else. He's arguably had more of an influence on the form of the modern world than any other architect - you could even argue there was no modern world before Le Corbusier - but stop someone on the street and ask them to name one of his buildings and you're unlikely to get a correct answer. And if people have heard of him, it's usually in the context of failed 1960s housing estates.

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