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Issue No. 128 | October 13, 2008

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Feature Stories

  1. The Day after the Election: Landmarks not Landfill
  2. Hamilton City Hall: Your Chance to vote for Restoration
  3. Vote for Marble for Hamilton City Hall
  4. Resolution on Historic Places Initiative From Provincial Territorial Minister's Meeting

Events

DANIELS Fall 2008 Lecture Series
21 October
+ read


NFB - The Museum
14 - 16 October
+ read


Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada Annual Conference
May 20-24, 2009
+ read


Jarvis Street Tour
Sunday October 26, 2008
+ read


Cookbook Caper
Sunday November 23, 2008
+ read


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1. The Day after the Election: Landmarks not Landfill
Catherine Nasmith

Investing in Canada's heritage is worth doing, for culture, for community pride and for the environment. Yet it did not get a mention in any of the party platforms. Culture made the election issues this time, but not heritage.

Even with the disastrous losses of the past year, heritage advocates have still not managed to persuade politicians that these losses can be, or are worth stopping. We may not have been effective advocates so far. But that does not mean we can't start the day after the election.

Here's how to begin the dialogue. The day after the election call to congratulate the successful candidate in your riding and ask to see them. Most politicians take appointments with constituents on Fridays. Go with one or two others from your riding, your organization.

If you look at the election material posted on Heritage Canada's website you will find all kinds of useful material to share with your new MP. If there is a particular situation in your riding discuss it with them.

What I have found is that every politician agrees it is worth preserving our heritage buildings, but often they don't really understand the process or why things go wrong, or that there is no money. Most are probably unaware that there was a federal funding program, the Commercial Heritage Properties Incentive Fund, or that it was cancelled by the Harper government in 2006.

Investment in existing buildings rather than new ones creates twice as many jobs, and conserves existing resources. In times when governments are looking to be green and to create employment, the opportunity to invest in the country's buildings presents a chance to do a lot of things right. The re-opening of a heritage building is always a positive celebration.

No one has ever said that money spent on heritage property was wasted.

Put a note in your calendar for Wednesday to call your M.P.

They will be delighted to hear from you. Make sure they have a lot of positive ideas about investing in heritage to share with colleagues at their first caucus meeting.



2. A Liberal Response to the Heritage Canada Foundation

1. What will your party do to keep our landmarks from becoming landfill?

The Liberal Party is a strong supporter of your foundation’s goal, which, as your mandate states, is to "...preserve and demonstrate and to encourage the preservation and demonstration of the nationally significant historic, architectural, natural and scenic heritage of Canada..."

Canada’s natural heritage is a major focus of our 2008 platform. To protect Canada’s ecosystems in the face of climate change, pollution and over-use, a Liberal government will develop a National Ecosystem Stewardship Strategy for Canada, which will be science-based, and will respond to the increasing pressures on our natural surroundings.

Our goal will be to protect a minimum of 50 percent of Canada’s intact wilderness areas by creating interconnected networks of protected areas, and ensuring that resource development on other parts of the landscape is carried out in accordance with the highest environmental standards.

2. What will your party do to ensure that the federal tax system encourages the rehabilitation of Canada’s heritage buildings and attracts private investment?

Attracting private investment is a very important part in the rehabilitation process of Canadian heritage buildings. The Liberal Party understands the value of using the tax system to foster culture.

3. What programs of direct support would your party put in place to support the rehabilitation of heritage buildings owned by charities?

The Liberal Party agrees with the objective of charities who want to improve the state of heritage buildings they owned. That is why a Liberal government would consult with charities and find ways to maintain the buildings they owned both by lightening their burden and making sure taxpayer money is used in the most efficient way.

Editor's Note:
As far as I know, none of the other parties responded to Heritage Canada's questions. I also wrote to all the political parties on what they are going to do to stop the losses of Canada's heritage buildings. I have had no response, including from my local candidates.


3. Property for Sale - Cambridge, Ontario
Valerie Spring, Heritage Planner

The City of Cambridge is offering for sale an Italianate stone house with an estimated construction date of 1880.

The house has been vacant for several years and has suffered from neglect. The new purchaser will be expected to accept the designation of the property under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act.

The list price is $175,000.00 and the deadline to submit an offer is Wednesday, November 5, 2008. Further information is available from Valerie Spring, Heritage Planner, 519.740.4650 ext. 4580 or springv@cambridge.ca

 


4. Note to Editor re: King and Fifth, Chatham
Kim Storey/Catherine Nasmith

Period Advertisement of original building and alterations by noted modern architect, Joseph Storey
Hi Cathy

I was just reading your BHN - noticed the item about King and Fifth.

We had been working for what I presume was the former owner in restoring that building. You know the facade that they are removing is one designed by the Joe Storey office and was published as one of the first curtain wall conversions in the province? What part is heritage and what part is refuse? I would suggest there is a case for both.

Kim Storey, Brown and Storey Architects
(daughter of Joseph Storey)

Editor's Note:
There certainly is a case for both, and the subject requires some debate and a discussion of the heritage intent. If it is the intent to restore the original architect's work then the new fa├žade needs to be removed. You could certainly retain some parts of the alteration, or leave it all. Arguments could be made for all positions.


5. Hamilton City Hall: Your Chance to vote for Restoration
Rob Hamilton

Hamilton City Hall, Roscoe Architect
The City of Hamilton's Mayor Fred Eisenberger wants to hear from folks like
you via an online poll at his website! The Mayor would like to know what
your choice would be between either concrete, stone or marble as
replacement cladding material for the renovation of Stan Roscoe designed
Hamilton City Hall.

The mayor cites costs, as the reasoning for the choice but it is my
understanding that even as late as this week not all the figures were
available to the renovation steering committee!

Marble is identified in the Ontario Heritage Act designation by-law
repeatedly. In fact the bylaw takes pains to describe it in the Reasons
for Designation for EACH OF THE FOUR SIDES of the building. But of course
the mayor's online poll makes no mention of this fact, nor does the site
mention that the Economic Development & Planning committee have already
rejected the Municipal Heritage Committee's Heritage Permit review which
turned down the City's own heritage permit application to substitute the
Marble with a lesser quality material.

Please participate in the poll and I hope that you choose in favour of new
marble for old.

http://www.mayorfred.ca/pages/cityhall

Thanks for your support.

I am also taking the liberty of providing you with additional information
so as to be able to refute some of the nonsense you may have read
concerning the exterior cladding options.

First, it is alleged that there is a similarity in look and feel between
the three materials under consideration. This is utter nonsense as
concrete and stone look nothing like marble and you'd have to be blind not
to notice the difference.

Second, that the marble costs too much because it is rare. This too is
rubbish as at least one North American based quarry has over a 100 year
supply of the material!

Read on, and make your choice at Mayor Fred's poll, and tell your
Councillor to make the right choice and stick to the designation by-law.

Thanks Again,

Rob

Robert D. Hamilton, M.L.I.S.
Branch President
Hamilton Region
Architectural Conservancy of Ontario
196 West 18th Street
Hamilton, ON
L9C 4G8
(H)905-389-5104
(W)416-364-8700 ext.355

1) This article perfectly illustrates the advantages of sticking with the
original material.

http://www.buildingstonemagazine.com/winter-07/historical.html


2) There are at least two types of marble which come close, and are readily
available from Polycor Inc. ( a Canadian company with quarries across North
America, http://www.polycor.com/contact-us.aspx).

Each of the attached links give specifications for sites which have used
these products.

White Cherokee
http://www.polycor.com/marble-colors-specs.aspx?i=57

Valley Gold Vein
http://www.polycor.com/marble-colors-specs.aspx?i=54


3) The McCabe and Cuming prepared 61 page report recommending designation
of City Hall - which Council accepted and passed as BY-LAW NO. 06-011 -
mentions Marble no less than 20 times, and that the marble cladding on all
four facades is specifically identified in the Reasons for Designation.
see,
http://www.myhamilton.ca/Hamilton.Portal/Inc/PortalPDFs/ClerkPDFs/committee-of-the-whole/2005/May09/PD05036.pdf

4) Heritage Permit Application (HP2008-032) under Part IV of the Ontario
Heritage Act to Make Alterations to City Hall, 71 Main Street
West, Namely to Remove Marble Cladding and Install Concrete Cladding and
Remove Curtain Wall Stainless Steel Caps and Install
Aluminum Caps (PED08237) (Ward 2)
see,
http://www.myhamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/2792B3C1-0A81-4EFF-B7B9-0723AA17C45E/0/Oct07PED08237.pdf


5) City Hall has been the subject of quite a few photographer's lens. I
wonder if it will continue to be in future?

PHOTOS

http://pages.interlog.com/~urbanism/hamcityhall_b&w.jpg

http://media.hamiltonspectator.com/images/d2/27/fe4b71d443b4abe1d5da47dcc2ec.jpeg

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Hamilton_City_Hall_in_Hamilton,_Ontario.jpg

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Hamilton_City_Hall_in_Hamilton,_Ontario,_from_Commonwealth_Square.jpg

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ettml/2170487992/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/polar905/157249585/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mackaycartoons/596133264/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/38604820@N00/2339637934/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/24842337@N03/2346895262/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kh2lee/2263672119/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/emangrooving/2348042086/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/49405310@N00/162090622/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/7373116@N02/424540984/

Editor's Note:
Go to Links for the LINK to the Mayor's poll


6. The Hamilton Spectator: Hamilton Council: Do as I Say not as I Do?
Eric McGuinness

Hamilton city hall may be losing its marble

Iconic Image for Hamilton

Council’s economic development and planning committee voted 5-3 today to replace marble slabs and stainless steel trim on the outside of City Hall with pre-cast concrete and aluminum, even though staff say the cheaper materials are not in keeping with the landmark’s heritage designation.

The same councillors, with the added presence of Mayor Fred Eisenberger, voted 5-4 earlier in the day to adopt a bylaw giving the city power to force private owners of heritage buildings to maintain designated features at their own expense, even if it means keeping heat on in a vacant structure.

The conflict over City Hall between councillors who want to save money and those who want to honour the heritage designation put staff in an awkward position.
As a result, Tim McCabe, general manager of planning and economic development, spoke on behalf of planning staff who, he said, treated the application they way they would one from any private owner.

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:See Links for a chance to vote for Marble for Hamilton City Hall


7. Vote for Marble for Hamilton City Hall
Catherine Nasmith

Hamilton Council to decide on Wednesday

See article in News, which contains many places you can go to get information on the potential downgrading of the cladding on Stan Roscoe's landmark modernist Hamilton City Hall. Tell Council this is not the place to be penny wise pound foolish, the dignity of the City image is at stake.

Click here for Link


8. Heritage Canada Pages on Election
Catherine Nasmith

Before you vote, take a look at the Heritage Canada's Election Pages. You will be disappointed at the lack of response from all but one of the five federal parties.

Click here for Link


9. Resolution on Historic Places Initiative From Provincial Territorial Minister's Meeting
Forwarded by Tamara Anson Cartwright

CICS has posted the (Provincial/Territorial) PT resolutions arising from last week's meeting of PT Ministers, including a resolution regarding the Historic Places Initiative:

 

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:The Historic Places Initiative sets the stage for national standards and intergovernmental co-operation on heritage preservation in Canada. It is the most significant program in recent years, but is in danger of being cut by a Harper government.


10. Last Call for Nominations for 2008 ACO Provincial Awards
Gill Haley, ACO Awards Chair

DEADLINE FOR NOMINATIONS: FRIDAY OCTOBER 24, 2008

The awards program is designed to honour preservation leaders and/or projects that are considered valuable on a provincial scale to the architectural conservation movement in Ontario.

The awards include:

(1) A. K. (Alice King) Sculthorpe Award for Advocacy
This award recognizes an individual, an informal group or an established non-profit organization which at a critical point achieved exemplary success in solving a significant heritage crisis. The people involved have demonstrated leadership in the field, integrity and the ability to be inclusive and communicate the value of heritage conservation to others.

(2) Eric Arthur Lifetime Achievement Award
This award recognizes individuals or groups who have made an outstanding contribution to the heritage conservation movement in Ontario over a sustained period of time. The state of the Province’s architectural heritage today would not be the same without the significant activities of this nominee.

(3) Peter Stokes Restoration Award:
This award recognizes those responsible for the exemplary restoration of significant heritage structures, undertaken in accordance with the accepted polices and practices of heritage conservation in Ontario.

(4) Nicholas Hill Cultural Heritage Landscape Award:
This award recognizes individuals or groups and their projects that have led to a heightened level of awareness and appreciation of Ontario’s significant landscapes.

(5) ACO Award for Special Contributions:
This award recognizes ACO members who have made a significant contribution to forwarding the goals of the provincial organization.

Judging criteria include the degree of:
-significance of the heritage issue or project;
-difficulties that the project and/or persons faced;
-impact the project’s success has had on the immediate community; and
-innovation, commitment and leadership demonstrated.

Submit nominations to the ACO Head Office Suite 403, 10 Adelaide Street East, TORONTO ON M5C 1J3. Fax: 416-367-8630 Email: aco@on.aibn.com

For Nomination Forms Go to, document link is highlighted in green at the bottom of the page:

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:There are heroic stories all across the province, make sure yours gets this award. Nomination requirements are very simple.


11. St. Catharine's Standard: Herb Stovel's Evidence at Port Dalhousie Tower OMB hearing
Peter Downs

Proposed Port tower 'a very radical departure', architect tells OMB hearing

The condo tower development planned for Port Dalhousie ignores the community’s important historic roots and should be turned down, an Ontario Municipal Board hearing was told Thursday.

During his second day of testimony, conservation architect Herb Stovel maintained the project doesn’t serve the public interest and marks “a very, very radical departure” for a lakeside village steeped in marine heritage.

“It doesn’t positively contribute to the character of the area. It replaces the character of the area with something alien to the area,” he said.

Port Dalhousie Vitalization Corp. (PDVC) wants to overhaul the community's commercial strip with a 17-storey, 80-unit condominium tower, a 70-room hotel, a 415-seat theatre and a retail centre.

Stovel, a witness for anti-tower citizens’ group PROUD (Port Realizing Our Unique Distinction), maintained the development would keep only “selective fragments” of the commercial core’s historic fabric.

“I think this proposal ... takes away from the public what’s available now, in terms of heritage value,” he said under questioning by PROUD lawyer Jane Pepino.

Stovel was hired by PROUD two years ago to analyze a heritage assessment of the village prepared for the developer by a consultant.

Stovel maintained the consultant’s assessment was inferior to the planning policies and guidelines set out in Port Dalhousie’s heritage conservation district plan.

While the heritage plan approved by city council relied on extensive consultation to determine what values were deemed important by the community, PDVC’s assessment didn’t involve any community input, he said.

“It substitutes the evaluation of an expert for the assessment that’s already carried out,” Stovel said, referring to the developer’s heritage assessment.

“It wasn’t necessary for Port Dalhousie Vitalization Corporation to say this hasn’t been done, let’s start again.”

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:Herb Stovel is one of Canada's most revered heritage experts. He was involved early in his career at the Ministry of Culture in Ontario at the time of the first Ontario Heritage Act, spent several years in Rome, and is now teaching heritage conservation at Carleton University.


12. Kitchener Record: Mayfair Hotel Recommended for Designation
Terry Pender

Heritage group wants Mayfair Hotel preserved

Mayfair Hotel, Kitchener from the Record

The group that advises council on cultural heritage wants to protect the old Mayfair Hotel while a downtown block undergoes an ambitious redevelopment.

Heritage Kitchener voted this week to get the empty Mayfair designated under the Ontario Heritage Act. The former hotel at King and Young streets was built in 1906 and is an example of Classical Revival architecture.

Click here for Link


13. Waterloo Record: Environmentalist loses Appeal of Subdivisions
Jeff Outhit

Woman loses battle at OMB

Environmentalist Louisette Lanteigne has lost her planning battle against three controversial subdivisions proposed in northwest Waterloo.

Lanteigne had asked a provincial planning tribunal to rule against the subdivisions after local politicians approved them.

At a tribunal hearing yesterday, it was revealed that experts for Lanteigne, the developers and local governments have resolved the remaining 16 issues, relating to fish, amphibians and groundwater.

The resolution came after developers made a few changes.

"There are no issues that remain between the parties," said Susan Schiller, chair of yesterday's hearing before the Ontario Municipal Board.

Schiller refused to let Lanteigne call more witnesses to challenge the subdivisions when the tribunal holds a short hearing later this month to sign off on the dispute.

Click here for Link


14. Globe and Mail: No Saviour for Ballenford Books
James Adams

An epilogue for Ballenford

It's dead. For real. Never to return. Ballenford Books, that is, heretofore the city's only independent retailer devoted exclusively to architecture books and to presenting small, tightly focused exhibitions on architecture and design issues.

The "final farewell" went out earlier this week via e-mail to "clients, customers, peers and friends" from Susan Delean, Ballenford's owner and manager for the past 14 years.

The e-mail was something of an anti-climax. The store, at 600 Markham St., in the Mirvish-owned enclave near Honest Ed's, has been shuttered since late August, after Ms. Delean declared bankruptcy. Well before this, she had been making noises that Ballenford, founded in 1979 by partners Barbara Ballentine and Susan Ford, was in desperate straits, even briefly closing in April.

Ms. Delean spent much of the spring and summer trying to come up with a rescue plan."I felt compelled to keep it going, in part because people kept telling me how important it was to them," she said. But, finally, there was no way to avoid insolvency.

Click here for Link


15. Toronto Star: Loss of Royal Canadian Military Institute Building
Christopher Hume

A nod (and wink) to heritage

from Toronto Star

The venerable Royal Canadian Military Institute on University Ave. may fall to a condo tower. The developer says it would save the façade as a salute.

New tower a good sign, says mayor

The gyrating markets are making people nervous, but yesterday's groundbreaking for a 26-storey downtown office tower shows big-time investors remain confident in Toronto's future as a financial centre, says Mayor David Miller.

It may be time to call in the army.

From the Royal Canadian Military Institute to the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, heritage buildings across the city are fast being destroyed.

The institute's century-old quarters at 462 University Ave. could soon disappear to make way for – what else? – a condo tower.

"There's a lot of history in this building," admits the institute's general manager Michael Jones. "There's a lot of tradition. It is a beautiful building. But it's in bad shape ... difficult and expensive to maintain. The membership held a vote and the plan was passed. The application is with the city now. We don't expect to hear back until the spring of 2009."

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:RCMI is a private club with limited resources. In a country where no-one will offer any assistance to owners of heritage property it is not surprising that we lose buildings like this. If we spent even 1/2 a percent of the military or transportation budget on heritage restoration we could buy a lot of community pride.


16. Globe and Mail: Liebeskind Design for Hummingbird Centre Reduced
John Barber

Das Boot design kicked to the curb

The music hall now known as Sony Centre has taken more than its share of knocks since it opened as the O'Keefe Centre more than 40 years ago, but none so brutal as the kick to the head designed by architect Daniel Libeskind as the basis of the centre's alleged revitalization: a giant tower in the shape of an outlandish boot crushing the handsome modernist landmark into the ground.

But now financial reality has intervened, forcing the scheme's proponents to amputate the Libeskind boot at the ankle, leaving only a stump sticking out of the rear of the old hall's roof to accommodate the condominiums considered necessary for its revival.

"It's a much simpler and more elegant solution," said Alfredo Romano of Castlepoint Realty, the developer building the addition on behalf of the city-owned music hall. "Now we're not doing an office building that really was a tough fit with the Sony Centre."

Once designated the L Tower due to its boot-like shape, the building will now take the shape of the letter I. Stressing continuity, the developer prefers to call his un-built structure "the lower-case l tower."

The redesign began months ago when it became clear that the Sony Centre was not going to receive the government funding it sought to create a new museum in the flamboyant, five-storey foot Mr. Libeskind included in his original design. In that event, the agreement between Castlepoint and the Sony Centre called for the developer to lease out the space to commercial tenants. But when the Sony board raised the prospect of scrapping the whole thing, Castlepoint agreed readily.

The revised plan, due to be debated at city hall on Monday, shows a plain, generous plaza on the centre's Yonge Street frontage, where the boot was meant to come down. The handsome limestone cladding of the centre's western elevation remains largely unmolested, as does its roof....

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:I am not surprised that this complicated financial scheme hit some bumps. Too bad the east garden has already been destroyed, it should have been one of the designated features, designed by Janina Stennson just after she joined the Dunnington Grubb partnership. Jim Floyd also spoke of his father, James Austin Floyd's involvement in that garden.


17. This is Bath: End of Dyson Plans for Stother and Pitt Newark Works

Dyson drops Bath school plan

Vacuum cleaner pioneer Sir James Dyson tonight scrapped plans for a £56 million school in Bath.

The millionaire businessman said he would not be building his Dyson School of Design Innovation in the city - or anywhere else.

The scheme for the old Stothert and Pitt Newark Works site at South Quays faced the costly delay of a public inquiry scheduled to start in January.

The school, which had originally been due to open this autumn, could not have accepted its first students until the year 2012.

His educational charity the James Dyson Foundation had already ploughed £3.5 million of its money into planning the school and had spent four years on developing the project.

The school would have taught cutting edge engineering to teenagers from all over the south west, with £12.5 million funding from the foundation as well as financial backing from other industrial giants and the Learning and Skills Council.

Sir James, who began his engineering career with city firm Rotork, had been keen to build the school in Bath.

Bath and North East Somerset Council had backed the school but, because of opposition from the Environment Agency to the Newark Works site on flood prevention grounds, the final decision rested with local government minister Baroness Andrews.

Click here for Link