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1. RetroRenovation.com: Kaufman House in Kitchener by Eb Zeidler for sale
2. Dan Schneider Blogspot: On the Gore
3. Stouffville Sun-Tribune - Demolition of 200 Year Old Quaker home
4. Canadian Architect: PMB proposes tax credits for Heritage Buildings
5. CBC.ca: Heritage advocate calls for return to historic bridge-building style
6. chicago.curbed.com: Landmark Modernist home from Keck + Keck demolished
7. Sunnyside Historical Society: Toronto East York Community Council block another Designation
8. Dezeen:London rejects David Chipperfield Design
9. Petrolia Topic: Fairbank Mansion threatened
10. OHA + M Blog: The long-sought heritage tax incentive?
11. Toronto Star: Tax disaster looming at 401 Richmond Street
12. National Trust Website: How to support Private Members Bill
13. Urban Toronto: Eglinton Theatre a National Historic Site

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1. RetroRenovation.com: Kaufman House in Kitchener by Eb Zeidler for sale
Pam Kueber

Spectacular 1959 time capsule Kaufman Estate in Kitchener, Ontario, designed by famed architect Eberhard Zeidler

Our first time capsule house of 2017 — and it is spectacular! This 1959 midcentury home — the Kaufman Estate in Kitchener, Ontario, was designed by famed Canadian architect Eberhard Zeidler. Zeidler was steeped in modern design theory via his education at Bauhaus University. After emigrating to Canada, he did mostly commercial work — including Ontario Place, Eaton Centre, and many more landmark sites — so it’s fantastic to see one of his rare residential works — in time capsule state, no less. Many thanks to listing broker Troy Dale Schmidt for his permission to feature this house… to Ray Jameson of Impact Listings for permission to feature the awesome photos… and mega-love to reader Melanie, who sent the tip this morning. Once I saw this house, I jumped — it’s amazing!


2. Dan Schneider Blogspot: On the Gore
Dan Schneider

For Hamilton's Gore it's crunch time

Unbuilt Hamilton, which opened at The Art Gallery of Hamilton during the National Trust for Canada’s conference in that city last fall, is a fascinating exhibition about big building, planning and other projects in Hamilton that were never realized. [Note 1].
Among these is a 1983 proposal for redevelopment of Gore Park.  The project, intended to “improve” the park, was begun by the city — only to be undone a month before completion in response to a flood of negative public reaction to tampering with a beloved public space.
Is something like this unfolding on Gore Park today?
Gore Park is a small park in downtown Hamilton.  As the names suggests, the configuration of the surrounding streets gives the park, and the larger public sphere they define — known simply as the Gore — a distinctive wedge shape, oriented west-east.
The Gore is in many ways the heart of Hamilton.  Its street walls, composed of mainly nineteenth century commercial buildings with some more recent infill, enclose a unique urban space.  It is a historic place of which Hamiltonians have always been justly proud, as the story from Unbuilt Hamilton illustrates.  After a long decline the Gore, like adjacent areas in the city’s core, is ripe for rejuvenation.  And, like them, its special character is under threat.


3. Stouffville Sun-Tribune - Demolition of 200 Year Old Quaker home
Ali Raza

Heritage Advisory Committee chair expresses regret over Woodbine house demolition

The town should commission reports for heritage buildings instead of developers, says Heritage Advisory Committee chair Bob Curgenven.

Responding to the Sun-Tribune’s story on the demolition of a house on 17166 Woodbine Ave., Curgenven said the Heritage Advisory Committee was dedicated to giving the structure a heritage designation, but the owner wanted a demolition

“We were already in the process of attempting to designate the place and it’s been one of these nightmare things,” he said. “Dealing with a religious organization behaving like a developer is unbelievable.”

Curgenven is referring to the Catholic Cemeteries and Funeral Services — Archdiocese of Toronto, which is the current owner of the property and put forth a demolition permit.

The archdiocese says a structural engineer assessed the property and determined “he could not ensure the safety of his workers to go into the building and prepare footings necessary to brace the structure for restoration.”

“The demolition permit was issued based on the cultural heritage impact assessment presented well in advance of council’s Aug. 23, 2016 meeting,” Marketing and Public Relations director Amy Profenna said in an email.



4. Canadian Architect: PMB proposes tax credits for Heritage Buildings
Canadian Architect Press Release

New Bill will limit destruction and encourage rehabilitation of Canadian heritage buildings

Conservative critic for Canadian Heritage and National Historic Sites Peter Van Loan introduced a Private Member’s Bill that would create a 20 per cent tax credit for rehabilitation of recognized historic places.

The Bill is seconded by Peter Kent, the Member of Parliament for Thornhill. Bill C-323 would seek to limit the destruction of Canada’s heritage buildings, and instead encourage the rehabilitation of these culturally significant buildings. The tax credit would be available to properties that appear on the National Register of Historic Places. The Bill would also allow owners to write-off spending on heritage restoration at a faster rate than is currently the case.

There is a tremendous public interest in the preservation and restoration of heritage properties. But the cost burden of doing so is usually more expensive to owners than other alternatives—like demolition and new construction. This Bill helps owners who are preserving heritage buildings with the cost of delivering this public benefit.

To be eligible for the tax credit and accelerated write-off, restoration would have to be certified by an architect as following the Parks Canada published standards for conservation of historic places.


5. CBC.ca: Heritage advocate calls for return to historic bridge-building style
Max Leighton

Bowstring bridges were once common in Wellington County

A bowstring bridge once spanned the Grand River in Fergus in the same place that the current St. David Street bridge does today. (Wellington County Museum and Archives)

A Fergus man is urging the Township of Centre Wellington to consider local history as it makes plans to new bridge redevelopment project.

The township plans to rebuild the aging St. David Street bridge in downtown Fergus beginning in 2018. In its place, Dave Beynon, a local writer and heritage advocate, said the township should build a bowstring bridge.

A bowstring bridge sports arches that rise over its deck, useful for spanning rivers with low banks.

They were once a popular style in the region, according to Beynon.

Kitchener's Freeport Bridge, which spans the Grand River on King Street, is a bowstring, as is the Bridgeport Bridge on Bridge Street at Lancaster Street in Kitchener. At one time, there was even a bowstring bridge where the current St. David Street bridge in Fergus stands today.

"If you look at a calendar of the region, almost any calendar you see will have a snow covered bowstring bridge at some point," Beynon said.

The style was developed in France around the turn of the last century, and by 1930s there were dozens in Wellington County.

"That turned out to be a good style of bridge for the area," said Beynon. "A lot of our rivers, the Grand River and whatnot, have low river banks."

A bowstring bridge spanning the Irvine River near Salem was granted heritage designation in 2014.

However, most local bowstring bridges have not fared so well.


6. chicago.curbed.com: Landmark Modernist home from Keck + Keck demolished
A.J. LaTrace

Landmark modernist home from Keck + Keck

After a lengthy effort from preservationists to save a prominent midcentury home from the architects Keck + Keck, the glassy home has been demolished and the property cleared for sale as vacant land. According to Crain’s, the sprawling 27 acre property is being listed for nearly $9 million. The home was asking $10 million before it was demolished.


Editor’s Note: see also a previous post for more pictures - including interiors. http://chicago.curbed.com/2015/2/17/9991044/keck-keck-cant-find-buyer-after-years-on-the-market

7. Sunnyside Historical Society: Toronto East York Community Council block another Designation
Jack Gibney

The Drake Hotel Plays the Heritage Destruction Game

The City’s Heritage Preservation Services Recommended Designation. But the Drake, the Councillor and FGDMA had other plans.

How to Play the Heritage Destruction Game.

Hide the historic beauty until people forget about it, paint it, cover it with siding or stucco. Allow deterioration with no maintenance or repairs like plastic on roofs that causes rot.
Replace heritage features with minimal unpainted wood fix ups with no detailing.
Repair arches unevenly and with un-matched brick and mortar.
Eventually something becomes dangerous and, hallelujah, you get a demolition order. (reference 3)

The Committee of Adjustments referred the Drake’s plans to City Heritage Preservation Services. Heritage Preservation Services said yes to Heritage Designation. (reference 1) Councillor Bailao chose to disregard this report. She tabled it as `received for information’ that is, she allowed to die. (reference 1) I believe this destruction of our Heritage will lower area property values significantly, dampen tourism in Toronto, and damage an important part of our heritage during our Sesquicentennial year. If the Drake Hotel is allowed to proceed with this Heritage Destruction the continuity of the Heritage district between Spadina and Parkdale will be gravely weakened, leaving Historic Parkdale more vulnerable to the ongoing glass and steel invasion. Watch as The Drake makes it’s next move in the Heritage Destruction game,  as shown in the following two pictures.


8. Dezeen:London rejects David Chipperfield Design
Tracy Mairs, forwarded by Max Allen

Chipperfield's plans for Tracey Emin residence and studio rejected

David Chipperfield Architects' proposal for a new east London home and studio for British artist Tracey Emin has been refused planning permission.

Chipperfield's scheme, which proposed the demolition of a 1920s block at 66-68 Bell Lane to make way for a new five-storey building, was turned down by the development committee at the London Borough of Tower Hamlets last week.

David Chipperfield plans for Tracey Emin residence rejected
The new brick development would have connected to Emin's existing studio and residence, which occupies an adjacent Victorian building at 1-5 Tenter Ground, right by Old Spitalfields Market.

"Officers have concluded that on balance the scheme would have a negative impact on the Artillery Passage Conservation Area, with its demolition of a locally listed building of both historic significance and aesthetic and townscape merit," said a statement from the committee.

David Chipperfield plans for Tracey Emin residence rejected
Emin is one of a group of contemporary artists known as the YBAs, which emerged in the late 1980s. Among her most famous artworks are My Bed and Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–1995.

A number of preservation groups objected to Chipperfield and Emin's plans, citing the negative impact of a contemporary building on the Artillery Passage Conservation Area.

The East End Preservation Society referred to the scheme "very damaging", while Save Britain's Heritage claimed the demolition of the existing 1920s building would cause "substantial harm" to the conservation area.

The scheme was initially submitted for planning consideration in summer 2015, but after a six-month period of indecision Emin launched an appeal through chartered surveyor Montagu Evans in January 2016. The appeal was received days prior to the official rejection at last Wednesday's meeting and is still ongoing.

This isn't the first project David Chipperfield Architects has had turned down for on the basis of preservation. In 2013, the British firm was appointed to design a £18.9m extension for the Geffrye Museum in east London.

The addition to the interiors museum proposed the proposed the demolition of the 1830s Marquis of Lansdowne pub, which, like 66-68 Bell Lane, sits in a conservation area in east London. A campaign was mounted by conservationists to retain the then-derelict building and the plans for the museum extension were thrown out by planners at Hackney council.

David Chipperfield Architects is currently working on a museum beside the Taj Mahal, and was recently unveiled as one of the winners of a competition to overhaul sites across Paris.



9. Petrolia Topic: Fairbank Mansion threatened
Melissa Schilz

An architectural gem: residents band together for Fairbank Mansion

Concerns have been raised over a minor variance application submitted by the owner of the Fairbank Mansion property.

David Burnie, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, has been working in conjunction with Robert Dale Consulting Engineers, based in Sarnia. Together they have submitted a plan to the Town of Petrolia, which consists of a multi-unit apartment building on the same property as the historic Fairbank House.

At a Committee of Adjustment meeting Wednesday evening, a number of residents attended to ask questions and voice their concerns over plans to alter the grounds.

Some expressed anger over the application. The meeting also saw written submissions from residents and a business, all opposed to the development, saying it would pose a serious threat to the historical charm of the property.

Citizens are questioning the property owner’s intentions. While there are plans to construct an apartment building, there is no proposal to restore the home currently on the site. Some worry that the home will be left to rot, eventually torn down and forgotten if declared a hazard. Burnie was not present at the meeting to comment.

While Jeff Dale of Robert Dale Consulting Engineers said the intent is to have two co-functioning buildings, the Committee of Adjustment’s Chairman, Les Whiting, questioned whether it was a concrete plan or merely an intention.

Currently, no solid plan for Fairbank House has been submitted, only a draft of the new apartment buildings proposed, which has been altered several times over. The plan includes a driveway, parking and a walkway for the apartments, but no features to the Fairbank House have been included.

Siblings Charlie and Sylvia Fairbank were also in attendance, both descendants of John Henry Fairbank, who was the designer and original owner of the 22-room home. It was built over two years and completed in 1891, owned by the Fairbank family for 74 years.


10. OHA + M Blog: The long-sought heritage tax incentive?
Dan Schneider

Finally, a federal tax incentive for heritage?

In a surprise move legislation has been introduced in Parliament that would provide income tax incentives for restoring heritage buildings in Canada.

Peter Van Loan, MP for the Ontario riding of York-Simcoe and Conservative Critic for Canadian Heritage and National Historic Sites, introduced a private member’s bill in the House of Commons on December 1st.

Bill C-323 would amend the Income Tax Act to create a 20% tax credit for the costs of rehabilitation of recognized historic places. It would also provide an accelerated capital cost allowance for capital expenditures incurred in rehabilitation projects.


11. Toronto Star: Tax disaster looming at 401 Richmond Street
Murray Whyte

401 Richmond arts haven facing huge tax hike

401 Richmond, a long-standing downtown haven for dozens of non-profit arts and culture organizations, is grappling with a property tax increase in January likely to cripple the many tenants it has long sheltered from skyrocketing market rents. 

In a matter of weeks, tenants will see their property tax bill, which they pay to the city separately from their rent to building owner Urbanspace, jump by about 85 per cent. By the end of the current assessment period in 2020, taxes will have nearly tripled from today, threatening the heritage building’s status as a vital cultural hub. 

“There are those who would look at a company like Urbanspace, which believes in the creative community and has actively supported it for 23 years, and think maybe they deserve some kind of break,” says David Plant, executive director of Trinity Square Video, one of many non-profit artist-run centres in 401 Richmond, a former factory at the corner of Richmond St. and Spadina Ave. 

“But the message here is, ‘No, sorry — we don’t care.’ That really speaks to the issue: What do we want the downtown core to become?”


Editor’s Note: I should also declare that Urbanspace Properties are a client, Catherine Nasmith Architect is assisting with applications to the City of Toronto's Heritage Property Tax Rebate Program for exterior conservation projects. Margie Zeidler is a member of the ACO President's Circle. Last February, Margie, Michael Vaughan and I we met with staff in the Premier's office regarding the tax issue, asking for a separate tax class for designated property.

12. National Trust Website: How to support Private Members Bill
National Trust for Canada

Voice Your Support - Federal Incentives for the Rehabilitation of Canada's Historic Places Voice Your Support Federal Incentives for the Rehabilitation of Canada

Voice Your Support

Federal Incentives for the Rehabilitation of Canada’s Historic Places

On December 1, 2006, a private members bill to create tax credits for historic places was tabled in the House of Commons. Bill C-323 – An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act (Rehabilitation of Historic Property) – is based on a great US success story with a 40- year track record. This Bill presents an historic opportunity to tell elected officials from every political party that Canada’s historic places matter, and that federal actions can help save and renew them.


13. Urban Toronto: Eglinton Theatre a National Historic Site
Jack Landau

Parks Canada Names Eglinton Theatre a National Historic Site

During the first half of the 20th century, Eglinton Avenue through Midtown Toronto was a far cry from the bustling thoroughfare we know today. In the decades before the Yonge subway first opened in 1954 with a northern terminus at Eglinton, the Forest Hill area was still a developing suburban community. Italian immigrant Agostino Arrigo Sr. was one of the first visionaries to purchase development lands along the then-bucolic Eglinton corridor, including a plot on the north side of Eglinton, just west of Avenue Road. After weathering the toughest years of the Great Depression in the late 1920s and early 1930s, Arrigo and theatre company Famous Players moved forward with plans to construct a new movie house that would become the Eglinton Theatre.

With an ambitious design by Toronto architects Harold Solomon Kaplan (1895-1973) and Abraham (Abe) Sprachman (1894-1971), styled in the then-emerging Moderne school of Art Deco architecture, the theatre opened its doors on April 15, 1936 to throngs of excited moviegoers. In the following decades, Kaplan & Sprachman's Eglinton Theatre screened hit movies ranging from The Sound Of Music to Star Wars to The Hunt for Red October before the rise of multiplex theatres led to the Eglinton's demise and subsequent April 1, 2002 closure.

Fortunately, this isn't where the story ended for the beloved cinema. Designated an historic landmark by the City of Toronto, the aging movie house would turn a new page in 2003 when hospitality and entertainment company Dynamic Hospitality & Entertainment Group announced its acquisition of the building. After restoration and renovation, the Art Deco theatre reopened that same year, now serving as a popular special events venue capable of hosting up to 1,000 guests, now known as the 'Eglinton Grand'.

Celebrating the cultural and architectural significance of the site, Parks Canada and the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada unveiled two plaques yesterday respectively honouring Kaplan & Sprachman Architects and the theatre itself as a National Historic Site. To commemorate the unveiling, Dynamic hosted a ceremony attended by members of the Kaplan and Sprachman families, as well as members of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and other guests.

Sam DUva, Managing Director of Dynamic, told the crowd, Were thrilled that The Eglinton Theatre is being recognized with this honour. We want to thank the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and Parks Canada for choosing to commemorate the property, one with such a storied history of cultural, corporate and social significance for the citizens of Toronto and the rest of the country. Were proud that the historic building is now Torontos foremost destination for special events as The Eglinton Grand, with an experienced and dedicated team of professionals operating it, to ensure its viability for the future.

With features like a sculptural ceiling, a zigzagging, stepped, and overlapping roof, and ornamental statuary to name a few, the Eglinton is considered among the best examples of Art Deco style in Canadian theatres. The installation of these two historical plaques in front of this landmark will hopefully help to draw the attention of passersby for years to come.