published by
2510 Subscribers
HAVING TROUBLE SEEING THIS? CLICK HERE | CONTACT THE EDITOR
headerheader

Issue No. 102 | September 19, 2007

subscribe

Add your Story

Feature Stories

  1. Welcome to New Format Built Heritage News
  2. Election Action: Make Heritage an Issue
  3. Toronto Money Going to Save Chicago's Heritage Buildings
  4. St. Thomas Council Votes to Demolish Moore Farmhouse
  5. Bath Chronicle: Thomas Fuller's Newark Works Site
  6. CBC Halifax: Nova Scotia Utility Board okays Blocking of View from Citadel

Events

The Fort at York
From Thursday September 20 through Saturday, October 13, 2007
+ read


Archaeology Day at Fort York
Saturday September 24, 2007
+ read


Lecture: Faces on Places
2 October
+ read


Citywalks -- Walking Tours of Toronto
mainly Saturdays and Sundays from May to October
+ read


Architecture Days
September 24-30
+ read


2007 Heritage Toronto Awards & William Kilbourne Memorial Lecture
October 15, 2007
+ read


Graphic Virtuosity/ Architectural Posters from the Robert G. Hill Collection
September 10, 2007- December 8, 2007
+ read


Design at Riverside
Opening Reception: Wednesday, September 12
+ read


Heritage Planning Workshops - Windsor
October 20, 21, and November 3,4
+ read


Heritage Canada Foundation Conference
October 11-14, 2007
+ read


Advertisements

ad ad ad ad ad ad ad

Built Heritage News Sponsors

sponsor

1. Welcome to New Format Built Heritage News
Catherine Nasmith

Editor, Catherine Nasmith
Thanks to generous donations from Robert Allsopp, Margie Zeidler, Andrew Stewart and Stephen Otto, and many hours of work from consultants Meta Strategies, Built Heritage News is finally truly online. This new site will make my life as editor much easier.

Between issues the site will be updated daily with new links and events as they appear. You may wish to monitor new postings regularly.

And if you  spot something of interest you can also post to the site.

The home page has not been finished yet, but it will feature the latest or most urgent stories.

Every two weeks I will send all the recent postings out as the current issue of Built Heritage News.

Archives of the new issues will be searchable, and I hope to be able to soon post all the back issues as pdf's.

I hope you like the new format. I look forward to your comments.


2. Election Action: Make Heritage an Issue
Catherine Nasmith

Forsyth Building in Kitchener lost to Demolition by Neglect in 2006
The McGuinty government has done more than any government since 1975 for Ontario's heritage, yet more needs to be done. In this last term we have received a new Heritage Act, new powers for municipal governments and the Minister of Culture, and stronger Provincial Policy Statements. When Anthony Tung visited us in May 2005 he said that the first step in establishing a culture of conservationwas the binding law, but what must follow shortly thereafter are the other pieces needed to generate a true culture of conservation. This election is the one chance we have to really put the issue on the public agenda. Even though the world has changed for Ontario's heritage we are still losing buildings at an alarming rate. Almost every day I get an email about another building about to be lost....it is frustrating and depressing. But it is also possible to stop the losses. It is important that every candidate be asked what they are planning to do to develop the economic potential of Ontario's heritage sector. What are they going to do to stop the ongoing destruction of Ontario's heritage buildings. The Ontario Heritage Conference in May identified several factors that are contributing to ongoing losses, the biggest is the lack of funding for heritage conservation. The Conference also identified the threat to downtowns from Places to Grow's vaguely wording to preserve heritage "where feasible"; the need for education on many fronts; the need for support for Municipal Heritage Committees in doing their work: and the need to protect our rural heritage. The conference resolutions are now on the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario's website, http://www. arconserv.ca. ACO has written to all of the Ministers at both the province and the federal level asking for action. Using the conference resolutions as a base, look at your local situation and find examples of buildings that might be lost or could have been saved if we had a full set o f heritage tools. Such examples are powerful in making your case to candidates. How to Make Your Point with Politicians Write Letters and Call Campaign Offices to talk to staff. Get Your Letter to the Candidate: When writing to candidates or members of government always mark the letter Personal and Confidential”, that way you can be sure that the candidate or at least their political staff will see it. Meetings: Better than writing, a face to face meeting always leaves a stronger impression. Take three to four people, be well organized and brief in your remarks and then let the candidate get on with their day. All Candidates Meetings: Ask polite questions at all candidates meetings. You can use the resolutions to guide you in forming the questions that apply in your area. For example what a difference would funding make to a building at risk in your community. Or how many buildings are at risk because you don’t have the resources to even build an inventory? What would happen if your downtown heritage was considered "not feasible" to save in the face of development?


3. Toronto Money Going to Save Chicago's Heritage Buildings
Catherine Nasmith

View of Chicago's Jeweler's Building
What is wrong with this picture?

American financial incentives for restoration of the country’s heritage buildings are attracting Toronto financiers to invest in Chicago. Recently Morris Shohet, principal in Dorchester Corporation, very kindly took the time to explain how a combination of City, State and Federal financial incentives are helping renovate the outstanding Jeweler’s Building in Chicago for contemporary office use.

Built in the booming twenties, the Jeweler’s Building took advantage of emerging elevator technology, allowing tenants to drive into the building, car and all and take their cars up to park next to their offices--a very attractive feature for jewelers worried about transporting precious gems. The resulting large floor plate makes it very suitable for modern office space.

Dorchester Corporation has owned the property for many years, and has been slowly renovating it a floor at a time. Incentives such as compensation for façade easements, the City’s Class L Program of 12 year tax breaks following restoration/renovation of heritage property, the TIF grant program administered by the City, and a federal program of tax write offs make Chicago a very attractive place to invest in heritage buildings. However even with the government support, the project is still a labour of love, giving a great deal of pride of ownership. He also indicated he is interested in making similar investments in Toronto but has yet to find a suitable project.

If such funding had been available in Toronto, perhaps we wouldn’t be losing our heritage buildings at the astonishing rate we are. At the recent Ontario Heritage Conference, Ministry of Culture staff member Dan Schneider showed a chart tracking designations of heritage buildings in Ontario. The big spikes were in years when financial incentives were available for heritage property.

Lets hope that the next conversation between Toronto Mayor Miller and Chicago Mayor Daley includes investigation of the heritage incentives that are attracting Toronto investors. This is a trend worth reversing.

Come on Canada!

http://www.ci.chi.il.us/Landmarks/numbers/35EWacker.html
http://www.burnhamhotel.com/bur_history.htm


4. Debate over Section 37 Divides Toronto's Heritage Community
Catherine Nasmith

At last weeks public meeting everyone agreed that Toronto’s planning system is in drastic trouble, the debate is over how to fix it.

Neighbourhoods are being bombarded with unsympathetic OMB decisions. There are few secondary plans to provide guidance to the OMB, and planners have little solid ground from which to argue against development proposals. Communities seeking to preserve their character have been working hard to set up Heritage Conservation Districts as a very strong way to protect themselves from the vagaries of a waffling Council and an indifferent Ontario Municipal Board.

Since Heritage Preservation Services started partnering with local community groups there has been a dramatic jump in the creation of HCD’s in Toronto, particularly in the downtown. To keep costs low, community members do the research under the direction of a professional heritage consultant. Then the consultant provides analysis of the research and writes the study and plan. These partnerships have made it possible for a chronically under-resourced department to stretch scarce resources. In several cases some of the consulting costs have been covered in part by funds taken from Section 37 settlements in the vicinity of the proposed HCD. (Section 37 is part of the Planning Act that allows negotiations between municipalities and developers to exchange community benefits for increased density or other concessions.)

Last year the Planning Department, taking the position that such monies should be used only for physical improvements community amenities, succeeded in eliminating the use of Section 37 funds for Heritage or any other studies. Objections from heritage advocates who saw no other means of raising much needed funds fell on deaf ears. Only a change to the Official Plan can restore this funding mechanism, which is what Councillors Adam Vaughan and Kyle Rae have set out to do. So far they have succeeded in forcing reluctant city planners to conduct a new public consultation on the subject, and have added in the possibility of also using Section 37 funds for Avenue and Secondary Plan Studies.

Last week’s consultation meeting was sharply divided, and sadly as those on opposite sides of this debate are generally like minded.

Janice Etter, speaking for the Heritage Round Table, a coalition of west Toronto heritage groups, insists that such studies should be funded through normal city budgets, or else only areas with development pressures will be able to conduct studies.

Important residents groups such as Confederation of Residents and Ratepayers Association (CORRA) argue against the temptation to use Section 37 funds for planning because Section 37 funds are obtained from breaking planning rules. There is no doubt that Section 37 settlements have resulted in many extremely over-scaled development in Toronto, and further addiction to Section 37 funds will lead to more.

Councillor Vaughan, supported by The Annex Residents Associations, Harbord Village, and Queen Street Residents, as well as Madelleine McDowell and Mary Louise Ashbourne, acknowledged the validity of the opposition arguments. However the need to establish clear planning controls is paramount if the City is ever going to get out of the current planning mess. He argued that even though using Section 37 funds is flawed, there is no other way to move forward given the City’s current dire financial position. Councillor Vaughan is prepared to consider an imperfect 1/2 a loaf given the other choice is no loaf at all.


5. David Dunlap Observatory to be Closed
Brenda Shaw

Dunlop Observatory
It has recently come to my attention through the Royal AstronomicalSociety of Canada that the David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill,Ontario, is in imminent danger of being shut down. The University ofToronto, which owns the facility and surrounding acreage, plans tosell it for development. The press release announcing this plan can be found here:

http://www.news.utoronto.ca/bin6/070910-3374.asp

The Observatory was built in 1935 by Jessie Dunlap as a memorial to her husband, and has been used constantly for astronomical research to the present day. When it was built it was the second-largest telescope
n the world, putting Canada on the map in the international astronomical community, and remains the second-largest optical  telescope in our country. One of Canada's most notable astronomical discoveries was made here: the first confirmation of the existence of a black hole (the object known as Cygnus X-1). The history of Toronto, the university, and of research science in Canada all have an important focus here.

The Observatory is also currently used as a hub for public outreach and astronomy education. Tours and public lectures are conducted weekly in the summer by Observatory staff, and these are followed up by public observing sessions on the lawn with RASC members who volunteer their time and telescopes.

In addition, the land surrounding the Observatory is home to a diverse population of wildlife and acts almost as a small nature preserve in the city of Richmond Hill. The buildings themselves are worth preserving purely for their architectural beauty.

Would the Observatory's buildings, and perhaps the surrounding land,
be a good candidate for designation as a national historical site, in the interests of saving it from being bulldozed for condominiums? It could have a long future ahead of it as parkland and perhaps as an astronomical education centre easily accessible to urban dwellers in the GTA (this is perhaps doubly important for sparking the interest of local children, as Toronto no longer has a planetarium!)

I would very much appreciate a speedy response, as time may be short. It is unknown whether the University of Toronto has any interested potential buyers for the land.


6. St. Thomas Council Votes to Demolish Moore Farmhouse
Catherine Nasmith - files from Dr. Robert Burns

John Moore Farmhouse Sparta Ontario
St. Thomas Council last night voted four to 3 not to designate the Moore farmhouse, overturning the advice of the local MHC, advice of the Preservation Works report from the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, and ignoring hundreds of letters and emails in support of the protection of the farmhouse.

As of Monday the owners will, barring last minute court intervention have an unfettered right to demolish the Moore House as of the 24th of September.

 The Municipal Heritage Committee worked hard on this issue, developed an irrefutable case in favour of designation, but were unable to win the majority of Council to accept their advice. The Council also voted against saving portions of the building the owners were willing to save! This doesn't seem to be the same Council that has worked so hard to save Alma College.

The farmhouse is located in Sparta, was built by a John Moore and his family who were active reformers in Ontario. The house dates back to the first settlement of Upper Canada.

Dr. Colin Read, a history Professor at the University of Western Ontario and the foremost specialist in the study of the 1837 Rebellion in Upper Canada wrote to Council regarding the historical significance of John Moore and his home.

 "Clearly, John and his brothers were forward-thinking, civic-minded individuals. Arguably, their reform activities helped hasten much-needed reforms. They devoted their energies and assets to the public good. Ironically, their father, Samuel had lost his "beautiful" property to the American rebels. It would be a singular tragedy if we were now to lose John's beautiful house over two hundred years later to those who cannot appreciate the past. Can the sort of commitment to the public good which the Moores so bountifully displayed prevent this from happening? I fervently hope so, and ask the mayor and council to render a decision which will ensure the preservation of the Moore home."

Dr. Douglas McCall, a history professor at the University of Guelph wrote to Council as follows: "There are two aspects to my concern. First is that Sparta as a whole is a precious place in terms of the character and quality of its heritage structures; to lose one detracts from all. If such communities were common in the province, the loss might seem less distressing, but they are not: Sparta is one of the outstanding rural heritage communities in the entire province. Increasingly Ontarians are recognizing and welcoming the variety of the provinces cultural landscape; they look for unique and special places. I dont think I need to tell you this, but it is vital to stress Sparta's importance in the distinctiveness of your region in provincial terms."

Editor's Note:
A tragic result of the culture of compromise that lingers on in Ontario despite the passage of Bill 60 which gives local councils all the power they need to protect community assets.


7. 5th Annual Doors Open Newfoundland and Labrador Enjoying Great Year
Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador

Doors Open Newfoundland and Labrador headed into its fifth year with an impressive 9 communities onboard, including 4 new communities - Carbonear, Grand Bank, St. George’s, and Labrador Straits. Doors Open Carbonear was the first event of the year, on August 4, and its sites received nearly 700 visits in just 2 hours. All the new sites as well as Placentia, Corner Brook and St. John’s have already held successful Doors Open events this year. Many of this year’s communities have already begun planning for Doors Open Newfoundland and Labrador 2008.

The largest was Doors Open St. John’s, held on September 8 and 9, which opened 24 sites to the public. This year, eight new sites were delighted to be involved, including Clovelly Riding Stables, Eastern Edge Gallery, the Royal Newfoundland Regiment Museum, and the Windsor Lake Water Treatment Plant. The festivities kicked-off with a taping of Angela Antle’s Weekend Arts Magazine and a waffle breakfast held on Saturday morning at Eastern Edge Gallery. Throughout the weekend, visitors were treated to guided tours, puppet shows, medieval demonstrations, art exhibits, family activities, refreshments and much more. Government House, one of the most popular sites in the city, attracted over 1,000 people in three short hours!

Doors Open Newfoundland and Labrador continues in September with two events. Doors Open Trinity Bight will be held on Saturday, September 22, and Sunday, September 23. Visitors will have the opportunity to see 15 great sites, including Campbell House and the Port Rexton Fire Hall, and can participate in guided tours, knot-tying demonstrations, a fundraiser rummage sale, and more. Doors Open Conception Bay South takes place on Sunday, September 30, from 2-4pm. Visitors will enjoy organ music, guided tours of participating sites, and afternoon tea.

  Doors Open NL website www.doorsopendays.com.

Editor's Note:
Great to see Doors Open working so well all across Canada now.


8. The Thorold Heritage Walks Committee Releases Two New Walks

Two New Brochures are available for visitors to Thorold


THE WELLAND CANAL WALK

This walk begins at the Lock 7 Viewing Complex and from the deck looking north, a panoramic view of the Welland Canal can be seen; to the south is the site of the Battle of Beaverdams fought June 24, 1813. The brochure contains a wealth of knowledge about the canal and surrounding historical area. The trail walk takes you past the Thorold Murals covering 2000 sq. m. - the largest in Canada. Each panel depicts a significant aspect of Thorold's history. You can continue along the trail to Thorold's Flight Locks or start your return back through a residential area of the city that contains many outstanding heritage buildings, into historical Memorial Park and return to Lock 7.
This walk is 2 km. (including the Flight Locks 2.5 km)

THE THOROLD DISCOVERY WALK

Take a stroll and sample Thorold's rich heritage and history (total walk is 6.5 km). This is truly a discovery of the heritage wealth in our City. The walk takes you past numerous buildings and sites designated under the Ontario Heritage Act, our quaint downtown, the converted stone Welland Mills building, the Battle of Beaverdams Park and our great pride - the Keefer Mansion Inn.

These brochures are available at Lock 7, Thorold's Library, City Hall and the Keefer Mansion Inn, along with the free booklet published by Heritage Thorold entitled "Thorold, A Selection of Heritage Buildings and Sites".

email: heritageniagara@becon.org


9. Toronto Star: Simeon Janes

Daring developer built The Annex

Simeon Janes used huge profits from his 1880s upscale neighbourhood to build decadent mansion

Adam Mayers


A low stone wall on Avenue Rd. and a nearby dead-end street called Benvenuto Place are the only remaining signs of the empire that Simeon Herman Janes built.

One of the city's earliest and most daring developers, Janes shrewdly guessed in the mid-1880s that Toronto's burgeoning middle class would pay a premium for fine homes in a neighbourhood offering a hint of elegance on quiet, tree-lined streets. So in 1886, Janes gambled that a parcel of vacant land on the edge of the city – west of Bedford Rd. and north of Bloor St. – could be acquired on the cheap and resold at a handsome profit.

Janes bought hundreds of acres known as the Baldwin Estate at depressed prices, then subdivided and created what we now call The Annex.

It was so successful, Janes kept acquiring more land until his homes encompassed an area between Avenue Rd. and Spadina Ave. and Dupont and Bloor.

Click here for Link


10. Toront Star: Review of Toronto City Hall Competition Rejects
Mark Maloney

The city hall we almost had

50 years ago this week, Toronto council kicked off a major international design competition leading to our modern city hall. Here's what might have been – the designs that came close and the ones you never saw

It was the largest international design competition in the world. Our new city hall. When finally built, Toronto would be transformed and a city born.

In 1946, voters approved the purchase of properties to create a civic square downtown. In 1955, after several delays, council asked voters to approve an $18 million city hall ($143 million in 2007 dollars).

Plans came from a consortium of three Toronto architectural firms, all noted for their institutional buildings. A tree-lined public square, three-storey entrance and 20-storey office slab was proposed.

Yet University of Toronto architecture students led the charge against it, denouncing it as "dull and uninteresting ... indistinguishable from insurance buildings," and "a funeral home of vast dimensions ... comparable to Russian institutional architecture."

Stories from The Varsity student paper, picked up by other Toronto media, helped defeat the uninspiring consortium proposal.

Click here for Link


11. Globe and Mail: New Name for Okeete Centre...Hummingbird Centre

Toronto's Hummingbird gets new name: Sony

Toronto -- The Toronto arts centre formerly known as the O'Keefe and currently going by the name Hummingbird will be officially renamed Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

The centre's board of directors and Sony Canada yesterday announced a $10-million, 20-year title sponsorship to revitalize the venue, a Toronto landmark since its official opening in 1960.

Daniel Libeskind will redesign the complex, which will now feature the 75-million AHA! Centre (Arts & Heritage Awareness Centre) and a 47-storey residential tower.

Renovations to transform the centre into a multimedia theatre and concert hall begin in June, 2008.

Click here for Link


12. Kingston Whig Standard: Owner fighting heritage designation

Tension building over fate of home; Owner battles experts who want heritage label on his house

Victorian homes line Frontenac Street, running in near-perfect unison until Union Street, where the roof lines drop to reveal a small home with perfect right angles and a flat roof that is different from every other on the block.

This one little house has caused a large stir among neighbours, a city committee and the owner, who are battling over a proposed heritage designation.

One side says the designation is needed to preserve the heritage value of the home from unnecessary changes, while the other says it's a back-door attempt to use heritage laws to stop changes with which city staff saw no problems.

"This borders on insanity," said Leo Matzov, who owns the home.

Click here for Link


13. Windsor Star: Another loss in Amherstberg
Roberta Pennington

Walker house is history

A last-minute effort to convince town council to save an Amherstburg house some historians say was once owned by Hiram Walker from demolition failed Monday.

The town's Heritage Advisory Committee had appealed for council to move toward designating the so-called Walker House as a heritage property.

Such a designation would have protected the house at 348 Dalhousie St. from demolition.

Currently owned by Boblo Island developer Dominic Amicone, the house "is a prime and relatively intact example of early 19th century Greek Revival Gregorian," architecture, according to a town report.

Click here for Link


14. Canada. Com: Queen's University buys P4W

CLC announces sale of former Prison for Women site to Queen's University

Canada Lands Company (CLC) and Queen's University today announced that they have entered into an agreement whereby the university will acquire the former site of the Federal Prison for Women in Kingston, Ontario, effective January 2008

The 8.1-acre (3.3-hectare) property was the site of the federal prison
for female offenders from 1934 until it was closed in 2000. Since 2003, CLC
has been reviewing its options for potential future uses for the property....

Click here for Link


15. Globe and Mail: Reconstructed House Niagara on the Lake
Carolyn Leitch

True, right down to the square-head nails

Doug and Bev Munkley were searching for an exceptional piece of land for an extraordinary house.

On a bluff atop the Niagara River they found what they were looking for: An abandoned fruit orchard with a view of some of Canada's most significant historical sites. Stand on the precipice and you can see the place where American invaders scaled the cliffs to ignite the Battle of Queenston Heights during the War of 1812.

"As a history buff it's interesting to me to think of all the people who would have looked up at this point and all the events that transpired," says Mr. Munkley from the promontory.

Against that dramatic backdrop, the Munkleys added their own chapter to local lore when they drove two transport trucks onto the property and began unpacking. Two years later they had reconstructed an 1830s Quaker house on the spot.....

Click here for Link


16. Globe and Mail: Dave Le Blanc Visits Joe Storey House on Lake Erie

An Erie evening of modernist architecture

An inky canvas of sky pin holed with stars.

Dancing diamonds of moonlight on the lake.

The house, glowing lantern-like, unabashedly reveals its every function.

Each vies for my attention as I stand on soft ground listening to a cacophonic symphony of crickets and Lake Erie surf. Since I'm here at the invitation of architects James Brown and Kim Storey to experience a house designed by Ms. Storey's late father, Chatham-based architect Joe Storey, I'll let the house win: surf, stars and crickets you can get anywhere, while Mr. Storey's sublime modernism is confined mainly to southwestern Ontario.

During his prolific 28-year career, Mr. Storey designed just about every type of building imaginable — flower shops, office blocks, band shells, chapels and even an unrealized dream of converting sugar beet silos into apartments — but, as is usually the case, it's the intimate scale of the single-family home that allows for a tangible connection to his work. This house, designed and built in 1960 for the Ough family, makes connecting even easier: save for a sunroom addition done in the 1970s or 1980s, it remains untouched by the heavy hands of renovation.

Owner Charlotte McKeough, 54, should know. Not only did she buy the Cedar Springs residence — which she's christened "Bally High" — to use as a summer home in 1999, she grew up next door and befriended the Ough children until the family moved away in 1970. She still refers to the bedrooms by the names of the various family members who slept in them, and she remembers how strangely modern the place looked to her young eyes: "I didn't have much appreciation for architecture, really," she says, "[but] that bathtub just sent us to the moon because it was like a swimming pool."

The bathtub is still there in the master bedroom en-suite, and it does indeed look like a mini in-ground pool: all right angles, it's recessed into the floor (the house has no basement) and dressed in shades of baby blue tile. There's also an original vanity and an overhead trellis in baby blue; in true Joe Storey fashion, the grid-like trellis borrows and extends space by marching out into the foyer. Now empty, the trellis and its accompanying planter were once the domain of Ms. Ough's philodendron.

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:As a new graduate I had the pleasure of spending a summer with the Storey family in their Joe Storey designed home and cottage. He was a wonderful architect and and it is nice to see his work still treasured in Chatham.


17. Daily Commercial News: Progress on Restoration of Chatham's Capital Theatre
YVONNE BENDO

Architect strikes balance between restoration and modernization of Chatham theatre

CHATHAM

Architect Peter Cook understands there’s a delicate balance in transforming an historic theatre into a modern performing arts centre.

“There’s an enthusiasm behind this project to take the effort to restore it properly and to make a statement of the building as a representation of an historical artifact, as well as a vibrant living organism,” Cook says, of the Chatham Capitol Theatre restoration project.

Constructed in 1930, the King Street West theatre was formerly a movie house before its doors were boarded in 1992.

A couple of years later a group of concerned citizens formed The Chatham Capitol Theatre Association, sparing the theatre from demolition and beginning the restoration effort.

Virtually, the entire inside has been stripped back to its shell.

Click here for Link


18. Daily Commercial News: Restoration of Masonry on Parliament Hill
KORKY KOROLUK

Masonry deterioration sparks review of Parliament repair plans

Faster-than-expected deterioration of the exterior masonry on Parliament Hill’s West Block has forced re-examination of a long-term plan for renovation and repair of a cluster of Canada’s most important heritage buildings.

The federal cabinet has already approved the revised plan, and Public Works and Government Services Canada expects to have a detailed plan ready to make public late this month or early in October, Daily Commercial News has been told.

Yves Gosselin, the Public Works architect who is responsible for major Crown projects on the Hill, said it was discovered a few years ago that the West Block was “undergoing a more rapid deterioration in the masonry . . . than had been previously anticipated.”

“So we’ve shifted gears . . . in order to make that the priority.”

Before anything but emergency work can be done on the building, an elaborate game of musical chairs must be played so that the work of the parliamentarians and, public officials and staffs that occupy the building can continue their work unimpeded.

It will be somewhere near the end of 2009 before the building is empty and ready to receive work crews and sometime during the 2018-2019 fiscal year before full renovation of the building is complete.

In the meantime, two towers on the building have been stabilized with a steel structure and one of them has been further protected with a weatherproof enclosure. There is overhead protection at all entrances to protect people from the risk of falling stone, and some masonry repairs are being done by EllisDon Inc.

"You could spend $300 to $500 million up there just to get the emergency work done."

Click here for Link


19. St. Thomas Times-Journal - Saving Alma College Aritifacts
Patrick Brennan

Alma Foundation wants college's valuable artifacts

It is with a heavy heart that I make this proposal because it involves the dismantling of Alma College, Andrew Gunn, president of the Alma College Foundation, told city council. Members of the Alma College Foundation suggested Monday an agreement that could breathe new life into the legacy of a St. Thomas landmark. The proposal, put before St. Thomas council, was for the foundation to enter into an agreement with the current owner of the Alma College property, Alma Heritage Estates Corp., to retrieve valuable artifacts before the buildings are demolished, should such be the future of the once-grand edifice. It is with a heavy heart that I make this proposal because it involves the dismantling of Alma College, Andrew Gunn, president of the Alma College Foundation, told council. The proposal from the foundation would be to negotiate an agreement that would allow them to retrieve any significant materials and heritage features before the building is demolished.....

Click here for Link


20. Amherstburg Echo: Walker House will be Lost

Town council denies request to designate Walker House

AMHERSTBURG -- An effort by the towns Heritage Committee to have the Walker Home at 348 Dalhousie St. declared a heritage building by council has been shot down. Russell Luxford of the Amherstburg Heritage Committee asked council at their Sept. 10 meeting to declare a Notice to Designate the Walker House as heritage. Such a designation would help buy time to preserve the property. Luxford said that Hiram Walker once owned the home prior to moving to Windsor. This structure has very important historical and architectural value for heritage and its location is strategic because it sits along a very heritage filled roadway - Dalhousie St., he said. Designating the property would allow for discussions with the property owner and allow the property to be protected under the Ontario Heritage Act. Luxford said a distillery once on site is where Hiram Walker learned how to make whiskey.

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:This is two disasters in different parts of the province. We lose our heritage a little at a time. The owners are prepared to sell to someone willing to relocate the house


21. This is Bathl Thomas Fuller Chapel for Sale in Bath England

FANCY LIVING IN THIS CHAPEL? IT COULD BE YOURS FOR £75K

Interest is growing in a mortuary chapel which goes under the auctioneer's hammer next week.

Smallcombe Mortuary Chapel in Bathwick Cemetery is to be sold at auction with a guide price of £75,000.

The cemetery was laid out in 1856.

It is believed the chapel was built at the same time to the blueprint of architect Thomas Fuller.

He also designed the Newark Works in Lower Bristol Road which has been at the centre of controversy over the now-abandoned plans for a new school partly funded by Sir James Dyson.

The chapel is currently being used as a store and is not thought to be listed, although its future use is governed by covenants which say it may not have any immoral use and cannot be used for the sale of intoxicating liquor.

Sheila Edwards, chairwoman of Bathwick Local History Society, said: "It has stood silent for decades and over the years, it has fallen into a poor state of repair."

Click here for Link


22. Bath Chronicle: Thomas Fuller's Newark Works Site
Dyson Abandons Redevelopment Scheme

DYSON'S SCHOOL IN CRISIS

A £25m new school funded by entrepreneur Sir James Dyson is in crisis after the prestige scheme lost its site in Bath.

Landlord Bath and North East Somerset Council last night said it would not be possible for the engineering and design academy to go ahead at its South Quays site.

The land - once the Stothert and Pitt factory - will now be used for a new campus for Bath Spa University.

It had been hoped that the new campus and the Dyson school - run by the millionaire's Dyson Foundation - would be able to operate alongside each other.

But there have been fears over flood risks at the riverside site and B &NES now says the Dyson scheme will have to be based elsewhere.

The foundation says it is disappointed - and that the facility will now have to be built somewhere else in the south west.

Click here for Link


23. CBC Halifax: Nova Scotia Utility Board okays Blocking of View from Citadel

Halifax 'Twisted Sisters' development gets go-ahead

1010A controversial downtown Halifax development known as the Twisted Sisters seems set to go ahead as planned.

The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board gave approval Thursday to the construction of twin 27-storey towers on the former Tex-Park site on Granville Street.

Heritage groups had vehemently opposed the development, arguing it would impede the view of the harbour from the Halifax Citadel. They also said the two towers would not fit in with the Granville streetscape.

The URB ruled that council had adhered to its Municipal Planning Strategy when it voted in favour of the project.

Click here for Link


24. Baltimore Sun: Designation of Scottish Rite Temple of Freemasonry
Edward Gunts,| forwarded by Lloyd Alter

Preservation hearings produce same result, different attitudes

The owners of the Scottish Rite Temple of Freemasonry have pledged to work with the city, despite its move to protect it. (
Twice this summer, Baltimore's preservation commission voted to recommend adding a building to the city's landmark list, despite objections from owners who didn't want that building to be designated a landmark.

In both cases, the outcome was the same: The nomination was approved, and the building received the protection the panel wanted.

But the difference in tone between the two sessions was as different as night and day.....

Click here for Link


25. Christian Science Monitor: Sao Paulo Banning Large Signs
Andrew Downie

São Paulo removes big ads, revealing historic beauty

Under São Paulo's new law, large signs are banned. McDonald's removed its arches and now has a lower profile sign.

In an effort to turn an urban ugly duckling into a swan, the Brazilian city banned billboards.

São Paulo, Brazil - São Paulo is a city of things unnoticed (apologies to Gay Talese).

Or was.

Much of what went unnoticed, covered up by oversized billboards and signs, is now exposed. A law that went into effect earlier this year has forced property owners to remove large ads from buildings.

It's part of a larger effort to turn this urban ugly duckling into a swan.

"How cool they are," coos Regina Monteiro, pointing to a refurbished art deco apartment building. "Look at those beautiful open balconies. [That building] probably dates from the 1940s but there [were signs] covering it."

Ms. Monteiro is enthusiastic about the Clean City project and with good reason. As the city's director of environment and urban landscape, it is her job to coordinate the second phase of the program – refurbishing – and coax or coerce property owners into complying with the regulations that went into force on April 1.

The first phase of the program, dubbed the Clean City law, was designed to rid South America's biggest metropolis of its ubiquitous advertising. Owners of apartment complexes rented space on the sides of their buildings to companies hawking underwear with 150-foot-high posters. Shops plastered their name in mega letters above the door. And drivers sped along highways lined with signs for everything from TV programs to cold meats to universities.


Related Stories
A battle over rebuilding rural billboards 06/26/2006

Click here for Link


26. The Brampton Guardian: Death of Paul Hunt, Heritage Activist

Paul Hunt's legacy heritage preservation work

BRAMPTON - He was a straight talker who got fired up about local heritage, and had a passion for saving Brampton's historic buildings.

Paul Hunt, a founder of the Brampton Historical Society, died Tuesday, Aug. 28. He was 75.

Mr. Hunt retired and moved to Orillia with his wife Doreen in 2001, but the seeds of heritage awareness he planted here in Brampton continued to grow and flourish.

"He was a great friend and he will be missed," said Michael Seaman, who worked with Hunt on the Brampton Heritage Board and later the historical society. "He touched many people with his infectious spirit and positive energy. His efforts on the Brampton Heritage Board and Brampton Historical Society have helped make Brampton a better place and more aware of its rich local history and heritage."

Click here for Link


27. Did Simeon Janes Set Design Standards for the Annex?
Catherine Nasmith

Madison Avenue Streetscape
I am working on a Heritage District Report for Madison Avenue. With the help of Robert Hill and countless hours of research by volunteers we have uncovered at least 24 instances of architects working on this street, a veritable whos who of architects of the time. The names include several members of the Toronto Architectural Guild, E. J. Lennox, Edmund Burke, Robert J. Edwards, Henry Langley and James Smith, as well as Frederick Herbert. It is a street that has fascinated others. For example Bill Dendy wrote two pages on it in Toronto Observed, and I recall him calling it Torontos finest street. For Janes own house, Benvenuto used New York architect, A Page Brown, but family tradition names Stanford White of McKim Mead White as the architect. In Lost Toronto William Dendy suggests that White may have referred the request to Brown, a former apprentice recently departed to set up his own firm. Sally Gibson advises that Olmstead was the landscape architect for the Benvenuto gardens and that a copy of the drawing is in the Toronto archives. These New York connections suggest a very interesting and cultured individual. The consistency of the street suggests that more than a common culture among the architects and builders who worked here. For example before the city established such codes there is a consistent eaves line, setback, and a common architectural language, particularly at the south end. We do know that Janes instituted exclusionary zoning in the Annex, no commercial or workplaces were allowed. And his ideas on vehicles have left the area with impossible parking problems. I have been unable to find any evidence of a design code for the street, or for other parts of the Annex, but wonder if anyone else has?


28. What happened to the bricks from the Gooderham and Worts Windmill?

Murison photo of animal prints in historic bricks
What happened to the windmill bricks after Gooderham & Worts’ 70-foot windmill was dismantled in the early 1860s? 

In 1831-’32, James Worts supervised the building of a 70-foot windmill, made of 105,000 bricks.  According to E. B. Shuttleworth’s  The Windmill and Its Time, the windmill bricks were purchased from Messrs. Snider and Ward.  Long after the windmill ceased functioning as a windmill, it continued to be used as part of the distillery.  Since it appears in an 1863 illustration of the new Stone Distillery, we know that it wasn’t dismantled until after that point.  It seems likely that Gooderham & Worts reused the bricks, perhaps as part of its major expansions in 1863-64 or 1873.  Would it be possible to identify 1830s bricks among the 1860s and 1870s bricks of the later buildings?

Sally Gibson, PhD. CAHP

Response: From Tom Murison


Regarding brick, you should be able to identify specific bricks by the size clay colour and frog. The frog was a pressed indentation on the top of the brick which evolved from none in the earliest examples (probably before 1830) to larger and more regular with time. At Waldies we actually had a whole series of bricks which nicely showed the development over about a 20 year period. In a more scientific vein, one would have to know that a specific brick came from the mill in question, to be able to identify similar bricks in another structure.

The reuse of bricks and indeed all building materials was very common in the earliest days because it took so much labour to produce anything. Also the earliest brick would have poor quality mortar that would come off the brick at a tap. I recently picked up a red hand made brick from a house demolished near Milton, and found that it had a hoof print from a small deer. (I also have ones with a dog and cat footprints in my collection), which show that the wet bricks were left out to dry on the ground in the brickworks before firing, and were subject to animals crossing them. Peter has also found bricks with very clear impressions of the makers fingers.

While I am not suggesting that animal footprints be used to identify the bricks, the principle of using the frogs which were applied to each brick might be applicable. However, one would expect that reclaimed brick might not be of the same quality as the later bricks, so could very well be used in a support or filling role, perhaps on the inside of a wall, or core of a multi-wythe wall, but probably only if they were the same size as the newer brick. Or it is possible that the old brick were used for a small building in conjunction with the larger facility. There might also be a way to identify the specific clay that was used in bricks from one source as opposed to another. If good clay (and lots of firewood) was found very close to the site of the mill, it is possible that the bricks were made there. So one should take a look at the probable site of the brickworks, sample the clay and fire it in the traditional way (probably with hardwood since this is pre-railroad, and coal was not readily obtainable) to determine what chemical characteristics one would expect in these specific bricks. I am out on a limb here and do not know if this is practical for identifying a specific brick, so you would have to do further research to see.

The next obvious question is, from what original source did this report originate? If one tracks down details to support the story, from a corroborating source, it usually helps narrow the time of the transaction and which probable buildings were under construction, in which one might start looking for the recycled brick. There is a big difference between brick being used in 1864 and 1873 from a derelict mill, because the brick would tend to deteriorate if exposed to the weather in a collapsing mill, or even when stacked carefully on the ground, but unprotected by a roof.

Tom Murison

Editor's Note:
Fascinating story, thanks Tom. Perhaps readers will get more of this story after Tom has his lunch with Sally.