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Issue No 119    May 27, 2008

 

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FEATURE STORIES:

1. Landmarks not Landfill: Heritage Conservation ConferenceCollingwood Ontario
2. 4TH ANNUAL "TORONTO THE GOOD" PARTY
3. Public Meeting
10. Alma College: Only the Minister of Culture can save St. Thomas' Grand Dame
12. Opportunity Lost: Marygrove is dust
16. Now Magazine: Kensington Market National Historic Site
22. Daily Commercial News and Construction Record: High-tech restoration saves historic Alton Mill from wrecker
25. New York Times: Reviews Muskoka

IN THIS ISSUE:

EVENTS    submit an event

1. Landmarks not Landfill: Heritage Conservation ConferenceCollingwood Ontario
2. 4TH ANNUAL "TORONTO THE GOOD" PARTY
3. Public Meeting
4. 150 Years of Toronto Union Stations: 1858-2008
5. Highlights of Doors Open Ontario
6. Faces on Places Talk
7. Cabbagetown Tour
8. Tollkeepers Cottage to Open on Canada Day
9. Built Heritage Preservation Challenges: Sustainable Tourism Strategies What, When, Where

NEWS | ACTION    submit a news or action item

10. Alma College: Only the Minister of Culture can save St. Thomas' Grand Dame
11. Minister of Culture not protecting Built Culture
12. Opportunity Lost: Marygrove is dust
13. Job Opportunities at Ontario Heritage Trust

LINKS    submit a link

14. Globe and Mail: North Toronto Collegiate Rebuild setting a precedent
15. Globe and Mail Editorial: Toronto's Self Image
16. Now Magazine: Kensington Market National Historic Site
17. King Township Sentinel: Decision on whether to designate Pringle House delayed to allow discussions
18. Windsor Star: Owners apply to raze Lakewood course
19. Oakville Beaver: Town moves to protect historic Brantwood and Linbrook schools
20. Niagarathisweek.com: Port Robinson Toll House is demolished
21. Brighton Independent: Throwing bricks - Heritage is a point of friction for many rural municipalities
22. Daily Commercial News and Construction Record: High-tech restoration saves historic Alton Mill from wrecker
23. Guelph Greens: Green Tax Avoidance: Use Old Buildings
24. Collingwoodconnection.com: Heritage conference theme should be applied to Tremont say organizers
25. New York Times: Reviews Muskoka
26. Owen Sound Times: Another Heritage School threatened
27. Victoria Times Colonist: City has eye on modern classics - As many as 11 postwar buildings are being considered for heritage status
28. Westerly News (Tofino, Ucluelet and Long Beach): Communities can have more control of lighthouse properties
29. New York Times: To Tower or Not to Tower in Historic Districts
30. New York Times: Paying more for Great Design
31. Etobicoke Guardian: OMB supports Lake Promenade homeowner - Long Branch house on city's list of heritage properties for demolition, rebuilding
32. TelegraphJournal.com: Sea and sky - One of the most recognized contemporary houses built in North America during the past decade sits high on a rocky slope overlooking the Bay of Fundy
33. TelegraphJournal.com: Remains in the river - The flood of 2008 reminds us that we are not here for long, and all of what we build, no matter how well, will eventually fall to the ground or the river bottom someday.
34. China Daily: Cultural heritage not spared

SUPPORT

35. Support Built Heritage News

 

CONTACT

36. Contact the Editor

 

EVENTS : Issue No 119 May 27, 2008
 

1. Landmarks not Landfill: Heritage Conservation ConferenceCollingwood Ontario

Place:Collingwood Ontario
Date: Friday May 30- June 2
Info: Richard Lex, president ACO Collingwood 705-445-5764; Lindsay Cook, Vice-Chair, Collingwood Heritage Advisory Committee 705-443-8726    http://www.heritagecollingwood.ca/index.html

Mention the word "recycling"and many of us think about saving our empty cans and bottles for curbside collection. But, when you really think about it, preserving heritage buildings and putting them to new use is recycling on a colossal scale.

The conscientious preservation of our historic buildings has a huge environmental impact; so, too, does the loss of our built heritage. Exploring the connection between heritage preservation and environmental sustainability is the focus of the Landmarks Not Landfill 2008 Heritage Conservation Conference. The provincial conference takes place from May 30 to June 1 in historic downtown Collingwood, Ontario, the first heritage district to be listed in the prestigious Canadian Register of Historic Places.

"We are particularly pleased to be hosting this major heritage conference in Collingwood, because it coincides with our town's sesquicentennial celebrations," said Richard Lex, president of the Collingwood branch of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO). We are looking forward to welcoming delegates from across the province, exchanging new ideas and introducing heritage enthusiasts to our unique architectural past."

During the three-day conference, heritage experts from both the public and private sectors will examine the environmental benefits of heritage preservation as well as adaptive reuse of heritage buildings, the concept of embodied energy, and green approaches to preservation and conservation.

Dynamic speaker Donovan D. Rykema, a Washington, D.C.-based expert in the economics of historic preservation, will draw on his extensive international experience in economic development to explain the vital link between heritage preservation and sustainability.

Also featured is author, heritage advocate and former Toronto mayor John Sewell, who will offer Strategies to Respect Ontario Towns.

Presentations and workshops will explore hot-button issues such as redevelopment within Heritage Districts and legal challenges to heritage preservation. The conference will also highlight success stories. Toronto architect Joe Lobko will provide insight into the design of the Wychwood Green Arts Barns project (for Toronto Artscape) and Evergreen Brick Works, examples of adaptive reuse projects that are bringing new life to two Toronto industrial landmarks.

On the lighter side, Dan Needles, award-winning author of the popular Wingfield Farm series, will present his humorous take on rural Ontario history.

The conference is presented with the assistance of several sponsors, including Community Heritage Ontario, the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO), the Town of Collingwood and the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals. For more information on the conference and sponsors, visit www.heritageconference.ca

For more information

 

2. 4TH ANNUAL "TORONTO THE GOOD" PARTY

Place:Fermenting Cellar, Distillery Historic District 55 Mill St.
Date: TONIGHT: May 27, 2008
Time: 7 pm - 1 am
Place:Price: $10, cash bar
Info: http://www.torontothegood.org

ERA Architects return to host a night of interactive surprises with Spacing Magazine, the Toronto Society of Architects and [murmur]. Poster Competition finalists and winner will be on display.



Cabbagetown Street, in Toronto's first Citizen researched Heritage Conservation


3. Public Meeting
Consultation on Potential Heritage Conservation Districts in City of Toronto

Place:Metro Hall, 55 John Street
Date: Wednesday, May 28th,
Info: Contact Peter Langdon plangdon@toronto.ca 416-397-4080

The City of Toronto has previously proposed an Official Plan Amendment (OPA) to authorize the funding of HCD studies as an eligible community benefit under Section 37 of the Planning Act. Community benefits are otherwise limited to capital facilities and do not include studies. Originally, the proposed OPA would have applied anywhere in the City.

In response to concerns expressed by certain residents’ organizations, the City has decided to refine the proposed OPA to authorize Section 37 funding of HCD studies in specified areas that exhibit characteristics warranting further research and possible designation as HCDs under the Ontario Heritage Act. Heritage Preservation Services staff, in collaboration with the Ryerson
School of Planning, has created maps for inclusion in the proposed OPA, showing the general locations of potential HCDs. The proposed OPA would authorize Section 37 funding of HCD studies in development projects that are in, or in close proximity to, the areas of potential identified on the maps.

Purpose of the Meeting

The meeting will provide an opportunity for the public to obtain further information on the proposed OPA and to view the proposed maps, ask questions and provide feedback. Staff will present the proposed OPA, including the maps, and make available the profiles of potential HCD study areas.

 

4. 150 Years of Toronto Union Stations: 1858-2008

Place:Toronto Reference Library 789 Yonge St. Toronto
Date: Monday, June 23, 2008
Time: 7 PM
Info: trha@rogers.com    http://www.trha.ca

Toronto Union Station is one of the city's most beloved heritage buildings and architectural treasures. Toronto's first Union Station opened on June 21, 1858. This was replaced in 1873 by what was considered the most opulent railway station in Canada. That building was considerably expanded in the 1890s and replaced by the present Union Station in 1927. The City of Toronto purchased the station from the railways in 2000 and has embarked on a $400 million restoration and revitalization of this National Historic Site. This presentation will provide an illustrated history of these buildings and other downtown railway stations in celebration of the sesquicentennial of Toronto Union Station. Derek Boles is one of the founding members of the Toronto Railway Historical Association and has written and lectured extensively on Toronto's railway heritage. He coordinates the annual Doors Open event at Union Station and leads popular weekly tours of the station, which have attracted over 1,000 people since they began in 2006. Derek has just finished writing a book on the history of the Canadian Pacific Railway's North Toronto Station. He serves on the board of Heritage Toronto and is the vice chair of the Union Station Revitalization Public Advisory Group. This presentation is cosponsored by Heritage Toronto, The Toronto Public Library, and the Toronto Railway Historical Association

 

5. Highlights of Doors Open Ontario
Ilustrated lecture

Place:Enoch Turner Schoolhouse, 106 Trinity Street, Toronto (King and Parliament)
Date: Wednesday, June 25
Time: 7:30 pm
Place:$12 and $10 for Schoolhouse members
Info: To reserve call 416-863-0010 or email    http://www.enochturnerschoolhouse.ca

Can't get to all the Doors Open Ontario events around the province? Discover the highlights of Doors Open Ontario with Mike Sawchuk of the Ontario Heritage Trust, featuring Ontario Heritage Trust properties along with examples of Ontario's finest historic and contemporary architecture.

 

6. Faces on Places Talk

Place:Westminister United Church hall at 69 William St..
Date: Wed. June 4
Time: 7:30
Info: Weston  416-249-6663

The Weston Historical Society is presenting Faces on Places with Terry Murray as the Guest speaker. Ms. Murray will introduce you to an array of Toronto Gargoyles, Griffins, Angles, Dragons, Portraits and Caricatures all carved in stone. Refreshment will be served.

 

7. Cabbagetown Tour

Date: Sunday June 8th
Place:$10
Info: Tickets may be purchased at MI CASA 416- 929-1913

 The Cabbagetown Preservation Association is holding "Hidden gardens and Private Spaces Garden Tour" in Cabbagetown. Visit private backyards and unusual Cabbagetown lanes. Last years tour sold out so plan to get your tickets early.

 

8. Tollkeepers Cottage to Open on Canada Day

Place:Bathurst and Davenport
Date: Tuesday, July 1
Time: 2pm

The Tollkeeper'sottage will be opened to the public. You and friends are invited to attend and observe the designation plaque and a new sign for the park which are to be unveiled. Congratulations to the Community History Project!

 

9. Built Heritage Preservation Challenges: Sustainable Tourism Strategies What, When, Where
The Culture & Heritage Institute Annual Symposium on Cultural & Heritage Tourism

Place:Centennial College Residence and Conference Centre 940 Progress Avenue Toronto ON Canada M1G 3T5
Date: Two day conference, hosted at Monday-Tuesday, June 9-10
Info: o register and/or for more information, please visit: http://www.centennialcollege.ca/chi/symposium chi@centennialcollege.ca (416)438-2216 ext 6887    http://www.centennialcollege.ca/chi/agenda

This year's theme will focus on "Built Heritage Preservation Challenges: Sustainable Tourism Strategies". Please join them in welcoming an array of distinguished speakers, such as National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Wade Davis, and Dr. Brian Osborne, Professor Emeritus of Geography at Queen's University. 

Editor's Note: Interesting to see the tourism sector talking about challenges in heritage preservation as an issue for the tourism sector.

  
NEWS | ACTION : Issue No 119 May 27, 2008



recent photo forwarded by Bob Foster


10. Alma College: Only the Minister of Culture can save St. Thomas' Grand Dame
Catherine Nasmith

Late last week the final OMB decision was released on Alma College. There had been a 60 day period following the earlier decision that accepted the agreement between the owners, the Zubick family and the Town of St. Thomas, to demolish all but the entrance. The 60 day delay allowed the two parties to come to an agreement on whether to conserve or reconstruct the tower, and how much documentation of the property to do.

The OMB decision gives permission to demolish the tower along with the rest of the building. The earlier order did included an obligation to undertake photometric recording of the property prior to demolition. Last week's decision also strongly recommends, but does not insist, that the town do additional recording of the property prior to demolition. The order recognizes the right of the town to place conditions prior to issuing the demolition permit. The OMB decision will be discussed at the St. Thomas Council meeting on June 2.

Both the town and the owner asked to be excused from additional documentation because of the expense involved. The decision talks a lot about the heritage importance of the property, but makes the unusual choice to place the onus for documentation on the municipality, not on the owner who has been responsible for the building's state of dereliction.

Petitions continue to flow into the legislature in hope that now that the OMB process is completed the Minister of Culture will step forward and either issue a stop order if a demolition permit is issued, or designate the property as provincially significant. There is strong pressure from the opposition critics, and the public to do so. In spite of all the pressure, the Minister's letters to everyone remains the same. MPP Steve Peters, also the Speaker of the Legislature, got more or less the same form letter that has been sent to others. It concludes with the following line, "I respect the Ontario Municipal Board process and the challenges faced in issuing a decision on Alma College." It is hard to find any hope in that sentence.

The ACO and local residents are still dreaming of the press conference with Premier McGuinty and Minister Carroll on the front steps, saying "Never again will a building in Ontario be allowed to get into this state. Demolition by Neglect ends here. Its time for Landmarks not Landfill".

That would be the right thing for the government that gave Ontario municipalities the tools to protect our heritage, and for the first time gave the Minister of Culture the power to stop demolitions and to designate provincially signficant property. As Culture Critic Peter Tabuns said in his recent statement "if this building is not worth preserving, which building in Ontario is worth preserving?

What you can do.

Sign the Petition: If you have not already signed the petition, go to http://www.arconserv.ca/ download a copy and send it back, we hope with some signatures from friends to Dawn Doty, in St. Thomas, Dawn Doty, 1 McIntyre Street, St. Thomas, Ontario
N5R 2M2, 519-631-3538 or to ACO offices, 10 Adelaide St. East, Suite 204, Toronto, Ontario, M5C 1J3

Write, email or phone the Minister of Culture, The Honourable Aileen Carroll

E-mail at info.mcl@ontario.ca.

(416) 212-0644
1-866-454-0049
TTY: 416-325-5170

Ministry of Culture
900 Bay Street
5th Floor, Mowat
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1L2

Copy the Premier

Call. write, or email your MPP



Will be turned into a garage


11. Minister of Culture not protecting Built Culture
Donna Moore, descendant of John Moore

Minister of Culture Aileen Carroll should be embarrassed in not protecting our built heritage.

In the village of Sparta, a sad situation has occurred. The former Minister of Culture stopped the proposed demolition of Moore house, however, the end result is troubling. One of the oldest brick and stone farmhouses in Ontario will be converted into a garage. Moore house, built in 1823, will not be designated as historically significant even though this was recommended to the Municipality of Central Elgin by several experts in built heritage. Instead, the owners will be allowed to make the first floor into a garage leading to the removal of much of one wall. The second story frame addition built in the early 1900s will be removed. Another wall will be altered to allow a walkway to connect to the new house. Moore “Garage” will be overwhelmed by the new structure beside it. No known safeguards exist for the future protection of the building.

The current Minister of Culture, Aileen Carroll, had a great opportunity to make a strong statement supporting preservation of our built heritage by designating this building as provincially significant, and she didn’t take it. The agreement made between the province and the owners contradicts the Eight Guiding Principles for the Conservation of Built Heritage Properties on the Ministry’s own website. One of these principles is the reversibility of changes--alterations should be able to be returned to original conditions. How could making the first floor into a garage possibly be reversed?

One of the criteria used to support provincial designation under the Ontario Heritage Act is the how the property contributes to an understanding of Ontario’s history. Many of the oldest communities in Upper Canada were settled by Quakers. They advocated for education, democratic government and equality of all peoples. “Norwich Archival Treasures”, June 2007 states that “it is likely that more members of the Moore family participated in the Rebellion (of 1837) than any other single family despite the fact that most of them were of the Quaker conviction which restricted any activity involving violence.” Quakers participated in this uprising because they cared about fairness of governance. We have representative government in Canada today in part because of the efforts of people like the Moores.

In her letter, Minister Carroll wrote “the John Moore house will not be demolished but will be incorporated into a new home to meet the needs of the owners.” If the Minister of Culture is bending to the owner’s needs and not championing the need to preserve our built heritage, who will? Could not the province have urged the owners to build elsewhere on their 113 acre farm? What message does this agreement give to other municipalities? To developers?

Do we need to protect our built heritage from the Minister of Culture? It seems so. In Hamilton, the Minister denied a request to stop the demolition of Lister Block indicating that she understood that historically significant elements of the façade would be preserved in the demolition. But an excavator was used to demolish the part of the building close to the façade causing immediate and serious damage to the façade itself.

We are also awaiting a decision about Alma College in St. Thomas. An appeal has been made to the Minister for provincial designation of this building. Other buildings are in peril as well. The Minister should be embarrassed. Our built heritage is slipping away, and once it is gone, it is gone forever.



Interior of Living Room, Marygrove


12. Opportunity Lost: Marygrove is dust
Catherine Nasmith

In spite of ongoing efforts by the Muskoka Branch of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario to find a purchaser for the reduced price Marygrove property, the owners, the Sisters of St. Joseph, proceeded with the demolition last Thursday. ACO had been told by J.J. Barnicke the real estate company handlng the matter for the owners that they had until Friday to find a purchaser. ACO had found some interest, but not in time to prevent the demolition.

On April 15th, Muskoka Lakes Council had agreed to permit severance of the property into four cottage lots, one included the full Marygrove resort, the main building of approximately 25000 s.f., plus a small motel unit and a charming Craftsman style cottage, with approximately six acres of land. ACO Muskoka had objected to the rezoning from camp to residential (cottage) on the basis that the rezoning would guarantee the demise of the former resort, designed by Horwood and White in the 1930's.

ACO Muskoka had suggested instead that the camp zoning remain on the parcel which contained the buildings, but the other three be sold for cottages. Even though the lot with the former resort on it was larger it was less valuable because of its location directly next to a public dock and across from an active restaurant patio. ACO Muskoka expected the value to be in the neighbourhood of 1M.

On the Saturday before demolition started Liz Lundell and I had the opportunity to tour the interior and take photographs to share with potential purchasers. Ms. Lundell is an author of several books on Ontario heritage, and drafted the rejected designation report for Marygrove. She has fought tirelessly to save the building ever since.

Marygrove was more or less in move in condition, with some very lovely features and the photos were generating a lot of interest.  It would have adapted easily to an artists retreat, a training centre or college for the hospitality industry, seniors housing, a family operated resort or condominiums.

ACO had been in contact with a number of parties hoping to find a purchaser. Some who had rejected the property as too expensive at its original price of 4.5 million, began to reconsider possibilities at the lower price for the smaller lot.

Jordan Grant, of Seaton Group, a developer and cottager on Lake of Bays, said the following when he heard the building was gone. "I’m sorry to hear about this. When you first approached us with the $4.5 million price, it was simply out of reach ...When I heard about the lot being split, it got my thinking cap going again....A real shame the municipality didn’t have the guts to stand up for preserving one of the few remaining parcels with commercial potential, and that the owners didn’t realize that the buildings had much more sale potential with less value of land attached."

It is nearly impossible to keep our heritage out of the landfill if Councils are afraid to use the tools they have to do just that. 

Editor's Note: Photos can be found at http://www.arconserv.ca under photo galleries.

 

13. Job Opportunities at Ontario Heritage Trust

Hi everyone, please note the following opportunities at the OHT:

Easement Coordinator - Shortcut to: http://www.gojobs.gov.on.ca/Preview.aspx?JobID=8823 <http://www.gojobs.gov.on.ca/Preview.aspx?JobID=8823>

Capital Project Manager - Shortcut to: http://www.gojobs.gov.on.ca/Preview.aspx?JobID=8822 <http://www.gojobs.gov.on.ca/Preview.aspx?JobID=8822>

Assistant Capital Project Manager - Shortcut to: http://www.gojobs.gov.on.ca/Preview.aspx?JobID=8824 <http://www.gojobs.gov.on.ca/Preview.aspx?JobID=8824>

Natural Heritage Consultant - Shortcut to: http://www.gojobs.gov.on.ca/Preview.aspx?JobID=8821 <http://www.gojobs.gov.on.ca/Preview.aspx?JobID=8821>

Mary Bartolomucci
Director, Corporate and Business Services
Ontario Heritage Trust
10 Adelaide Street East
Toronto, Ontario M5C 1J3
Tel: 416-314-4924
Fax: 416-325-0838
mary.bartolomucci@heritagetrust.on.ca

visit: www.heritagetrust.on.ca <file://www.heritagetrust.on.ca>

  
LINKS : Issue No 119 May 27, 2008
 

14. Globe and Mail: North Toronto Collegiate Rebuild setting a precedent
Bert Archer

How condo developers could be our school saviours

Toronto's public school system has two big, urgent problems. Its student population is dwindling and close to 100 of its schools are more than 80 years old and often in need of serious repairs.

Now a midtown high school is about to test a radical new model that could help solve both problems. The idea: Allow developers to erect condo towers on schoolyards in exchange for money to repair or rebuild crumbling schools.

The chair of the Toronto District School Board, for one, thinks it's a good solution to an unfortunate problem. "This could definitely be repeated elsewhere," John Campbell says. "The community needs to have a sense that not only are students benefiting from improved programs, but from an improved facility."

That's just what North Toronto Collegiate Institute at Yonge and Eglinton is getting in exchange for its old football field, where ground was broken in November on a two-tower, 24- and 27-storey condo project called The Republic.
Print Edition - Section Front

Section M Front Enlarge Image
The Globe and Mail

In a deal worked out among the TDSB, the collegiate, neighbourhood associations and developer Tridel Corp., the field was sold to Tridel. The money from the deal, approximately $22-million, is going to demolish the old school and build a new one. North Toronto's even getting a field where the old parking lot used to be, thanks to an underground parking lot Tridel is building. (Tridel is also building the new school, for which they're being paid a total of $4.25-million.)

Oddly, for a public-private initiative, all parties seem pleased, and though the TDSB says it's not currently looking into any deals of this type, positive results, especially profitable ones, tend to replicate. "This has created the template for how to do it well," says school trustee Josh Matlow, who helped broker the deal. Over the past four years, TDSB enrolment has plummeted by 35,000, and it's now losing 4,000 a year. This means a lot of empty desks in buildings that sit on some of the most valuable real estate in the country. The school board has launched two probes - one called General Asset and Program Planning (GAPP), and another under the auspices of the newly formed Toronto Lands Corp. (TLC) - to look into how it might dispose of some of its unused land, as well as how it might consolidate its student body by closing the schools with low enrollment.

The GAPP, a working group of school trustees formed last August, is looking at the big picture - which schools require greater investment, which are being under-used and which should be closed. Any approved GAPP recommendations would be funded by properties leased, sold or parcelled by the TLC, whose chair, David Crombie, is only willing to say at this point that "the idea of bringing facilities together as community resources is a good idea."

The corporation's president and chief executive officer, Dino Chiesa, says that the mandate given to them by the TDSB covers only the 99 properties considered inactive, lands that are vacant or leased out, sometimes to non-board schools.

The delicacy with which both men refused to respond to questions regarding the North Toronto deal - which was sealed before TLC was formed - implies that they may be called upon to consider such issues in the future.

At least, that's what Annie Kidder thinks.

She's a citizen member of the TLC board and, as co-founder of People for Education, a long-time education activist whose daughter attended North Toronto six years ago.

"There may be choices about keeping buildings, but figuring out a different way of doing that," she says of what she assumes their mandate will be after the newfound corporation submits its initial report to the school board on Wednesday.

Ms. Kidder is not opposed to the North Toronto solution - "it was definitely crumbing," she recalls - and thinks it may solve other schools' problems.

There are some long-time residents of the North Toronto area, however, who knew the enclave near the school before it became part of the highest-density neighbourhood in the city. They question the school board's right to sell off one of the area's few remaining green spaces.

Diana Scoville has lived in an apartment building on Erskine that backs onto the North Toronto grounds since 1973. "They're here to protect the assets of the school board," she says of the TDSB, noting that the sold lands were used by residents for jogging and dog-walking. "I don't know what gives them the right to sell it to a private company when it's a public space."

Still, Ms. Scoville is in the minority. Such issues as the sale of public land and security concerns over condo residents hanging around school grounds came up early in the North Toronto process, but they were quelled by the fear of losing the school entirely.

And it's perhaps a sign of the extent to which the school board's troubles have filtered into the general consciousness that even parents at older schools are willing to consider what in different times might have been seen as a radically incendiary proposal.

Willa Marcus, a lawyer and chair of the school council at Central Technical School (built in 1912), would not be thrilled by the idea of a developer putting a condo on what is very valuable property at Bathurst and Bloor. But she says of the school, which was once the biggest in the Commonwealth and still houses 1,800 students, "It's extremely old and could do with whatever money you could put into it. And it's a fair-sized piece of land."

Though she says she'd be willing to acquiesce should the need be absolute, Ms. Marcus does perceive a basic problem with the formula. "If you're going to sell your capital assets to fund your operating costs, you don't have to be much of a financial whiz to know there's a problem with that."

Though Tridel trod very lightly into what was virgin territory during the community consultation process for the North Toronto deal, accommodating concerns of community groups that Mr. Matlow points out were "radicalized" by their opposition to the Minto towers a few blocks away, Tridel is pleased with the deal it made.

"The whole thing works very well. There was support from the community, there was support, clearly, from the school board, and there's a receptive marketplace," says Jim Ritchie, Tridel's senior vice-president. "It's going to be tough to do this again, but I know the school board is looking into possibilities."

He adds that Tridel would be interested in similar projects in the former North York and Scarborough.

And other developers, seeing how smoothly the North Toronto/The Republic deal went through, are watching. "I think it has a very good appeal to both sides ..." says Bob Blazevski, vice-president of urban development and planning at Minto.

"It's the type of proposal we're definitely interested in."

click here for the URL

 

15. Globe and Mail Editorial: Toronto's Self Image

GRAFFITI VANDALISM: Message in Spray Paint

Tourism boosters in Toronto are pushing a new campaign called "We've been expecting you," intended to make visitors to the city feel welcome. If they really want to drive the point home, they could use it as a "tag" and spray-paint it on some of the city's many public spaces blighted by graffiti.

When he was the mayor of New York City, Rudolph Giuliani launched the Mayor's Anti-Graffiti Task Force, which took the problem of graffiti vandalism seriously. Mr. Giuliani argued that graffiti feeds a perception of disorder and lawlessness. "A city tainted by vandalism invites more vandalism and more serious crime, because it sends the message that the city doesn't care and isn't paying attention."

Graffiti is not a problem peculiar to Toronto. In two high-profile cases recently in Quebec, the Trudeau mausoleum and a Royal Canadian Legion branch were defaced with spray-painted slogans. But many Canadian cities are getting tough on graffiti. Last September, Winnipeg adopted a new graffiti control bylaw that includes a prohibition of the sale of spray paint to minors. In March, Ottawa's city council boosted the budget for graffiti control by five times, to $2.3-million. In Red Deer, Alta., graffiti vandals will face a hefty fine of $2,500 for a first offence. Second- and third-time offenders will have to pay fines of $5,000 and $7,500, respectively. Those cities care. But does Toronto?

click here for the URL




16. Now Magazine: Kensington Market National Historic Site
Michael Louis Johnson

Crowning Kensington

Can historic plaque save haven for world’s oppressed?

Sure, it will just get a plaque and a mere dot on Parks Canada’s map of places to visit on your vacation, but think of it as another moral ar­gu­ment against those developers poised to diminish Kensington’s poly­glot glory.

“Tolerance and integration have been vital to the development of this cosmopolitan community” reads the inscription on the bronze to be installed Sunday (May 25) at 4 pm in Bellevue Square Park, followed by a parade.

And it’s true. From punk rockers fleeing the mindless boredom of sub­urbia and Jews from Eastern Europe fleeing oppression after World War I to survivors of the Nazi camps of World War II, Hungarian merchants whose life’s work was snatched by communism, Portuguese escaping fas­cism and Latinos the dictators of Central America, the Market has always been a refuge.

“Kensington was a safe zone,” says Sam Lunansky, who was 12 when his family moved to Kensington in the 1930s. His mother, after selling fruit from her front lawn, established the Augusta Fruit Market at the corner of Nassau and Augusta.

click here for the URL

 

17. King Township Sentinel: Decision on whether to designate Pringle House delayed to allow discussions
Anneleen Naudts

Determining the future of Pringle House, a 19th century building in Nobleton, has not been easy, as King council recently had to consider both the owners' concerns and the desire to preserve the heritage building. While the owners said they are at wit's end as to what to do with the building, the Township's Heritage Committee, among other groups, wanted council to initiate the designation process to ensure the building's preservation. At a recent meeting, council opted not to designate the property under the Ontario Heritage Act, but instead recommended the property owners and the Heritage Committee meet to discuss options for the building.

click here for the URL

 

18. Windsor Star: Owners apply to raze Lakewood course
Gary Rennie

An Ontario Municipal Board hearing opened Thursday with a surprise announcement that Lakewood Golf Course had just filed an application with the town to demolish the 87-year-old course. The town, whose notice to historically designate the course prohibited any alterations to the course, has 90 days to respond. If the town refuses a demolition permit, an appeal can be taken to the OMB, said Lakewood's lawyer Alan Patton of London.

click here for the URL

 

19. Oakville Beaver: Town moves to protect historic Brantwood and Linbrook schools
Tina Depko

The Town has recognized two Oakville schools as having special historical value. Brantwood School, located at 221 Allan St. and Linbrook School, which is at 1079 Linbrook Rd., were added to the Register of Properties of Cultural Heritage Value and Interest (Not Designated) under the Ontario Heritage Act following a unanimous decision by the planning and development council Monday night.

click here for the URL

 

20. Niagarathisweek.com: Port Robinson Toll House is demolished
Danni Gresko

Thorold - Despite efforts to save the decaying building, the Port Robinson Toll House has been demolished. The building met its fate last week, after city council voted to continue with their plans to tear down the building, which was on its last legs to begin with. Coun. Jim Handley unsuccessfully made a last-minute attempt to save the dilapidated building at the May 12 city council meeting after a letter was received from Randy Barnes, president of the Thorold and Beaverdams Historical Society. In the letter Barnes asked the city to restore the historic building to its original location on Old Thorold Stone Road, just east of the Seaway. The society president wrote that the building could "become a further asset to future tourist-related development," and urged the city to "seriously consider restoring and preserving the historic landmark, rather than going with what might appear the more financially expedient option."

click here for the URL

 

21. Brighton Independent: Throwing bricks - Heritage is a point of friction for many rural municipalities
Paul Dalby

Here today, gone tomorrow. Call it a Heritage Moment. That's pretty much how many municipalities view the issue of preserving historic buildings. And far too much of Ontario's rich heritage is being lost in the name of "progress" - or at least the promise of new shopping malls and condo projects, according to Community Heritage Ontario." Canadian Heritage reports that in the last 30 years, 21 per cent of pre- 1920 heritage buildings have been demolished. And in Ontario the amendments to the provincial Heritage Act in 2005 have offered only spotty protection to many grand historic buildings.

click here for the URL

 

22. Daily Commercial News and Construction Record: High-tech restoration saves historic Alton Mill from wrecker
Dan O'Reilly

A 1880s industrial stone mill that originally seemed destined for demolition has come roaring back to life. After a 30-month, two-phase, $5-million restoration, the Alton Mill in the scenic village of Alton "; just south of Orangeville — is nearing completion. "We're aiming for a grand opening in late September," says Jeremy Grant, vice president of planning and development with the Seaton Group, the owner/developer.

click here for the URL

Editor's Note: I am pleased to tell you I am the architect for this project. It was in a seriously derelict state when we started, but the perseverance of the owners in finding some funding has made the difference. This was one of the rare Ontario projects to receive CHPIF funding before the program was cancelled. The owners are leasing space now....it is a fantastic place to have a studio.

 

23. Guelph Greens: Green Tax Avoidance: Use Old Buildings

Heritage is the New Green

Green Tax Avoidance: Use Old Buildings

In a previous post I pointed out that the key issue in a carbon tax is not to raise money, but rather to change behaviour. The key to this is to harness the universal human urge to avoid paying taxes. In that vein, one of our members suggested the following article by Lloyd Alter.

Heritage is the New Green

Everything new is old again. The greenest buildings are designed to use a lot less energy; in a world where we are running out of oil and where burning fuel creates greenhouse gas, architects are looking at thicker walls for thermal mass, opening windows for fresh air, high ceilings to let light deeper into buildings, and attractive stairways to minimize elevator use. Coincidentally, those are the attributes of so many heritage buildings, which were designed when lighting and heat was very expensive, and air conditioning did not exist.

Green buildings are also healthy buildings; designers try to eliminate formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds, suspended ceilings and carpet, often using terrazzo floors and plaster ceilings, all naturally ventilated. They use simple, healthy, natural materials rather than caulks, resins and glues. Again, typical attributes of heritage buildings.

Even better than designing new buildings to work like old ones is to keep the ones we have.

It takes a lot of energy to make things, so the greenest clothing is the stuff you already wear, the greenest car is the one that you already drive (as long as it isn’t a Hummer or an Escalade) and the greenest building is the one that is already standing. The cement industry alone contributes 5% of greenhouse gases, the production of vinyl is a huge consumer of fossil fuels, and demolition is a major filler of landfills, so every new building has a huge carbon footprint before it’s doors are even opened.

Old buildings do not only embody history; they embody energy and carbon. The most boring old background brick box with no architectural interest has a component of carbon in the firing of its bricks and the wood is sequestering greenhouse gases as long as it is in the building. And, there are very few that cannot be restored, and reused, and in this era or green conciousness, often are in greater demand than newer buildings.

A good example is the Joseph Vance Building in Seattle. The Jonathan Rose Corporation paid 23 million for it and renovated it to LEED standards, restoring double hung windows, removing dropped ceilings and carpeting to reveal terrazzo floors and bright new high ceilings. They installed fans and cooler lighting to eliminate the need for air conditioning. Tenants are lining up for its green features and lower operating costs. Imagine if someone had the vision to do this to the Lister Block in Hamilton, a structure with the same bones in a city with a very different attitude.

Looking at the downtown of Guelph, you can see some pretty good examples of the sorts of things that Mr. Alter is referring to. For example, consider this old building downtown.

click here for the URL

 

24. Collingwoodconnection.com: Heritage conference theme should be applied to Tremont say organizers
John Edwards

The organizers of the upcoming Heritage Conservation Conference in Collingwood are looking to send a message to those who want to tear down the Tremont. The event takes place from Fri., May 30 to Sun., June 1 and is being organized by members of the town's heritage committee and the Collingwood Branch of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO).

click here for the URL

 

25. New York Times: Reviews Muskoka

Eau Canada

You will have to go online for this one, but it is worth it. There is a fantastic picture gallery that will no doubt have New Yorkers rushing to Muskoka for drinks on the dock at sunset.

click here for the URL

 

26. Owen Sound Times: Another Heritage School threatened
Don Crosby

Fixing old part of St. Mary's not an option for board

The Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board said Wednesday that Owen Sound city council's efforts to save the oldest sections of St. Mary's High School won't affect plans to build a $3.7 million addition on the east side of the school.

"We are going to go ahead and make application for a building permit," said director of education Bruce MacPherson, who stressed the new addition and the fate of the original wings, built in 1891 and 1924, are separate issues.

"The building and the demolition are two different things," he said. Board chairman Norm Bethune noted in a news release that while the city has obligations under Ontario's Heritage Act to identify, evaluate and conserve properties that it designates as having cultural and heritage value, the school board won't be getting provincial funding to pay the estimated $6 million it would cost to renovate the oldest parts of the building.

click here for the URL

 

27. Victoria Times Colonist: City has eye on modern classics - As many as 11 postwar buildings are being considered for heritage status
Carolyn Heiman

The city of Victoria is inching toward putting as many as 11 postwar buildings on its heritage registry, despite objections from many of the building owners. Yesterday, councillors endorsed the principle of expanding the city's heritage program to recognize postwar-era buildings, and in particular examples of the modern movement of architecture. A non-statutory public hearing will be held to consider the addition of 11 properties to its heritage list. Heritage planner Steve Barber told councillors yesterday that some of the best examples of modern architecture are at risk of disappearing as a result of development pressures. It is a trend noted throughout the world by the World Monument Fund, a non-profit advocacy group.

click here for the URL

 

28. Westerly News (Tofino, Ucluelet and Long Beach): Communities can have more control of lighthouse properties
Gillian Riddell, with files from the Heritage Canada Association

The lighthouses at Amphitrite Point in Ucluelet and on Lennard Island in Tofino could soon be protected by a law that would require local communities to have a say before any changes can be made and would allow communities to take advantage of economic opportunities the facilities could generate. The ";Heritage Lighthouse Bill" introduced into the House of Commons in Ottawa last week would protect Canada's lighthouses from being altered, falling into disrepair or being removed without input from the local community. It would also allow communities to open the land and buildings to public use in order to enhance tourism or other opportunities.

click here for the URL



redesigned version


29. New York Times: To Tower or Not to Tower in Historic Districts

Redesigning a Building to Preserve Peace in the Neighborhood

Two years ago, an effort to preserve two nondescript brownstone facades forced the Whitney Museum of American Art <http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/w/whitney_museum_of_american_art/index.html?inline=nyt-org>  to drastically revise a plan to expand its Madison Avenue home; ultimately that project was scuttled. The group seems as open to the notion that cities can change as some biblical fundamentalists are to evolution.

The recent battle over the Parke-Bernet Gallery building, an austere 1950s-era limestone structure on Madison Avenue between 76th and 77th Streets, is a case in point. When the British architect Norman Foster <http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/f/norman_foster/index.html?inline=nyt-per>  first presented his proposal to erect a 30-story glass tower atop the existing building, many neighborhood residents were outraged. “A glass dagger plunged into the heart of the Upper East Side,” one said.

The project’s developer, Aby Rosen, sent Mr. Foster back to the drawing board, and he has returned with a plan, one that both hope will be more palatable to neighborhood preservationists. Clad in elegant bronze bands, its low blocky form would rest directly on the existing structure, echoing its exact proportions. More important, perhaps, it would be far less visible from the multimillion-dollar penthouse apartments just across the street.

Should the plan be approved, it would only underscore the bizarre thinking behind decisions governing historic landmark cases today. Both proposals would have significantly changed the building; both are thoughtful attempts to fuse old and new without compromising either.

But the new design is more polite and less original, hewing to the reactionary view that most contemporary architecture is best when it is invisible. Little wonder that this neighborhood has not gained a significant new work of architecture in more than a quarter-century.

Planting modern appendages on top of old buildings is an unnerving trend these days in Manhattan real estate, where soaring prices can make any empty space look like a money-making opportunity. Just two years ago Mr. Foster completed a faceted glass-and-steel tower that pierces the core of the 1928 Hearst Building, a low limestone structure that looked a bit like a mausoleum, anyway. And plans are in the works for a 40-story office tower atop the Port Authority bus terminal and a 140-room hotel on the Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan.

But the Parke-Bernet building has neither the charm nor the civic stature of the Beaux-Arts Maritime Building. With five floors of commercial offices and art galleries, its austere form, punctured by a single row of windows at the sixth floor, is a subdued interpretation of the hard-edged architecture of Rockefeller Center — minus the glamour. As architecture, it does have a subtle impact on its surroundings, offering a pleasing contrast to the early-19th-century brick structures on either side.

In his original proposal Mr. Foster sought to strengthen those contrasts rather than smooth them over. Only the elevator core would have penetrated the existing building; the rest of the tower would have seemed to float just above the building’s northern end, barely touching it. Its oval floors would have housed luxury apartments with 360-degree views. The building’s old roof, meanwhile, would have been transformed into a luxurious roof garden.

By comparison with the Hearst Tower’s faceted exterior, the Parke-Bernet project’s oval form seemed rather slick and subdued. Still, the idea — held by most serious architects today — was that the best way to respect the past is not to mimic it, but to weave a contemporary vision into the historic fabric with sensitivity.

The delicate bronze bands are in strong contrast to the building’s heavy stone base. A six-foot gap separates the two; just below it, the parapet of the old building hides a series of narrow terraces that wrap around the building on three sides. It’s a wonderful sectional detail, with the two forms literally interlocking in a double-height living space.Two years ago, an effort to preserve two nondescript brownstone facades forced the Whitney Museum of American Art <http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/w/whitney_museum_of_american_art/index.html?inline=nyt-org> to drastically revise a plan to expand its Madison Avenue home; ultimately that project was scuttled. The group seems as open to the notion that cities can change as some biblical fundamentalists are to evolution.

The recent battle over the Parke-Bernet Gallery building, an austere 1950s-era limestone structure on Madison Avenue between 76th and 77th Streets, is a case in point. When the British architect Norman Foster <http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/f/norman_foster/index.html?inline=nyt-per> first presented his proposal to erect a 30-story glass tower atop the existing building, many neighborhood residents were outraged. “A glass dagger plunged into the heart of the Upper East Side,” one said.

The project’s developer, Aby Rosen, sent Mr. Foster back to the drawing board, and he has returned with a plan, one that both hope will be more palatable to neighborhood preservationists. Clad in elegant bronze bands, its low blocky form would rest directly on the existing structure, echoing its exact proportions. More important, perhaps, it would be far less visible from the multimillion-dollar penthouse apartments just across the street.

Should the plan be approved, it would only underscore the bizarre thinking behind decisions governing historic landmark cases today. Both proposals would have significantly changed the building; both are thoughtful attempts to fuse old and new without compromising either.

But the new design is more polite and less original, hewing to the reactionary view that most contemporary architecture is best when it is invisible. Little wonder that this neighborhood has not gained a significant new work of architecture in more than a quarter-century.

Planting modern appendages on top of old buildings is an unnerving trend these days in Manhattan real estate, where soaring prices can make any empty space look like a money-making opportunity. Just two years ago Mr. Foster completed a faceted glass-and-steel tower that pierces the core of the 1928 Hearst Building, a low limestone structure that looked a bit like a mausoleum, anyway. And plans are in the works for a 40-story office tower atop the Port Authority bus terminal and a 140-room hotel on the Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan.

But the Parke-Bernet building has neither the charm nor the civic stature of the Beaux-Arts Maritime Building. With five floors of commercial offices and art galleries, its austere form, punctured by a single row of windows at the sixth floor, is a subdued interpretation of the hard-edged architecture of Rockefeller Center — minus the glamour. As architecture, it does have a subtle impact on its surroundings, offering a pleasing contrast to the early-19th-century brick structures on either side.

In his original proposal Mr. Foster sought to strengthen those contrasts rather than smooth them over. Only the elevator core would have penetrated the existing building; the rest of the tower would have seemed to float just above the building’s northern end, barely touching it. Its oval floors would have housed luxury apartments with 360-degree views. The building’s old roof, meanwhile, would have been transformed into a luxurious roof garden.

By comparison with the Hearst Tower’s faceted exterior, the Parke-Bernet project’s oval form seemed rather slick and subdued. Still, the idea — held by most serious architects today — was that the best way to respect the past is not to mimic it, but to weave a contemporary vision into the historic fabric with sensitivity.

The delicate bronze bands are in strong contrast to the building’s heavy stone base. A six-foot gap separates the two; just below it, the parapet of the old building hides a series of narrow terraces that wrap around the building on three sides. It’s a wonderful sectional detail, with the two forms literally interlocking in a double-height living space.

click here for the URL




30. New York Times: Paying more for Great Design
Bethany Lyttle

Paying a Premium for a Wright Design

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT, who died in 1959 at the age of 92, completed more than 500 buildings in his lifetime. Of the 400 or so that still stand, most are residences. At any given time, 8 or 10 of these homes may be up for sale, and they are highly sought after.

“It’s a narrow market. It’s an active market. And it can be a lucrative market,” said Ron Scherubel, executive director of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, an international preservation organization based in Chicago. “Some of these houses can be seriously overpriced. But most of the time, buyers pay a 25 to 40 percent premium because it’s a Wright design.”

A renewed interest in midcentury modern American architecture has widened the pool of interested buyers, particularly for the Usonian Wright houses, which he began designing in the late 1930s as affordable homes for the middle class. Where once Wright fixer-uppers may have been passed over, they now sell no matter what their condition.

“Today’s buyer has both the means and the desire to restore a Wright house,” Mr. Scherubel said. “This is not the Home Depot set, either. When a door hinge is missing, they call us to find an artisan who can create a custom reproduction. When the roof needs tiling, they call to find someone who knows how the original work would have been done. I think it’s wonderful.”

click here for the URL

 

31. Etobicoke Guardian: OMB supports Lake Promenade homeowner - Long Branch house on city's list of heritage properties for demolition, rebuilding
TAMARA SHEPHARD

The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) has authorized a Lake Promenade homeowner's plans to tear down his house and replace it with one twice the size, despite the property's listing on the city's heritage properties' inventory. Domenic Pariselli's home at 274 Lake Promenade is one of 12"listed" houses on the lakefront street. A property's inclusion on the city's heritage preservation inventory is "a clear statement the city would like to see its heritage attributes preserved," the city's website indicates.

click here for the URL




32. TelegraphJournal.com: Sea and sky - One of the most recognized contemporary houses built in North America during the past decade sits high on a rocky slope overlooking the Bay of Fundy
John Leroux

Princeton Architectural Press, one of the world's most prominent publishers of books on architecture, design and visual culture, produced an impressive monograph of the Minneapolis architecture firm Julie Snow Architects in 2005. Proudly displayed on the cover is a photograph taken on a clear and sunny winter day showing an austere glass house anchored atop a rocky and snow-covered seaside landscape. Unlike many signature architectural images, the building is not boasting its presence, its exclusivity or its dominance to the viewer, but rather it rests back calmly - as if it was always part of this stark terrain. This jewel of a building became one of the most widely-published houses worldwide at the turn of the century, featured prominently in journals from America to Russia, Mexico and Japan. But this is no distant landscape or remote architectural work; it is the Koehler House, sitting proudly on the New Brunswick coast of the Bay of Fundy. It is one of the most important and recognized contemporary houses built in North America during the past decade, winning some of the highest design awards from the American Institute of Architects, celebrated by everyone, but essentially unknown to New Brunswickers.

click here for the URL

 

33. TelegraphJournal.com: Remains in the river - The flood of 2008 reminds us that we are not here for long, and all of what we build, no matter how well, will eventually fall to the ground or the river bottom someday.
John Leroux

I was born in late 1970, but I remember the great St. John River flood that temporarily transformed my hometown into Venice in the spring of 1973 as though it happened yesterday. As a curious two-and-a-half year old, the strange experience of canoeing with my father around our half-submerged Barkers Point house across from Fredericton and skirting the neighbourhood's sunken cars seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime encounter - that is, until last week.

click here for the URL

 

34. China Daily: Cultural heritage not spared
Zhu Linyong

Priceless artifacts and buildings of the country's cultural heritage were seriously damaged by the 7.8-magnitude quake in Sichuan on Monday, local officials and experts have said. Among the worst hit were the 32-m-high Ming Dynasty pagoda (1368-1644) in Langzhong county of Nanchong, and the exterior of the Museum of the Sanxingdui Ruins. "The 400-year-old pagoda broke into half during the Monday earthquake," Deng Changwen, a spokesman for the Sichuan Provincial Seismological Bureau, told reporters. The top of the 12-story pagoda, a landmark in the city, fell to the ground minutes after the quake hit, he said.

click here for the URL

  
SUPPORT : Issue No 119 May 27, 2008
 


35. Subscription is free, but financial contributions to support the work are most gratefully received by the volunteer editor. At the moment I am hoping to be able to establish the bulletin on-line, with photos, and advocacy tools, and perhaps raise enough to hire some assistance. Receipts will be sent, but Built Heritage News does not have charitable status.

Cheques are payable to:
Built Heritage News
and can be sent to the address below:
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CONTACT : Issue No 119 May 27, 2008
 


36. cnasmith@builtheritagenews.ca