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Issue No 151    November 18, 2009

 

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FEATURE STORIES:

2. Open House: Fort York Visitor Centre Design Competition
5. PROTECTING THE GUILD
8. Architectural Conservancy of Ontario demands stop to demolition of Historic Hangars at Downsview Airport
9. Reprieve for Downsview Airport Hangars
10. National Hotel Reprieve
30. Subscribe to CCA Podcasts
40. Partners for Sacred Places

IN THIS ISSUE:

EVENTS    submit an event

1. TSA Year End Bash
2. Open House: Fort York Visitor Centre Design Competition
3. Victorian Christmas Dinner
4. The St. Lawrence Ward

NEWS | ACTION    submit a news or action item

5. PROTECTING THE GUILD
6. The Centre Pier Opportunity
7. Help Save The Downsview Airport Hangars
8. Architectural Conservancy of Ontario demands stop to demolition of Historic Hangars at Downsview Airport
9. Reprieve for Downsview Airport Hangars
10. National Hotel Reprieve
11. HRH The Prince of Wales presents Heritage Canada Foundation award to City of Edmonton during Royal Visit to Canada
12. Anglican church at risk in St. Phillips, Newfoundland
13. HCF on Parliament Hill to Support Case For Preserving Historic Grenville Canal

LINKS    submit a link

14. Globe and Mail: Famous Poets on the barricades
15. Globe and Mail: Loss of the Chedington
16. Globe and Mail: Re-issue of North York Modernism
17. insideTORONTO.com: York University buildings to be added to heritage inventory
18. McConnell Website: Lighting Heritage in Toronto's Old Town
19. Toronto Culture: City's first multimedia public artwork unveiled
20. Toronto Star: 100 trees felled by accident on Observatory lands
21. CKWS Television Kingston: Round two in the Barriefield housing debate.
22. Collingwood Enterprise BulletinThe greenest brick is one still standing: ACO president
23. Kingston Whig-Standard: 'We planned to live here for a long time'
24. Northumberland News: Trust fund helps maintain Cobourg's Victoria Hall
25. Owen Sound Sun Times: Branningham's fate remains undecided
26. Owen Sound Sun Times: Paisley Inn - Good News for a Change
27. Owen Sound Sun Times: Wind Turbines delight or blight
28. Owen Sound The Sun Times: St. Mary's wing boarded up
29. Stratford Beacon Herald: New life for old hotel
30. Subscribe to CCA Podcasts
31. Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION: Ukrainian Churches in Manitoba - Church architect Ruh's reputation has grown with time
32. Annapolis Royal Heritage Society: Nova Scotia Churches-
33. CBC.ca: Charlottetown rejects renos to famous lighthouse
34. Montreal Gazette: Revamping Windsor Station
35. telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com: Heritage at stake
36. The Walrus: Green Giants - How urban planners are turning industrial eyesores into popular public spaces
37. Washington Post: Richard Moe Retiring from National Trust
38. New Statesman: Leave the past behind
39. New York Times: Laser Technology and Heritage Conservation
40. Partners for Sacred Places
41. Place Economics: Rypkema in Nashville

DOES ANYBODY KNOW?    submit a link

42. Threat to Fort Gwillimbury-Information needed

SUPPORT

43. Support Built Heritage News

 

CONTACT

44. Contact the Editor

 

EVENTS : Issue No 151 November 18, 2009
 

1. TSA Year End Bash

Place: Telus Centre for Performance and Learning, at the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Date: November 30, 2009
Time: 6:30 to 9:00 pm cocktail reception
Place: TICKETS | $10 - TSA Members | $15 - All others | Purchase Tickets Online | Cash Bar
Info: http://tsabash09.eventbrite.com/

 

The Toronto Society of Architects is hosting its annual Year-End Bash to recognize a 'great space in Toronto'.

Last year’s Bash was a tremendous success and saw 200+ TSA members and friends come together at the Gardiner Museum.

Please join friends in the design community to celebrate architecture and design. The ’09 Year-End Bash will also feature a building tour led by KPMB Architects exclusively for TSA members, and a digital yearbook of our members work. The tour will take place at 6:00 pm prior to the Bash.

TSA members interested in participating in the tour are encouraged to pre-purchase tickets for the Bash to reserve a spot as spaces for the tour are limited. For the digital yearbook, members are invited to submit one image of their favourite project/research/vision from 2009 “in celebration of the culture of architecture,” more details are included below.

Event tickets, which include food, are available for a nominal fee and can be purchased in advance online as venue capacity is limited. Hope to see you there!

 



Fort York, Photo Robert Allsopp


2. Open House: Fort York Visitor Centre Design Competition

Date: December 4, 5, and 6
Time: noon to 6 pm each day Members' Lounge, City Hall Council Chamber, 3rd floor
Place: free and open to the public
Info: For further information, contact: Sandra Shaul, Museum Administrator, Special Projects (Bicentennial War of 1812). Phone: 416-392-8231 - Cell: 416-949-5809 - Fax: 416-392-5600 - sshaul@toronto.ca

 

Everyone is welcome to view the designs of the five finalists and to fill out a comments form. The five finalist firms are: Baird Sampson Neuert Architects; Raw Design; Diamond and Schmitt Architects Inc.; duToit Architects Ltd.; Patkau Architects Inc. with Kearns Mancini.


A jury will pick the winning design and the design will be announced before the end of December. The Fort York Visitor Centre is a major part of the overall project to revitalize the entire 43-acre Fort York National Historic site in time for the launch of the Bicentennial Commemoration of the War of 1812 in June 2012. Fort York National Historic Site houses the largest collection of 1812-era buildings in Canada and is Canada's only authentic 1812-era Fort. The overall revitalization also includes:

 

  • the construction of the elegant new Fort York Pedestrian/Cycling Bridge, which will span the railway lines, joining the Fort to the downtown;
  • a continuous open space plan for the landscape surrounding the Fort, which will not only restore areas of original 17th and 18th century landscape but provide a wonderful community resource for the newly emerging Fort York residential community located to the north, south and east of the Fort (20,000 residents and 600 units of social housing as well as the 100th branch of the Toronto Public Library by 2012);
  • the restoration of all 8 buildings on the site so that they will be fully accessible to visitors for the first time since the Fort became a museum in 1934.


Beyond its role of improving the visitor experience, the Visitor Centre will serve as a community hub outside public museum hours. Other City projects that will enhance the revitalization of Fort York National Historic Site include: Watertable, the wonderful new light sculpture under the Gardiner Expressway by the Fort; the development of June Callwood Park to the south of the Fort, which will provide a pedestrian/cycling connection from the Fort to the waterfront; and the development of the northern linear park that will connect the Fort in the east to City Place, the Rogers Centre, and Roundhouse Park.

 



3. Victorian Christmas Dinner

Date: December 5
Time: 6:00 p.m

 

 An annual favourite, this traditional dinner is hosted by the Sharon Temple’s Volunteer Committee in the Temperance Hall. Tickets: $45.00. For more information, please call 905-478-2389

 

 

4. The St. Lawrence Ward
A Pictorial View of Toronto's Oldest Neighbourhood

Place: Market Gallery, 95 Front St. E, Toronto
Date: November 14-March 13, 2010
Time: Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Sunday, Monday and Holidays.
Place: free
Info: http://www.toronto.ca/culture/the_market_gallery.htm

 

Historical exhibit frames Toronto's oldest neighbourhood - St. Lawrence Ward

In celebration of Toronto's 175th anniversary, the Market Gallery presents a special exhibition focusing on the history of its original neighbourhood. The St. Lawrence Ward: A Pictorial View of Toronto's Oldest Neighbourhood opens on November 14th and runs until March 13, 2010. Maps, photographs and art will provide a pictorial essay illustrating the architecture, economic development and political life of this area.

The history of this neighbourhood dates back to 1793 when land purchased from Aboriginals was settled by the British and named the Town of York. From the original ten blocks including today's Front Street East, King Street East, Jarvis Street, The Esplanade and George Street, the St. Lawrence neighbourhood is today known for its thriving market, cultural attractions and nineteenth century architectural landmarks such as St. Lawrence Hall. Wharfs, railway tracks and muddy streets once claimed this area which later developed into a major industrial area of warehouses by the early twentieth century.

Showcased in this exhibit are early views such as Fish Market, Toronto (1840-42) by William Bartlett, Goad's insurance atlases from the late 1800s documenting buildings, and photographs of King Street East in the 1870s when it was Toronto's main shopping street.

The Market Gallery is a program of Toronto Cultural Services and presents changing exhibitions dedicated to Toronto's art, culture, history and offers educational programs for school groups and adults. Located in Toronto's oldest neighbourhood, the main gallery occupies the nineteenth century city council chamber - which is all that remains from the City Hall that stood on this site from 1845-1899.

 

   
NEWS | ACTION : Issue No 151 November 18, 2009
 

5. PROTECTING THE GUILD
Donald Smith

 

The City of Toronto and Centennial College have agreed through a Letter of Intent to have a new Guild Inn and Conference Centre built and to have the Bickford Residence, the core of the old Guild Inn building, restored as the home for Centennial’s Culture And Heritage Institute. We know that it is just a matter of time until The Guild will be restored in the spirit of Rosa and Spencer Clark’s original vision.

Now Councillor Ainslie’s Guild Park Advisory Committee must plan the appropriate redevelopment of the park area surrounding the old Inn site and also take steps necessary for the protection of the entire Guildwood Park heritage area.

At the present time, we are relying upon the designation of a few buildings to provide legal protection of The Guild under Section IV of the Ontario Heritage Act. This is woefully inadequate. The description of a handful of buildings and sculptures cannot provide an adequate definition of the sum total of the heritage of this place. And, since we are mourning the loss of the Studio Building because of the fire last Christmas, we know that all buildings are vulnerable.

Soon an anemometer will be placed out in the lake, and, within two years, it is possible that it will be proposed that wind turbines should be built offshore. Many feel that the presence of such devices would detract from the beauty of the vista over Lake Ontario from the Park.

The people who live close to the Old Mill in Etobicoke are concerned because there is a plan to build a condominium tower on private land close to the restaurant complex. The community’s view is that the erection of that tower will detract from the heritage of that significant area; however, they have very few legal tools to assist them in their struggle.

I am advocating that the entire Guildwood Park be designated as a Cultural (including the natural) Heritage Landscape under the Ontario Heritage Act. All aspects of The Guild, the buildings, sculptures, architectural fragments, Greek Theatre, remnants of the forest, grounds, bluffs, floral gardens, greenhouses, the Waterfront Trail, the lakeshore and the nearby forested areas, would be included.

The cultural impact of the institution, based on its history, would be described as an important element of what makes The Guild significant for all Canadians. A description of the tenets of William Morris’s Arts And Crafts movement which inspired the Clarks to create the Guild Of All Arts would be included. Then everyone could understand what the meaning of The Guild has been, is now, and can always be.

William Morris was best known as the English designer responsible for the development of new styles of interior decoration which replaced Victorian styles during the second half of the nineteenth century. You may have heard of the Morris chair or his very popular wallpapers. But, Morris was also a significant poet and political philosopher, and he developed a new model for the relationship between industrial workers and managers. He is also credited with the founding of the heritage movement which is having so much influence in the revitalization of the city of Toronto. Although he often described his ideas with reference to medieval models (for example, Guilds), Morris was thoroughly modern.

The essence of Morris’s social philosophy is that we should all think of ourselves as artists, and that the fabric of our lives is the masterpiece which we create. He believed that all of us, no matter how difficult our circumstances, can craft of our lives a thing of beauty and value. And this is precisely the philosophy which inspired Rosa and Spencer Clark to establish the Guild of all Arts on the Scarborough Bluffs overlooking Lake Ontario.

Designation of the Guildwood Park would not prevent some changes being made in the future. After the current redevelopment is complete, from time to time it will be possible and necessary to change or add structures of various kinds or even to make some minor alterations to the natural setting. And the built form of the community around the Park will continue to evolve, although, hopefully, not in ways which will interfere with The Guild. A full definition of the meaning and significance of the heritage of the place will provide a standard against which the value of possible changes could be measured.

 

Editor's Note: This article first appeared in the Bluffs Monitor and is re-printed here with permission of the author.

 

6. The Centre Pier Opportunity
Chris Wallace

 

Is the Centre Pier in Port Hope currently as beautiful as Lunenburg, Nova Scotia or Camden, Maine? Certainly not. Will it be as beautiful, when the clean-up is complete and the buildings are restored? Probably not.

But these comparisons completely miss the point of the economic study prepared by Netgain Partners for the Pier Group and presented to Port Hope council Oct. 27. Doug Simpson of Netgain was not making a visual comparison. He was using Lunenburg as an example of an economic structure in which a heritage industrial site was successfully revitalized at minimal risk and cost to the municipality.

The report did not say that a park and a yacht basin were a bad thing. Indeed, they're quite desirable if the alternative is a derelict wasteland.

Port Hope has the only industrial harbour left on Lake Ontario and, properly
restored, it could be a tremendous asset to this community.

We can have the vision to seize this unique opportunity, or share the letter-writer's defeatist attitude. To the Pier Group, it's an easy call.

That belief that the buildings are decaying and polluted is an unfortunate myth held by some people, many of whom have never been through the buildings. This myth could be easily debunked if the Harbour Commission would permit a professional, objective study of the condition of the buildings, to be fully reported to the public.

 



Downsview Airport


7. Help Save The Downsview Airport Hangars
Lloyd Alter

 

You have to wonder sometimes what people are thinking. Huge, clear span structures, spectacular lighting from those windows on the roof, close to the subway and highways, you could put these buildings to so many kinds of uses. But to the Department of National Defence they are just rusting inventory, so they are tearing them down. Since they are the Feds, they don't have to ask anyone either; no demolition permits, no review, just go ahead and do it.

Toronto Heritage developer Paul Oberman says stop. He wants to restore them and put them to use again, to make yet another landmark in Toronto. (and his track record is pretty good). So email The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence (email or snailmail addresses here) and ask him to stop this waste, and give us a chance to look at alternatives.

dnd_mdn@forces.gc.ca 

Phone: 613-996-3100
Facsimile: 613-995-8189

TTY/TDD 1 800 467-9877 *

 

Editor's Note: From the ACO bulletin, if you want to subscribe contact Elizabeth Quance at 416 367 8075, or



Downsview Airport Hangers at risk


Lloyd Alter, ACO President


8. Architectural Conservancy of Ontario demands stop to demolition of Historic Hangars at Downsview Airport
Lloyd Alter

 

Press Release: Monday November 16 2009

They are historic, iconic structures enclosing vast space, with dramatic monitor windows filling them with light. They are within walking distance of subways and could serve any number of uses. They have recognized heritage status- the Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office wrote:

“These two structures illustrate the massive expansion of the company under government auspices during the Second World War, in support of the war effort. Their functional role, as aircraft hangars, directly supported the wartime responsibilities of the company in the assembly and maintenance of aircraft, and this relationship places them among the more significant buildings on site”

And without asking anyone, the Department of National Defence is planning to knock them down tomorrow. Lloyd Alter, the President of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, is outraged.

“Here is a government that purports to care about the environment, yet they will throw away all of the embodied energy it took to create these buildings, that are so accessible, that could serve so many uses. A government that just made a big deal about Remembrance Day last week, yet this week will demolish such an important part of our history.”

Others agree. Paul Oberman, President & CEO of Woodcliffe Landmark Properties, a Toronto developer know for restoring and preserving historic buildings including the Flatiron Building and the North Toronto Station (Summerhill LCBO), has contacted former City of Toronto Mayors The Honourable David Crombie and Senator Art Eggleton and MP The Honourable Ken Dryden and others who have lent their support.

ACO President Alter calls it all a huge waste. “Times have changed, we don’t treat our buildings like an old piece of kleenex any more. We have to reuse, repurpose, repair, restore, and most importantly, refuse to accept that some bureaucrat in the DND can destroy an important piece of our city’s history on a whim.”

For more information contact Lloyd Alter, President of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario at 416 346 5738 or the ACO at 416 367 8075

 

 

9. Reprieve for Downsview Airport Hangars
Catherine Nasmith

 

It may be too soon for Paul Oberman of Woodcliffe Development to break out the champagne, but a small celebration is in order. Mr. Oberman has been working extremely hard over the past few weeks to try to persuade the Department of National Defense not to demolish the redundant hangars at Downsview.

He has real money on the table and would like to see the hangars continue in use for private aviation purposes.

It would seem that even though this issue has not yet reached the mainstream press, sufficient public pressure has been mounted in the corridors of power for DND to tell the contractor to stop all demo work for 60 days, save for removal of PCB's and contaminated materials.

Letters have been sent from Heritage Canada and the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario. So far nothing has come from the City of Toronto.

The buildings are not designated because a designation from a lower order of government would not be binding on the federal government. That notwithstanding, the province has a policy not to fight municipal designation on provincial property because, even though it is not binding, it does provide guidance and a measure of protection in the event the property is sold as surplus.

Mr. Oberman wants to purchase the buildings. "Hangar space is in short supply in Toronto, and will be getting scarcer. Buttonville airport is being sold off. If these buildings are lost we would just have to build them elsewhere."

Lets hope that this is shaping into a win for all sides. DND would save the costs of demolition, and the City will retain some very useful facilities. Mr. Oberman may have a new future as operator of aviation facilities.

 

 



1972 photo, National Hotel


10. National Hotel Reprieve
Catherine Nasmith

 

My head is still spinning from watching Toronto East York Community Council overturn the advice of the Toronto Preservation Board to permit demolition and re-construction of the facades of the National Hotel. (See Item 13 BHN Issue 150) Councillor Rae and Councillor Vaughan reversed the positions they had taken at the Preservation Board, leaving the other Board members who had voted to support Councillor Rae's motion high and dry. There were several deputants asking for refusal of permission to demolish, and a large petition was tabled asking to preserve the hotel. 

The 1878 hotel, with 1905 additions by architect Henry Simpson was designated a scant two months ago.

Councillor Pam McConnell stepped out of the chair to move motions to receive the TPB motion, to support the staff advice and refuse permission to demolish the building. In addition her motions asked for a peer review of the advice of E.R.A and Morden Yolles recommending the demolish and rebuild approach. They all passed with an overwhelming majority.

McConnell commented on the how the cart was before the horse here. If the designated walls could not stand up to being dug under to create 6 stories of parking or stand the vibration of construction then perhaps the conclusion should be that development approach needed rethinking instead of assuming the designated structure should be demolished. McConnell is asking for other options to be considered that would retain more of the hotel.

However, no one should count their chickens yet. You can bet that when this matter gets to the OMB, the Toronto Preservation Board agreement to the demolition will be a big thorn in the side of those trying to preserve the building, and that the OMB will likely take a dim view of a topsy turvy process.

 



photo Heritage Canada


11. HRH The Prince of Wales presents Heritage Canada Foundation award to City of Edmonton during Royal Visit to Canada
Heritage Canada Press Release

 

Toronto, Ontario November 6, 2009 – At a special ceremony held in Toronto Wednesday evening, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales awarded Heritage Canada Foundation’s PRINCE OF WALES PRIZE for Municipal Heritage Leadership to the City of Edmonton. Mayor Stephen Mandel, heritage planners Robert Geldart and David Holdsworth were on hand to accept the Prize.

“We are thrilled with His Royal Highness’ ongoing interest in the Heritage Canada Foundation and in our National Awards Program,” said Natalie Bull, HCF’s executive director. “The Heritage Canada Foundation’s Prince of Wales Prize reflects HRH’s commitment to architecture and the built environment, and sets a standard in Canada for municipalities committed to protecting their heritage resources.”

Mayor Stephen Mandel is proud that Edmonton’s work on heritage issues is being recognized at a national level. “We’re a relatively young city and in recent years, we, as a community, have developed a greater appreciation for the importance of our architectural history,” he said.

The Heritage Canada Foundation is Canada’s National Trust—a membership-based, charitable organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Canada’s built heritage and historic places.

Since 1973, HCF’s National Awards Program has recognized individuals and organizations for outstanding contributions to heritage conservation. HRH The Prince of Wales agreed in 1999 to lend his title to the creation of a prize to be awarded annually to a municipal government which has demonstrated its strong and sustained commitment to the conservation of its historic resources as a means to stimulate the cultural, social and economic health of its communities. Prize winning municipalities receive a bronze plaque, a framed certificate and a flag emblazoned with the insignias of The Prince of Wales and the Heritage Canada Foundation.

Backgrounder and Photos

http://www.heritagecanada.org/eng/services/winners.html#pow2009

-30-
For further information: Carolyn Quinn, Director of Communications, cquinn@heritagecanada.org; tel.: 613-237-1066 ext. 229; cell.: 613-797-7206

 



St. Phillips Church overlooking Conception Bay, NL


12. Anglican church at risk in St. Phillips, Newfoundland
Stephen Sharpe et al.

 

"Saving a St. Philip's landmark"
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
The Telegram, St. John's, NL, Nov. 16, 2009

The St. Philip's Anglican Parish vestry has plans to demolish the old church, which they are allowing to deteriorate. The 1894 church needs the respect it justifiably deserves, however at present it is at risk, due to demolition by neglect.

Almost 600 people signed a petition to save the 1894 St. Philip's Church from demolition and/or deterioration - over 150 were parishioners' signatures. MHA Dianne Whalen and MP Jack Harris wrote to the parish in support of keeping the old church.

No one is asking the parish or parishioners for money. Private, and public funds can be available to protect and preserve this landmark, such as the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, which wrote in support of keeping the Gothic style building, and included information about its $30,000 heritage grant application (50/50 $60,000 cost sharing). Also, the Newfoundland Historic Trust wrote the vestry, suggesting alternative options (other than demolition) could be explored.

The 1894 church could possibly generate income to the parish. Uses such as a town museum (the Town of Portugal Cove-St. Philip's wrote to the parish expressing such an interest); parish archives and museum; a boutique (both the old and new church could benefit); tours (church tourism is growing where concerned people are interested in church buildings), lectures, meetings, artist studio, appropriate entertainment, etc., could be co-ordinated through the parish.

The parish hierarchy is stating it will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair and maintain the historic church.

This is incorrect and misleading. The vestry knows the old church building is sound. However it will certainly cost the parish to tear down the old church and to build a memorial in its place. We ask, simply, that serious consideration be given to protecting and preserving the old building and not to allowing it to be endangered. The congregation could come together and be proud of such an historic building as part of its parish and community.

If you are interested in the future of the old St. Philip's church, it's necessary to do your part now before it's too late. Don't let demolition by neglect happen. Can we save this 1894 landmark? Yes, we can, with your help. Please let your thoughts be known: info@TheChurchByTheSea.ca or at The Church By The Sea, P.O. Box 1894, Stn. C, St. John's NL A1C 5R4.

Visit online at www.TheChurchByTheSea.ca.

Respectfully submitted by The Church By The Sea, a non-profit volunteer committee of mostly parishioners and friends of the old St. Philip's Church.

Stephen Sharpe
Rosemary Squires Drover
William Lamswood
Richard G. King
Majella Sharpe
Maria Squires

 

 

13. HCF on Parliament Hill to Support Case For Preserving Historic Grenville Canal
Heritage Canada Press Release

 

Ottawa, ON November 18, 2009 – Yesterday the Heritage Canada Foundation joined a delegation from the Village of Grenville, Quebec to request support from the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Environment, for the preservation of the historic Grenville Canal.

Mayor Ronald Tittlit and MP Mario Laframboise (Argenteuil-Papineau-Mirabel) led the delegation.

“With a population of only 1,500, the Village of Grenville is overwhelmed by the costs of restoring and maintaining the designated National Historic Site,” said Carolyn Quinn, representing the Heritage Canada Foundation. “The rehabilitation of the historic waterway could be a catalyst for renewal in this economically challenged area.”

Included on HCF’s 2009 Top Ten Endangered Places List, the Grenville Canal, located along the Ottawa River between Montreal and Ottawa, was constructed as part of an extensive inland canal transportation network following the War of 1812. Owned by the federal government for more than 150 years, the canal was transferred to the provincial government in 1988 and downloaded to the municipality two years later. Suffering from deterioration and neglect, it was closed to boat traffic last year.

The delegation presented a petition signed by over 3,000 supporters from as far away as Manitoba and British Columbia calling for federal help in saving the canal.

Carolyn Quinn, Director of Communications, cquinn@heritagecanada.org
Telephone: (613) 237-1066 ext 229; Cell (613) 797-7206

To be removed from the mailing list, send us an email with the word "unsubscribe" in the subject box.

 

   
LINKS : Issue No 151 November 18, 2009



Eurithe in front of A frame dwelling she built with husband Al Purdy


14. Globe and Mail: Famous Poets on the barricades
John Barber

Saving the house Al built

 

Poetic myths can be hard to sustain in a prosy age, but every versifier in Canada will tell you something uncanny happened 50 years ago on a bush lot in the country south of Belleville, Ont., where local couple Al and Eurithe Purdy had retreated after the former's failure to thrive as a writer in the big city of Montreal, where they built a cramped “A-frame” shack to live in and survived on such delicacies as wild asparagus and roadkill.

“It's well known that when Purdy began his career as a poet he was quite a terrible writer,” says Paul Vermeersch, editor of a new book, The Al Purdy A-Frame Anthology , that celebrates the magical transformation of a literally starving hack into the breakthrough voice of modern Canadian English.

“I don't want to paint any supernatural picture or anything,” Vermeersch adds. “But moving to Ameliasburgh was the missing piece in the puzzle. As Atwood has said, it's the moment when Purdy's poetry suddenly shifts from being terrible to being remarkable. It was when he began writing there that it happened.”

Poet after poet extols the majesty of that “it” in the pages of the A-Frame Anthology : Michael Ondaatje, Dennis Lee, George Bowering, Margaret Atwood and a host of lesser known belletrists, all of whom hovered like bugs around the shining light of Ameliasburgh from the 1960s until Purdy's death in 2000. Many of them are gathering again tonight at Toronto's Harbourfront Centre, both to launch the book and to make a plea for the preservation of the humble landmark.

 

click here for the URL



Globe and Mail photo of burned house


15. Globe and Mail: Loss of the Chedington
Jill Mahoney

About That Mansion that Burned Down

 

In a secluded heritage mansion called the Chedington, sparks danced in the walls and ceilings last week, setting off a massive fire. But no one was home.

Nestled on a cul-de-sac in a wooded ravine at Bayview and Lawrence Avenue East, the three-storey, 10,295-square-foot Tudor-style house burned quickly, causing almost 100 firefighters to retreat shortly after they arrived. Traffic snarled nearby as the blaze virtually gutted the eight-bedroom house, causing an estimated $2-million in damage.

Built high in the Don Valley almost 80 years ago and boasting treehouse views and a moneyed pedigree, the stately residence must have seemed like a house with a future to Samuel Fingold. In 1946, Mr. Fingold, the owner of several movie theatres, used a holding company to buy the dream home, which had been built for the only daughter of Edward Rogers Wood, the wealthy financier who founded Dominion Securities, one of Bay Street's foremost blue-chip investment banks at the time.

“With lots of room to show its stuff, Chedington is one of the city's most satisfying expressions of the English cottage ethic,” gushed Old Toronto Houses , a book that documents historic architecture.

 

click here for the URL



16. Globe and Mail: Re-issue of North York Modernism
DAVE LeBLANC

Re-issued book is a new weapon for defenders of Modernism

 

The wind whips so violently that the red and gold leaves swirl upward, making it look as if they're trying to reattach to the skeletal trees. The roiling iron sky provides a stark backdrop for architect Irving Grossman's calm, geometric and sculptural Betel house. Thankfully, this stunning architectural statement is not another casualty to be marked by The Rubble Club.

But many are.

Set up by a group of Scottish architects and open to members of the profession who outlive their creations, The Rubble Club might consider opening a Toronto chapter, said architect Lloyd Alter to an audience of 60 at North York Civic Centre on Oct. 27. In sombre tones, he said “one of the problems” he faces as Architectural Conservancy of Ontario president is that “people involved in heritage have a particular image of it.”

And the image people have in mind when they think about preservation is of gables and carved stonework rather than the 1953 Betel house or an office building designed in the 1980s, such as Jerome Markson's Lipa Green administration building at 4588 Bathurst St. In the case of the latter, the illusion of a five-storey rectangular box floating on slender, three-storey-tall pilotis (columns) was shattered when the empty space between each pier was filled in with glass earlier this year. Worse, Mr. Markson, still a practising architect at the age of 80, wasn't asked to pen the redesign.

Dave LeBlanc

Lipa Green administration building at 4588 Bathurst St., North York, by architect Jerome Markson.

Perhaps, with the reprinting by E.R.A. Architects of North York's Modernist Architecture , this sort of uninformed decision can be avoided in future. The 46-page guide, originally written in 1997 by staff at the former city of North York planning department under director Moiz Behar, is being re-released with 38 additional pages of new essays and insight because “modern architecture still ranks low on our register of cultural values,” writes E.R.A. principal Michael McClelland in the introduction. Because this “valuable research tool” was published in limited numbers for city employees only and the E.R.A. office “only had one tattered and heavily marked-up photocopy,” it seemed like the right thing to do, especially in light of the recent demolition of John C. Parkin's Bata International building and Peter Dickinson's Inn on the Park (both listed on the City of Toronto's inventory of heritage properties).

I'll say. I'd heard rumours of the guide's existence and its juicy descriptions of 20 significant projects – from Parkin's familiar Farnsworth House-inspired Don Mills banks and Ron Thom's Prince Hotel to lesser-known gems such as the 1967 Citadel Village by Tampold and Wells – and a list of 180 more containing architect/firm, address and year of completion. Needless to say, when I was asked by the North York Community Preservation Panel to participate in a discussion at the North York Civic Centre to coincide with the guide's reprinting, along with Mr. Alter, architect Kim Storey of Brown + Storey, Toronto city planner Leo deSorcy and moderator Matthew Blackett of Spacing magazine, I jumped at the chance.

One topic discussed was the problem of heritage buildings – whether from 1850 or 1950 – being knocked down to be replaced with “green” buildings, even though it should be obvious that an expansion/retrofit may be the greener solution. But then sometimes, when expansion is chosen, the original design is compromised, as was the case at Lipa Green.

 

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17. insideTORONTO.com: York University buildings to be added to heritage inventory
LISA QUEEN

 

insideTORONTO.com: York University buildings to be added to heritage inventory

 

North York councillors have agreed to add 14 York University buildings that showcase modern architecture to Toronto's heritage inventory.
They are also recommending city council indicate its intent to designate three buildings under the Ontario Heritage Act.

The listing and designation will allow the city to protect York's heritage even as the university moves forward with its development plans.

The 14 buildings are Atkinson College, the Behavioural Science Building, the Farquharson Life Sciences Building, Founders College and Residence, McLaughlin College and Tatham Hall, Osgoode Hall Law School, the Petrie Science and Engineering Building, the Ross Building, Scott Library, Steacie Science and Engineering Building, Stedman Lecture Halls, phase 1 of the Tait McKenzie Centre, Vanier College and Residence and Winters College and Residence.

www.insidetoronto.com

 

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Flat Iron Building


18. McConnell Website: Lighting Heritage in Toronto's Old Town

Heritage Lighting of the St. Lawrence neighbourhood

 

On November 6, Councillor Pam McConnell, representatives of the City of Toronto, Toronto Hydro, and community members flicked the switch at the official lighting of St. Lawrence Market, kicking off the Heritage Lighting initiative and marking the beginning of the celebration of the 205th anniversary of St. Lawrence Market.

Councillor Pam McConnell, BIA President George Milbrandt, Toronto Hydro Director Joyce McLean, and MPP George Smitherman flip the switch on the heritage lighting.

Councillor Pam McConnell, BIA President George Milbrandt, Toronto Hydro Director Joyce McLean, and MPP George Smitherman flip the switch on the heritage lighting.

“Celebrating its 175th birthday, the City of Toronto is proud of its heritage and distinctive building architecture. The lighting initiative allows us to showcase that pride 12 months of the year,” Councillor McConnell said. “These buildings are some of the most photographed buildings in Toronto, and from a tourism perspective, we are glad to be able to light these buildings for visitors to our city to enjoy. But we are also glad to brighten them for the residents of the city who pass them on a daily basis.”

 

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from Toronto Culture


19. Toronto Culture: City's first multimedia public artwork unveiled

Lisa Steele and Kim Tomcak installation under the Gardiner Expressway

 

Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone unveiled the work alongside Rita Davies, Executive Director of Toronto Cultural Services. “This place is so historic,” said the Councillor, “because without Fort York there might be no Canada. As we lead up to the commemoration of the bicentennial of the war of 1812, we have a number of projects planned in addition to this wonderful work of art. We’re also working towards building a Fort York Visitor’s Centre and a pedestrian and bicycle bridge that will span the rail corridor and link the Fort grounds with the neighbourhood to the north. Our vision is to reconnect Fort York to its central place in Toronto’s history and Toronto’s present day reality.”

 

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Accidental Destruction? Some accident!


20. Toronto Star: 100 trees felled by accident on Observatory lands

 

One by one the trees were knocked down. When the excavator finally stopped late Monday afternoon, more than 100 trees had been cleared on the contentious David Dunlap Observatory lands.

The move sent activists into a tizzy and left Richmond Hill planning officials to assess the damage – to both the cultural heritage site and plans for the land.

"This act was an act of vandalism in the extreme," said Brenda Hogg, Richmond Hill's deputy mayor.

"It is beneath the calibre of the developers, and the power that they have. The insult will reverberate throughout the community."

Residents have campaigned to protect the observatory and 77 hectares that surround it since the University of Toronto sold the land to a developer in 2008.

 

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21. CKWS Television Kingston: Round two in the Barriefield housing debate.

BARRIEFIELD IS DESIGNATED UNDER THE ONTARIO HERITAGE ACT BECAUSE OF ITS CHARACTERISTICS AS A VILLAGE.

 

 RESIDENTS OF THE HERITAGE VILLAGE IN KINGSTON'S EAST END WERE BACK AT CITY HALL LAST NIGHT TRYING TO STOP A SOCIAL HOUSING PROJECT IN BARRIEFIELD.

COUNCILLORS AREN'T READY TO SAY YES OR NO -- UNTIL THEY DO MORE STUDY AND CONSULTATION ON THE CONTROVERSIAL LAND PURCHASE.

AS NEWSWATCH'S CHRIS HARVEY REPORTS, THE ANSWERS WON'T COME UNTIL MID-DECEMBER.
 

 

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Editor's Note: There is a news video at this url

 

22. Collingwood Enterprise BulletinThe greenest brick is one still standing: ACO president
SHAWN GIILCK

 

Collingwood Enterprise BulletinThe greenest brick is one still standing: ACO president

 

SHAWN GIILCK

If those walls could talk, Lloyd Alter says we could learn a lot about going green.

The new president of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario spoke to a group of about 20 people Wednesday evening at the town hall about how "Heritage is Green." He led an hour-long presentation on why preserving heritage buildings to promote energy conservantion goals is worthwhile and what they can teach us about building design.

"The greenest brick is the one already standing," declared Alter as he began. "This is going to be a different look at heritage.

 

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23. Kingston Whig-Standard: 'We planned to live here for a long time'
IAN ELLIOT

The City of Kingston must hold itself to the same standards that it expects of other property owners in Barriefield

 

Heidi Bergeron notes the irony.

On the same night she received an award from the city recognizing the heritage preservation of one building in Barriefield, it debated a social housing plan that threatens the heritage character of the entire village.

Bergeron, who restored the historic Barriefield Inn to its 1839 appearance, bought the James Street building with her husband, Ted, three years ago and proceeded with a restoration under the eye of the city's heritage planners.

"It is ironic that the people who are giving me this in recognition of the heritage character of the building are the same people who are trying to take away the heritage character of the neighbourhood," she said.

Barriefield has become the centre of a controversial proposal to build a massive new social housing development on land owned by the Department of National Defence on the west side of Hwy. 15 across from the base.

The federal government has offered the surplus land to the city for $1 if it uses it for social housing.

Residents of the village were shocked when the proposal came to light last month and both current and past residents have mobilized to fight the plan, a decision on which council has pushed back into next year.

 

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The Victoria Hall Heritage Maintenance Trust Fund recently gave the Town of Cobourg $15,000 to help pay for chimney repairs at Victoria Hall. Chairman Greg Hancock and Treasurer Brenda Niles made the presentation.


24. Northumberland News: Trust fund helps maintain Cobourg's Victoria Hall
Jeanne Beneteau

Money earmarked to preserve historic fabric of building

 

COBOURG -- Fundraising money left over after residents banded together to save Victoria Hall from the wrecking ball in the 1980's continues to help keep the historic building in good repair.

The Victoria Hall Heritage Maintenance Trust Fund, formally known as Victoria Hall Preservation Group and The Society for the Preservation of Victoria Hall, presented the Town of Cobourg with $15,000 to help with needed repairs to the main chimney at the rear of the hall, on Nov. 2. The fund manages money donated by the public for maintenance of the historic fabric of Victoria Hall, much of it raised during original restoration efforts during the 1980's, said chairman Greg Hancock.

 

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25. Owen Sound Sun Times: Branningham's fate remains undecided
Denis Langlois

A developer's plan to commemorate historical elements from Branningham Grove is not good enough for Owen Sound's heritage committee

 

A developer's plan to commemorate historical elements from Branningham Grove is not good enough for Owen Sound's heritage committee, which directed Villarboit Development Thursday to return in a month with something better.

Barry Browning, spokesman for Villarboit, said he is puzzled as to what will satisfy the committee and is frustrated by their lack of direction.

"We are prepared to make an effort, but we'd like to see something from them too on what they want," he said in an interview. "How long can this go on? Can it go on forever?"

Villarboit plans to build a 284,000-square-foot shopping centre on the property once correct zoning is in place.

Browning said it would be too expensive to move the former brothel and restaurant. Keeping it where it stands is also impossible, he said, because the building sits on a hill that must be graded down to Hwy. 26 for development to proceed.

Villarboit has proposed to preserve architectural and heritage elements from Branningham Grove for use in an historic-looking entranceway. It also proposes to pay for a historical plaque and name the new development after Branningham.

Coun. Bill Twaddle said he is "disappointed" the developer did not come up with a better way to incorporate Branningham Grove's heritage elements into the proposed shopping centre since the committee tabled its decision in August.

He moved a motion to give the developers more time to come up with a satisfactory plan before the committee drafts a recommendation to council on whether or not to block demolition of the building by designating it under the Ontario Heritage Act.

"I don't want to make a decision tonight. I don't want to make it on the basis of promises," he said.

 

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Paisley Inn, Catherine Nasmith photo


26. Owen Sound Sun Times: Paisley Inn - Good News for a Change
Scott Dunn, forwarded by Henry Simpson

Judge finds inn demolition permit invalid

 

A Superior Court justice ruled yesterday that a demolition permit clouding the future of the Paisley Inn for the past 3 1/2 years was invalid.

Paisley Inn owner Burke Maidlow hugged his lawyer and vowed to apply for another building permit to make repairs, first to the most problematic west wing roof, which his own engineers agree could collapse.

"The past four years have been bullshit," Maidlow declared after the ruling in an Owen Sound courtroom, referring to the protracted battle with the municipality.

He has been unable to obtain a building permit that he could use to make the inn safe.

A trial, set for 13 days, was called to hear expert testimony on whether Maidlow met terms set out by the municipality's chief building official to obtain a building permit or if the municipality could proceed with demolition of the entire building.

The inn has deteriorate and Arran-Elderslie's lawyer Ross McLean said the municipality's concerns about safety remain. He said he expects the new chief building official will share them.

"We continue to have an obligation to look out for the safety of the public," McLean said after court. "The issue still remains that something has to be done to make the building safe."

Justice Donald Gordon said the power to enter private property, order repairs and possibly demolish buildings represents a "significant intrusion" and so the demolition "order must be specific" and it was not.

 

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27. Owen Sound Sun Times: Wind Turbines delight or blight
Mary Golem

Councillor frustrated in turbine fight

 

An Arran-Elderslie councillor's attempts to control the construction of large industrial wind turbines in the municipality has hit more roadblocks.

Elderslie ward Coun. Mark Davis said yesterday he's "getting really tired of hearing what we can't do" to control the construction of wind turbines which he calls "intrusive" and "an eyesore" on the rural landscape.

Last month Davis attempted to get council to impose a one-year moratorium on the construction of wind turbines, with a possible one-year extension, through the use of an interim control bylaw, citing among other things, health and safety concerns.

However, both Arran-Elderslie chief administrative officer A.P. Crawford and Bruce County planner David Smith recommended such an interim control bylaw not be passed, saying imposing such a bylaw, which the province has already told municipalities they cannot do, would not be defensible if the issue was ever taken to court or the Ontario Municipal Board.

Instead, at council's Nov. 2 meeting, Smith and Crawford suggested alternatives, including establishing heritage conservation districts within the municipality under the Ontario Heritage Act "to protect both the landscape and visual appearance of the area."

Council delayed making a decision about the interim control bylaw until it could get more information about what alternatives were available.

 

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Editor's Note: Owen Sound may want to investigate Cultural Heritage Landscape designation for areas it wants to protect from intrusion



St. Mary's school was boarded up Tuesday until a decision about demolition is reached.


28. Owen Sound The Sun Times: St. Mary's wing boarded up
DENIS LANGLOIS

 

The Catholic school board has followed up its threat to board up the oldest wing of St. Mary's High School after city council blocked its demolition.

Work crews nailed plywood over the historic brick building's windows yesterday.

Bruce MacPherson, the Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board's education director, said classes have not been held in the 1891 annex this school year. Access is blocked, he said, and its windows boarded up to boost security and save on heating costs.

"It's cost-prohibitive to repair," he said. "If it's cost-prohibitive to repair, you're not going to be investing money in it, so you're not going to be dealing with things such as the elevator, etc., that's unusable."

The city and school board have been engaged in back-and- forth discussions over the structure's fate for more than a year.

City council voted to protect the wing from demolition with Ontario Heritage Act legislation in July 2008. The board objected, sending the matter to Ontario's Conservation Review Board.

 

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New owner Dave Piggott stands in front of the completely-gutted Oxford Hotel on Woodstock Street South in Tavistock. The building is being converted into a seniors residence. SCOTT WISHART The Beacon Herald


29. Stratford Beacon Herald: New life for old hotel
JOHN KASTNER

 

It is the grand old lady on the main street of Tavistock. Built in 1906, the majestic Oxford Hotel building is pretty tough to miss.

Now, the three-storey landmark is getting an extreme makeover.

The historic watering hole has had five owners in just over 100 years, most recently Mike Yarich who died in February 2008.

Mr. Yarich died in his sleep in his second-floor bedroom in March. A Yugoslavian immigrant with no known family in Canada, he purchased the hotel in 1968 and lived in an apartment above the bar for years.

The hotel closed after Mr. Yarich's death and sat vacant until it was purchased earlier this year by Dave Piggott, a businessman from Bright.

If walls could talk there would be a thousand stories to tell inside the brick walls of the historic building. Ironically, when all Mr. Piggott has planned is said and done, those 100-year-old brick walls will be about all that's left.

But like the rest of the place, even the brickwork may be tough to recognize. The brickwork, both exterior and interior, has been sandblasted and repointed.

The end result will see about 4,500 square feet of retail, commercial or office space on the main floor and 16 apartments for seniors, geared to income, on the second and third floors.

 

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30. Subscribe to CCA Podcasts

Several interesting Lectures are available free of charge on I Tunes

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The Historic Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Resurrection, built in the Kievan style and completed in 1939, was designed by Rev. Phillip Ruh. It has five domes representing Christ and his four evangelists. The interior icons were painted by Theodore Bara


31. Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION: Ukrainian Churches in Manitoba - Church architect Ruh's reputation has grown with time
Staff Writer

 

In his lifetime, Father Philip Ruh, the self-taught builder of so many Ukraininan Catholic churches in Manitoba, got little respect from the architectural community.

But David Butterfield, who has written extensively on Manitoba buildings and builders, thinks the Winnipeg architects of the day were wrong about Ruh.

 

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Editor's Note: For more on Father Philip Ruh, architect see, http://www.umanitoba.ca/libraries/units/archives/digital/built_heritage/ruh.html



Now you see it


Soon you won't


32. Annapolis Royal Heritage Society: Nova Scotia Churches-
R.G. Scranton, forwarded by Mark Wilson

All Saints Anglican: Dismantling and Sale out of County

 

I feel like I have been here before. Standing on the side of the road in Granville Centre and watching as an important heritage building is torn to the ground. Shaking my head as another piece of our heritage landscape is wiped from the map. With my camera in hand I diligently document the structure while there is still an opportunity to get some pictures. As I take my shots, I have an odd sense of sadness and frustration mixed with a very unpleasant touch of deja vu.

For some time I have known that All Saints Anglican Church in Granville Centre has been scheduled for demolition. I learned of this fate this summer after an unsuccessful attempt was made by the Annapolis Heritage Society to intervene on behalf of the structure. The church itself was consecrated in 1814 making it one of the oldest surviving churches in Nova Scotia. This was also the parish church for Granville. The unofficial word is that the church is on its way to Louisiana where it will become a Baptist church. I can only imagine the reaction of Bishop Charles Inglis, the first Anglican Bishop of Nova Scotia, were he to learn that of one of his churches was being sold off to the "New Lights".

 

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Editor's Note: Preservation through careful dismantling and shipping for use to other places is a pretty sad practice, but one up from total loss. The story continues in Part II and III on this website. The church in question is over 200 years old.



The lighthouse sits on the edge of a residential neighbourhood, next to Victoria Park. (CBC)


33. CBC.ca: Charlottetown rejects renos to famous lighthouse

 

Charlottetown's city council has rejected a proposal from the Canadian Coast Guard to make significant renovations to one of the most photographed lighthouses in P.E.I.

The 100-year-old Brighton Beach Range Light sits on the edge of Brighton Shore, near Victoria Park.

The renovation plans include replacing the railing, light and deck of the structure, lowering the cupola and installing vinyl siding and vinyl windows.

The coast guard had also proposed removing the upper 1.5 metres of the lighthouse to compensate for a 1.5-metre-tall slab of concrete to be placed under the structure to protect it from ice damage.

 

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Editor's Note: To put this in context, the lighthouse has already undergone siginificant changes, the most recent being in 2000. see, http://www.lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=96 . As well, there are 43 lighthouses in commission in PEI. see, http://www.lighthousesrus.org/Canada/PrinceEdwardIsland.htm



Michael Fish in Front of Windsor Station, Gazette Photo


34. Montreal Gazette: Revamping Windsor Station
Andy Riga

Windsor Station plan full of 'hot air'

 

MONTREAL – Michael Fish, the architect and heritage activist who created Friends of Windsor Station in 1970 and saved it from CP's wrecking ball, says Montrealers should be wary of a proposed $520-million transportation hub that would incorporate Windsor Station.

Fish says it would probably be cheaper to buy and tear down the Bell Centre, which sits between train tracks and Windsor Station, and then put the rails back where they were before the Canadiens' home was built in 1996.

And he suggests the plan to circumvent the Bell Centre by connecting Canadian Pacific tracks to a new building south of Windsor Station using 18-metre-high tracks would make St. Antoine ugly, dark and dreary by creating a long tunnel.

 

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68 Carleton Street is a c.1840 mansion that has been added to over the years through jutting brick bays, carved stone ornament and a circular sunroom facing the harbour


The former church and synagogue at 76 Carleton Street is an 1872 Neo-Gothic brick colossus designed by Saint John architect David E. Dunham.


35. telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com: Heritage at stake
John Leroux, architect

A set of buildings, formidable enough to survive the Great 1877 fire, is threatened by a development rush in the City of Saint John.

 

I was moved to disbelief when I read the newspaper article quoting a Saint John city official several months ago, as he claimed the remarkable buildings lining the west side of Wellington Row were "of no historic value" and that if they had to be destroyed in the name of progress, so be it.

The colourful group of connected residences at 7 to19 Wellington Row, known as the “jellybean” buildings, are c.1860 Second Empire rowhouses that deserve a far better treatment than City Hall’s promised “facadism” architectural taxidermy. Twenty-seven and 29 Wellington Row respectively, are mid-19th century Greek Revival structures - simple yet precious in their restrained details. Their brick façades and spiked cast iron fence are unpretentious gems of Saint John architecture. The jellybean buildings’ carved window and door surrounds are of the most sophisticated style, and are impeccably preserved. The former church and synagogue at 76 Carleton Street is an 1872 Neo-Gothic brick colossus designed by Saint John architect David E. Dunham. The c. 1860 Gillis Residence at 109 Union St. Above, left: The row houses known as the Lawton Complex at 115/117/119 Union are circa 1860. While somewhat neglected over the years, they still posess magnificent decorated entry doors. Above, right: The jellybean buildings’ carved window and door surrounds are of the most sophisticated style, and are impeccably preserved. I understand the deep desire of the City of Saint John to repair the slow decay of its once bustling Union Street neighbourhood. But I also see the serious risks of erasing a great Canadian streetscape, one of the best in Saint John that was strong enough to survive the Great 1877 fire, but may not survive a misguided development rush.

Has Saint John learned nothing from its catharsis of the 1960s and 1970s when they wilfully - and expensively - destroyed entire neighbourhoods and some of the finest buildings in Canada? Is Main Street today better than it used to be? Is Haymarket Square today better than it used to be? Is the former Dock Street today better than it used to be? Is the precast street atmosphere of Brunswick Square better than the old MRA buildings? Is the Old General Hospital's corrugated metal replacement on the hill a source of pride for the Port City?

The shattering of Saint John's urban fabric and many of its architectural treasures is hard to forgive from decades ago, but it is understandable. Tear down the old and ornate, and build the new and sterile - that's simply the way cities all over North America did things back when the car was king. But we know better now; at least they do in almost every other city in the world. Destruction of heritage kills cities and restricts economic development. After its people, Saint John's most important resource for the future is its remaining heritage buildings. While I'm not saying that every civic building must be maintained simply because of its age, the cluster of wood, brick and stone structures along Wellington Row, Union Street and Carleton Street most certainly do.

 

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High Line Park, New York. Image courtesy of Quadrangle Architects Limited


36. The Walrus: Green Giants - How urban planners are turning industrial eyesores into popular public spaces
Tim McKeough

The most impressive thing about the High Line, the former elevated industrial rail track running along the west side of Manhattan, is how quickly it transports you to a different place. Climb a simple metal staircase up from the grimy streets of the Meatpacking District, as honking cabs compete for attention with nightclubs, meat lockers, and biker bars, and you arrive at a lush green park where the soundtrack of the city is muted. Long, linear pavers slice through thickets of grasses and flowers, occasionally peeling up from the ground to form benches. Walking from the south, the hulking steel railway viaduct offers a view of the Hudson River before cutting through a former National Biscuit Company factory, built in 1932. Along the way are public art installations and concession carts offering cookies and coffee. A little farther along is a public amphitheatre that tilts down toward Tenth Avenue, where visitors congregate on bleacher seating. Instead of a stage, it features a broad window that frames the cars and trucks coursing along below, turning traffic into urban theatre. The High Line is the rare public project that actually delivers on the promise of the initial planning process. The real thing works just as well as, if not better than, the artistic renderings unveiled five years ago. Yet it almost didnt happen. In the 1990s, the track was slated for demolition, but a community group named Friends of the High Line formed to preserve it, noticing that nature was already turning it into green space. They enlisted the help of celebrity supporters such as Kevin Bacon, Edward Norton, and Diane von Furstenberg, and eventually succeeded. Commissioned to design the park were landscape architecture firm Field Operations and architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

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Richard Moe, photo Washington Post


37. Washington Post: Richard Moe Retiring from National Trust

National Trust's chief retiring

 

There are few pulpits bullier than the one Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has held for more than 16 years. But citing the need for generational change, and his own desire for retirement, Moe, 72, has announced he will step down from the group he helped make the most powerful voice for historic preservation in the country.

Moe, who also served as Walter Mondale's chief of staff in the Senate and when Mondale was vice president, will leave the trust as soon as a replacement can be found, probably in the spring. When he leaves, he will have been the longest-serving president in the trust's 60-year history, a tenure distinguished by organizational growth and dramatic victories.

When Moe came to the trust in 1993, it had an annual budget of $29.2 million, a substantial portion of which came from the federal government. After watching the organization's time and resources consumed in regular battles to preserve that money -- Tom DeLay led a failed effort to zero out the trust's appropriation in 1995 -- Moe decided to wean his group from federal support. It was a bold move, and it signaled a larger cultural change.

"We are now much more creative, much more entrepreneurial," says Moe, who broke the news officially to his staff Tuesday afternoon. Despite the loss of $7 million in annual government funding, the trust's budget grew, to $55 million, and Moe spearheaded two capital campaigns that saw the trust's endowment rise from $33 million to $232 million at the height of the economic boom in 2007.

 

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38. New Statesman: Leave the past behind
William Wiles

The campaigns to restore lost architectural gems signify a malaise in our culture

 

The Euston Arch and the Skylon could not have been more different. The first was a heavyset, stone-faced, Greek-style propylaeum that for 124 years stood at the entrance to Euston Station in London. The second, on the South Bank of the Thames, near Waterloo in London, was a delicate Dan Dare needle supported by a cat's cradle of taut steel cables. At Euston, Victorian railway engineers donned the toga of the ancient empire to place themselves in a family tree of magnificence and permanence. On the South Bank, the organisers of the 1951 Festival of Britain, under the patronage of the Attlee government, sketched out a hi-tech, socialist future.

But these two structures do have certain things in common. They were both demolished in the middle of the 20th century. Both are the subject of campaigns calling for their reconstruction. And together, these campaigns represent a dismal moment in British architecture, symptomatic of a deeper malaise in our culture.

 

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A section of Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland, captured in minute detail with laser scanners, NYT


39. New York Times: Laser Technology and Heritage Conservation
Michael Kimmelman, forwarded by Penina Coopersmith

Scots Aim Lasers at Landmarks-Historic Scotland

 

EDINBURGH — Come April a small team of experts from the Glasgow School of Art and the government heritage entity Historic Scotland will fly to South Dakota at the behest of an organization called CyArk and the United States National Park Service. They will make laser scans and computer models of Mount Rushmore.

Aside from the wee bit of Scottish blood in three of the four enshrined presidents (Lincoln’s the odd man out, in case you’re wondering), there is of course nothing whatsoever Scottish about this most all-American of sites. But cultural expertise transcends national borders. The Scottish team of four or five will spend a few days setting up and moving around their various scanners to capture all of Mount Rushmore’s nooks and crannies, collecting billions of bits of digital information, which will then be brought back here, to be crunched and sorted out by computer.

What results should be the most complete and precise three-dimensional models ever of the site, millions of times more detailed and accurate than the best photographs or films, precise down to the tiniest fraction of a millimeter.

 

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St. Stephen's in the Field, Still at Risk


40. Partners for Sacred Places
Catherine Nasmith

Fresh Ideas on how to Save Churches

 

I attended a session on issues with church buildings as part of the recent Heritage Canada conference. The most interesting speaker was Robert Yaeger from Partners for Sacred Places, a U.S. not for profit that devotes its energies to finding fresh ways to keep congregations in their buildings. 

They use a collaborative approach to assist small congregations with outreach for support and to find new means for the broader community to participate. In hearing their successes I was reminded of the rising of the broader community in Kensington Market and Harbord Village to protect St. Stephen's in the Field from closure a few years back.

In that case new avenues for income were created, but the Friends group was not able to establish a formal relationship with the congregation or the diocese to create a long term partnership of support. The will to preserve both the building and the congregation exists in the broader community, but the mechanism to tap that successfully has yet to be found.

The Partners for Sacred Places provides a very interesting model of success.

 

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41. Place Economics: Rypkema in Nashville
Donovan Rypkema

Making Historic Preservation Relevant for the Next 50 Years

 

I am particularly pleased to have been invited to make this presentation. As you all know this will be the last National Trust conference where Peter Brink is in command. There are probably some people who care as much about historic preservation as Peter, including my long time friends Myrick Howard, David Brown, Randy Shepard and Amy MacDonell and many of you in this room. But I don't think anyone cares more about preservationists - personally and professionally - than does Peter.

Many of you have individually benefited from Peter's leadership, his guidance, and most importantly his friendship. I certainly have, and I want to thank you for that, Peter.

More than any other individual, Peter has given me numerous opportunities over the last two decades to broaden how I think about historic preservation, and has given me the forum - no pun intended - to think out loud about this movement. It was Peter's idea for me to write The Economics of Historic Preservation. It was Peter who got me engaged in the debate about preserving the recent past. It was Peter who a few years ago who gave me the platform of this luncheon to give what I've come to think of as my "historic preservation as foreign policy" speech...and my having been given the opportunity to think about those issues lead directly to the expansion of my professional practice to an international level.
 

 

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DOES ANYBODY KNOW? : Issue No 151 November 18, 2009
 

42. Threat to Fort Gwillimbury-Information needed
Willard Petersen

 

The struggle to save Fort Gwillimbury (the northern terminus of Historic
Yonge Street) continues. Progress is slow. I suppose the military-naval
depot that was there will be ignored during the upcoming 200 year
anniversary of the 1812-14 war.

I am seeking supportive evidence about the Humber-Holland trail. The upper section followed the Paleo shoreline from hwy9 and Weston Road to Bathurst Street.

Willard Petersen

(905) 836-6966
wilhpet@rogers.com

 

Editor's Note: This came by email. Toronto should be interested in the Fort at the other end of Yonge Street. Contact has been made with the Friends of Fort York and others dealing with bi-centennial celebrations. If there are media reports on what is going on I would appreciate being able to share with subscribers.

   
SUPPORT : Issue No 151 November 18, 2009
 


43. 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:
415-21 Nassau Street,
Toronto, Ontario, M5T 3K6


CONTACT : Issue No 151 November 18, 2009
 


44. cnasmith@builtheritagenews.ca