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Keith P.
Oct 20, 2016, 7:50 PM
Interesting, so the modern part is what was a double driveway (with some space from the right side of the old Sun Sun building, which was odd sort of add ons) and the Sun Sun building has some nice historic rehab with a light blue main floor; I like the combination of the old and new, particularly that they maintained the old building. Things are looking good in the DDT. :tup:

Well, they really won't be very good there until Portland Landing and the cringe-worthy Staggers Pub and Grub go away for good. Pretty undesirable part of town.

Ziobrop
Oct 21, 2016, 12:00 PM
Its making the rounds of Social Media, But thought it was worth a mention here.

Phil Pacey Died yesterday.

i know this group mostly didnt agree with his positions, but i will say he worked hard to advocate for what he believed in, and his passing is a big loss for the heritage community.

OldDartmouthMark
Oct 21, 2016, 1:09 PM
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/phil-pacey-death-heritage-trust-1.3815288

RIP. He worked hard for what he believed in, regardless of whether others agreed with him or not.

OldDartmouthMark
Oct 21, 2016, 1:11 PM
Interesting, so the modern part is what was a double driveway (with some space from the right side of the old Sun Sun building, which was odd sort of add ons) and the Sun Sun building has some nice historic rehab with a light blue main floor; I like the combination of the old and new, particularly that they maintained the old building. Things are looking good in the DDT. :tup:

:iagree:

IanWatson
Oct 21, 2016, 1:46 PM
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/phil-pacey-death-heritage-trust-1.3815288

RIP. He worked hard for what he believed in, regardless of whether others agreed with him or not.

And he did so in a very polite and pleasant matter. Even if he disagreed with you, he was a gentleman about it.

Colin May
Oct 21, 2016, 2:02 PM
A tremendous loss to Nova Scotia. The word 'gentleman' is the most apt descriptor of Phil Pacey. I last saw him at the Centre Plan kick-off at Alderney Landing and we spoke a few words to each other but he had to leave and did not appear to be well.
His students always spoke well of him.

fenwick16
Oct 21, 2016, 2:02 PM
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/phil-pacey-death-heritage-trust-1.3815288

RIP. He worked hard for what he believed in, regardless of whether others agreed with him or not.


This is sad news. He was my chemistry professor at Dalhousie University in 1976 and was an excellent professor.

In addition to being a great chemistry professor, he certainly deserves credit for preserving heritage buildings in Halifax.

From what I remember, I don't think he was raised in Nova Scotia but he showed a lot of devotion to the city of Halifax.

JET
Oct 21, 2016, 2:06 PM
Well, they really won't be very good there until Portland Landing and the cringe-worthy Staggers Pub and Grub go away for good. Pretty undesirable part of town.

Unless one desires to be in that area of town. It's improving by leaps and bounds. But, we're trying to keep all the Halifax folks on their side of the harbor, so thanks for helping with that. ;)

eastcoastal
Oct 21, 2016, 3:09 PM
Well, they really won't be very good there until Portland Landing and the cringe-worthy Staggers Pub and Grub go away for good. Pretty undesirable part of town.

Last few times I've ventured across the harbour, I've actually found it quite nice. I lived in Dartmouth in 2001-2002... It's quite different today and feels pretty optimistic in my opinion. I'd suspect that anyone who gets in now will see good return on investment when Kings Wharf etc. get built out.

portapetey
Oct 21, 2016, 5:19 PM
Last few times I've ventured across the harbour, I've actually found it quite nice. I lived in Dartmouth in 2001-2002... It's quite different today and feels pretty optimistic in my opinion. I'd suspect that anyone who gets in now will see good return on investment when Kings Wharf etc. get built out.

I've never understood the Dartmouth hate. I'm not from Dartmouth but I think it has some really beautiful areas. Sure, it has some rough spots too, but so does Halifax, and every other city.

Keith P.
Oct 21, 2016, 5:56 PM
I've never understood the Dartmouth hate. I'm not from Dartmouth but I think it has some really beautiful areas. Sure, it has some rough spots too, but so does Halifax, and every other city.

It's not hate. It was in response to the comment "Things are looking good in the DDT". If you spend any time on that part of Portland near those 2 pubs, they attract a rather unsavory bunch. If those 2 places were replaced with something better, then I might be inclined to agree. But reality is that it is still a street with more than its share of tattoo parlors, 420 shops, vape outfits, and dive bars, along with all the types those kind of places attract. A rather long way to go yet.

halifaxboyns
Oct 21, 2016, 7:47 PM
It's not hate. It was in response to the comment "Things are looking good in the DDT". If you spend any time on that part of Portland near those 2 pubs, they attract a rather unsavory bunch. If those 2 places were replaced with something better, then I might be inclined to agree. But reality is that it is still a street with more than its share of tattoo parlors, 420 shops, vape outfits, and dive bars, along with all the types those kind of places attract. A rather long way to go yet.

I have to say I know Debbie (I believe she is the owner of Staggers pub) and have to say her clients are an interesting mish mash of life. She let a good friend of mine (who is a drag performer) do a drag show every Tuesday night there until he suffered some medical issues (kidney problems). When I was home, I went to that show - never had a problem. The people were friendly and very nice; never heard any negative comments or felt unsafe. Even bought a round for the whole place one night.

She was also responsible for the rainbow sidewalk that sprung up along that block during pride - she's doing what she can to make it better. Not saying its perfect or she's a saint, but I admire her for the effort.

portapetey
Oct 21, 2016, 8:34 PM
It's not hate. It was in response to the comment "Things are looking good in the DDT". If you spend any time on that part of Portland near those 2 pubs, they attract a rather unsavory bunch. If those 2 places were replaced with something better, then I might be inclined to agree. But reality is that it is still a street with more than its share of tattoo parlors, 420 shops, vape outfits, and dive bars, along with all the types those kind of places attract. A rather long way to go yet.

Wasn't referring to your comment, just the general attitude in Halifax that Dartmouth is a seedy dive of a city. I've never understood that.

OldDartmouthMark
Oct 21, 2016, 10:24 PM
Wasn't referring to your comment, just the general attitude in Halifax that Dartmouth is a seedy dive of a city. I've never understood that.

Me neither, but when I was growing up in Dartmouth it always seemed to us that Halifax was the seedy place... ;)

OldDartmouthMark
Oct 21, 2016, 10:28 PM
I have to say I know Debbie (I believe she is the owner of Staggers pub) and have to say her clients are an interesting mish mash of life. She let a good friend of mine (who is a drag performer) do a drag show every Tuesday night there until he suffered some medical issues (kidney problems). When I was home, I went to that show - never had a problem. The people were friendly and very nice; never heard any negative comments or felt unsafe. Even bought a round for the whole place one night.

She was also responsible for the rainbow sidewalk that sprung up along that block during pride - she's doing what she can to make it better. Not saying its perfect or she's a saint, but I admire her for the effort.

That's the difference between actually experiencing a place and getting to know the people vs sticking your nose up in the air because you don't like the way somebody looks.

Donald Trump has shown us how prevalent this attitude still is in the world, unfortunately. :2cents:

counterfactual
Oct 22, 2016, 4:33 AM
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/phil-pacey-death-heritage-trust-1.3815288

RIP. He worked hard for what he believed in, regardless of whether others agreed with him or not.

Yeah, disagreed with him about 90% of the time, but he cared about the city, pushed for a vision. I respect that, especially because he gave a damn.

Keith P.
Oct 22, 2016, 1:47 PM
That's the difference between actually experiencing a place and getting to know the people vs sticking your nose up in the air because you don't like the way somebody looks.

Donald Trump has shown us how prevalent this attitude still is in the world, unfortunately. :2cents:

You obtain the image you cultivate. Naming a drinking place "Staggers" can only leave you with one impression and it isn't a good one.

someone123
Oct 23, 2016, 12:32 AM
I spent a little bit of time exploring downtown Dartmouth recently and I was surprised at how much there was to see. There seemed to be more interesting businesses where in the past there were empty or dark storefronts or very run-down places. I saw the Sun Sun construction site along with a few other little ones; the rendering looks great. Little projects like that are what build good streetscapes in the long run. The bigger projects bring in more people but they are less interesting at street level.

worldlyhaligonian
Oct 25, 2016, 2:29 AM
Interestingly recent drone footage:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6YKdfGL8vI

It show's how much of a "mark" the Queen's marque will make to eliminate that parking lot.

Not many empty lots left. Halifax already looks like a more complete and vibrant city.

someone123
Oct 29, 2016, 12:48 AM
I took this picture a couple of weeks ago when I was briefly in town. Looks like a construction start for the IDEA building:

https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5693/30571077536_5f22ced15e_o.png

counterfactual
Oct 29, 2016, 2:15 AM
Hey Someone123, so I guess this must have been your first visit back to Halifax in a few years, right?

Empire
Oct 29, 2016, 5:46 PM
I would like to see 20% of the Cogswell St. Interchange rebuilt with lost Halifax architecture. Buildings like the Customs House, School for the Blind, Halifax Hotel etc., perhaps even extend Grandville Mall to make a Grand Promenade. One building in particular that would stand out is the Flat Iron building that was demolished where the pedway from Purdy"s to the Delta Barrington now sits. Some, if not all, of the lost architecture could incorporate a tower as part of the development. Does anyone know where the pic of the Flatiron building is on this forum? It was posted about a year ago. I would also make the roundabout like Columbus Circle in New York only smaller scale.

Columbus Circle:
https://www.google.ca/maps/@40.767738,-73.9815874,3a,75y,323.55h,88.31t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1st-CxzSjeRz9x-_LCwH2Ufg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

.

counterfactual
Oct 29, 2016, 6:31 PM
I would like to see 20% of the Cogswell St. Interchange rebuilt with lost Halifax architecture. Buildings like the Customs House, School for the Blind, Halifax Hotel etc., perhaps even extend Grandville Mall to make a Grand Promenade. One building in particular that would stand out is the Flat Iron building that was demolished where the pedway from Purdy"s to the Delta Barrington now sits. Some, if not all, of the lost architecture could incorporate a tower as part of the development. Does anyone know where the pic of the Flatiron building is on this forum? It was posted about a year ago. I would also make the roundabout like Columbus Circle in New York only smaller scale.

Columbus Circle:
https://www.google.ca/maps/@40.767738,-73.9815874,3a,75y,323.55h,88.31t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1st-CxzSjeRz9x-_LCwH2Ufg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

.

Great idea. I'd love to see some legacy heritage mixed with some impressive skyscrapers in this area.

The Customs Building was beautiful.

And I think you're referring to this as the flat iron?

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8483/8196721247_006b93dc20_o.jpg

You can find it here: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?p=7000161#post7000161

What a total disaster the Cogswell Interchange was -- demolished so many fantastic buildings in this area.

Keith P.
Oct 29, 2016, 8:20 PM
The correct name is The Pentagon Building.

It would make little sense to do an authentic recreation of it given the small scale, but perhaps something bigger that was inspired by it would be appropriate.

Our waterfront and downtown already has enough Disney-style faux heritage so I would not encourage any further.

someone123
Oct 29, 2016, 8:46 PM
Hey Someone123, so I guess this must have been your first visit back to Halifax in a few years, right?

Yep, I hadn't been back since 2014. Unfortunately I only had a few days (mostly spent visiting family), but it was a nice visit and the weather was decent. I managed to get out a couple of times to take pictures.

someone123
Oct 29, 2016, 10:40 PM
I think this may already have been posted but here's a reno job underway on Agricola:

https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5507/30603481925_3ee3714391_o.png

Another project on Portland Street:

https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5479/30349049440_3c404cf690_o.png

Maybe not so new but some nice reno jobs nearby:

https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5346/30648847185_d3b4a70cbc_o.png

Heritage restoration on Barrington. Note how the second-storey windows have been modified to restore the original fenestration pattern:

https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5519/30629551305_a5029df9f1_o.png

The North American Life building on the corner (former John W. Doull bookstore) is a lovely building but could use some restoration work as well. In particular, it was stipped of its original roof ornamentation and has an ugly flat metal roof covering that doesn't look very good.

Empire
Oct 30, 2016, 12:28 AM
Great idea. I'd love to see some legacy heritage mixed with some impressive skyscrapers in this area.

The Customs Building was beautiful.

And I think you're referring to this as the flat iron?

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8483/8196721247_006b93dc20_o.jpg

You can find it here: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?p=7000161#post7000161

What a total disaster the Cogwells Exchange was -- demolished so many fantastic buildings in this area.

Yes this is the building, thanks for posting. I think there should there should be a committee to assess what has been lost and find a way to revive our demolished heritage.

counterfactual
Oct 30, 2016, 4:33 AM
Here's another view, from above, of the Pentagon Building:

http://i57.tinypic.com/5v0yrr.jpg

Look at all those older buildings around it; looks like a lot of old brick... all swept away.

counterfactual
Oct 30, 2016, 4:36 AM
The South Molton Street Building in London is a cool modern version of a kind of flat iron design:

http://ad009cdnb.archdaily.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/51d2f6e5b3fc4beae10000d6_south-molton-street-building-dsdha_dsdha_the_south_molton_street_building_1_-c-dsdha-706x1000.jpg

http://ad009cdnb.archdaily.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/51d2f701b3fc4beae10000d8_south-molton-street-building-dsdha_dsdha_the_south_molton_street_building_5_-c-dennis_gilbert-706x1000.jpg

More here: http://www.archdaily.com/396878/south-molton-street-building-dsdha/


Something like this would be iconic in Halifax, like the Library.

Drybrain
Oct 30, 2016, 1:55 PM
Yes this is the building, thanks for posting. I think there should there should be a committee to assess what has been lost and find a way to revive our demolished heritage.

I think the only way this might happen is to get an advocacy group together for this and start formally pestering city planners and the mayor, and getting the idea out in the press, using other examples where this sort of thing has been done. And, really, it would help to have a developer onside interested in pursuing this.

As to Keith's concern, I wouldn't want to see faux heritage either. But a building constructed with modern techniques, but clad and decorated in authentic historical materials, would be great.

I'm eager to see the Cogswell area rebuilt to an intimate urban scale, and I'll be happy to see mostly modern buildings, but a couple of the most significant buildings lost there or adjacent to the area would be a great complement.

counterfactual
Oct 30, 2016, 3:01 PM
Yep, I hadn't been back since 2014. Unfortunately I only had a few days (mostly spent visiting family), but it was a nice visit and the weather was decent. I managed to get out a couple of times to take pictures.

Well, you're one of the best posters on here, so glad you had a chance to get an "updated" view!

someone123
Oct 30, 2016, 8:54 PM
Well, you're one of the best posters on here, so glad you had a chance to get an "updated" view!

Thanks. I wish I had had a bit more time to explore but it was nice to check out a lot of the construction sites, tour the library (I managed to negotiate the stairs without falling to my death), and see so many of the little changes that have happened over the past few years. It's probably a good sign that when I go back for a few days I leave still wanting to visit more instead of getting bored.

The biggest thing that stood out to me was that the city seemed to have a lot more interesting bars, restaurants, and shops to visit. This includes downtown Dartmouth. These small businesses open up gradually so the overall effect is probably easy to miss when you're out and about in the city every day but after 2+ years the changes are very noticeable. I'm hoping downtown Halifax will get an even bigger shot in the arm when buildings like the Maple fill up with residents and tenants.

Next time I visit the Nova Centre will probably be open. It'll be interesting to see the interior. I don't get the negativity about the exterior appearance of the complex at all; I think it looks great and is a huge improvement over what used to be there, even before it was a big empty pit. Queen's Marque will be a big change too. It looks like something from a larger waterfront city, like Boston or Hamburg, while a lot of the current features on the Halifax waterfront, aside from the real heritage buildings, are kind of rinky dink. The Halifax waterfront needs 8 or 10 Queen's Marque and Cunard Block type developments.

teddifax
Oct 30, 2016, 9:09 PM
Isn't International Place supposed to have a flat iron type shape, if it ever gets built?

worldlyhaligonian
Oct 30, 2016, 10:04 PM
Isn't International Place supposed to have a flat iron type shape, if it ever gets built?

Yes, and it would be a great way to cap off the end of Granville Mall.

http://skyscraperpage.com/gallery/images/thumb/71NZHNXP2ZMETZNZCYGG.jpg

Source: SSP

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-CThXFB0wVmA/UPX0vCduqoI/AAAAAAAANE8/oInqDfAVPFI/s1600/internationalplace.jpg

Source: Toronto Skyscraper and Condo Blog

Keith P.
Oct 31, 2016, 1:16 AM
I managed to negotiate the stairs without falling to my death.


A narrow escape, most likely, but glad nevertheless. :runaway:

IanWatson
Oct 31, 2016, 11:45 AM
Personally, I'm not too keen to see any sort of heritage reconstruction on the Cogswell lands. That heritage is, sadly, gone. It seems crazy to worry about "rebuilding" it there while we lose heritage elsewhere. Cogswell, in my mind, should be very modern and very tall to fill that need in the city, and existing heritage should be preserved to fill that need in the city.

I think the approach of something like International Place makes a lot more sense, and would be a really nice contrast to the Granville Street context.

Phalanx
Oct 31, 2016, 12:22 PM
Yeah, once it's gone, it's gone, I'm afraid. Unless original materials are saved, or a lot of time and money is spent on matching materials and craftsmanship, I fear that any attempt at recreating old buildings would come off looking cheap and fake. No one wants to spend the kind of money it would take to do it right anymore.

OldDartmouthMark
Oct 31, 2016, 1:45 PM
Yeah, once it's gone, it's gone, I'm afraid. Unless original materials are saved, or a lot of time and money is spent on matching materials and craftsmanship, I fear that any attempt at recreating old buildings would come off looking cheap and fake. No one wants to spend the kind of money it would take to do it right anymore.

I have to agree with that. As much as I think it would be cool to see some of those long-lost buildings reproduced, unfortunately the materials and craftsmanship to do it right would not be available today for an acceptable price point. If you could even find somebody who has the skills and knowledge to do it properly, the time it would take to do it would put the price through the roof, IMHO.

Meanwhile, as Ian mentioned, actual heritage properties are still being leveled, or in danger of, for the sake of cost.

I am curious of how the "Roy Building" will turn out in their "recreation" of the original. I'm under the impression that it will get higher-quality finishes than most, as it will be a high-end building, but pulling off 'faux heritage' that doesn't look faux is a difficult undertaking. I'm hoping for the best! :tup:

OldDartmouthMark
Oct 31, 2016, 2:45 PM
Great idea. I'd love to see some legacy heritage mixed with some impressive skyscrapers in this area.

The Customs Building was beautiful.

And I think you're referring to this as the flat iron?

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8483/8196721247_006b93dc20_o.jpg

You can find it here: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?p=7000161#post7000161

What a total disaster the Cogswell Interchange was -- demolished so many fantastic buildings in this area.

Just because... a gratuitous photo of the pentagon block viewed from the west side during an earlier time (late 1800s, I'm guessing):

https://novascotia.ca/archives/Rogers/archives.asp?ID=42

https://novascotia.ca/archives/images/Rogers/200600992.jpg

Edit: Added contemporary advertising:

https://novascotia.ca/archives/Rogers/archives.asp?ID=43

https://novascotia.ca/archives/images/Rogers/200600993.jpg

Drybrain
Nov 1, 2016, 2:25 AM
I am curious of how the "Roy Building" will turn out in their "recreation" of the original. I'm under the impression that it will get higher-quality finishes than most, as it will be a high-end building, but pulling off 'faux heritage' that doesn't look faux is a difficult undertaking. I'm hoping for the best! :tup:

It shouldn't be difficult, but yes, it rarely works out. But there are still kilns that specialize in producing heritage brick, snd there are still stonemasons and the like who work on restorations. Certainly it wouldn't be cheap to do it, of course, but the materials and expertise exist.

someone123
Nov 1, 2016, 2:58 AM
I don't think I've posted this one yet. A new brick building on Brunswick Street that looks pretty good. Most of this streetscape didn't exist 15 years ago. The empty sites across the street still represent a huge opportunity.

https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5502/30482097751_a708634eb1_o.png

someone123
Nov 1, 2016, 3:01 AM
Certainly it wouldn't be cheap to do it, of course, but the materials and expertise exist.

I doubt it would really be that great a cost for a large, high-end project, assuming we're talking about doing detailing for lower floors rather than creating a giant carved stone facade.

Stone construction is actually fairly common in Halifax for newer public buildings. A lot of projects around Dalhousie have used sandstone and granite and they have not had enormous budgets. It should also be pointed out that a 4-storey sandstone facade crafted by expert Scottish stonemasons in 1850's Halifax probably wasn't cheap either. Those were the showcase projects of their day, vanity buildings for businesses or public buildings meant to last.

I think the most important reason why we don't see more high-quality materials is that developers don't feel like the extra cost would generate returns through higher sales prices or rents. This is probably true since the amenity is shared with the public. If this is important, it's up to the city to encourage it. Maybe allow or encourage developers to spend their "public art" money on high-end street-level finishes and pedestrian amenities rather than fake lighthouses?

Or the city could just demand somewhat competent architectural design. That Brunswick Street building above looks okay and it probably didn't have an enormous budget. Often buildings look better when they are simpler, and good proportions don't necessarily add to the cost.

teddifax
Nov 1, 2016, 6:07 PM
I believe that is Maitland St., near Portland Place?

Metalsales
Nov 1, 2016, 8:22 PM
I doubt it would really be that great a cost for a large, high-end project, assuming we're talking about doing detailing for lower floors rather than creating a giant carved stone facade.

Stone construction is actually fairly common in Halifax for newer public buildings. A lot of projects around Dalhousie have used sandstone and granite and they have not had enormous budgets. It should also be pointed out that a 4-storey sandstone facade crafted by expert Scottish stonemasons in 1850's Halifax probably wasn't cheap either. Those were the showcase projects of their day, vanity buildings for businesses or public buildings meant to last.

I think the most important reason why we don't see more high-quality materials is that developers don't feel like the extra cost would generate returns through higher sales prices or rents. This is probably true since the amenity is shared with the public. If this is important, it's up to the city to encourage it. Maybe allow or encourage developers to spend their "public art" money on high-end street-level finishes and pedestrian amenities rather than fake lighthouses?

Or the city could just demand somewhat competent architectural design. That Brunswick Street building above looks okay and it probably didn't have an enormous budget. Often buildings look better when they are simpler, and good proportions don't necessarily add to the cost.


This is 100% true. It is the same reason why we get buildings that look like Icon Bay, Point North, Kings Wharf.....they use the cheapest window systems available and they all turn out looking the same. No imagination or diversity in the glazing.

Colin May
Nov 2, 2016, 1:02 AM
For all those who have a 'build taller' fetish here is what you have been waiting for :
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3895436/New-800million-London-skyscraper-billed-western-Europe-s-tallest-building-ridiculed-looking-like-male-genitalia-air.html

Keith P.
Nov 2, 2016, 2:23 AM
Well, in the grand HRM tradition of keeping things short and stubby, we have had the official municipal Victorian-style poster kiosks here for many years which resemble that somewhat, on a smaller scale.

counterfactual
Nov 2, 2016, 4:16 AM
For all those who have a 'build taller' fetish here is what you have been waiting for :
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3895436/New-800million-London-skyscraper-billed-western-Europe-s-tallest-building-ridiculed-looking-like-male-genitalia-air.html

I haven't seen a single poster anywhere on these boards proposing anything either that tall for Halifax, or that stupid looking.

someone123
Nov 2, 2016, 4:50 AM
For all those who have a 'build taller' fetish here is what you have been waiting for :
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3895436/New-800million-London-skyscraper-billed-western-Europe-s-tallest-building-ridiculed-looking-like-male-genitalia-air.html

In reality it's the people who accuse architects of making phallic-looking buildings who are puerile. So what if they look phallic? Who cares beyond people who have the level of maturity of a twelve year old? No surprise this was in the Daily Mail.

OldDartmouthMark
Nov 3, 2016, 3:12 PM
I doubt it would really be that great a cost for a large, high-end project, assuming we're talking about doing detailing for lower floors rather than creating a giant carved stone facade.

Stone construction is actually fairly common in Halifax for newer public buildings. A lot of projects around Dalhousie have used sandstone and granite and they have not had enormous budgets. It should also be pointed out that a 4-storey sandstone facade crafted by expert Scottish stonemasons in 1850's Halifax probably wasn't cheap either. Those were the showcase projects of their day, vanity buildings for businesses or public buildings meant to last.

I think the most important reason why we don't see more high-quality materials is that developers don't feel like the extra cost would generate returns through higher sales prices or rents. This is probably true since the amenity is shared with the public. If this is important, it's up to the city to encourage it. Maybe allow or encourage developers to spend their "public art" money on high-end street-level finishes and pedestrian amenities rather than fake lighthouses?

Or the city could just demand somewhat competent architectural design. That Brunswick Street building above looks okay and it probably didn't have an enormous budget. Often buildings look better when they are simpler, and good proportions don't necessarily add to the cost.

Mostly agree, though I think it would be more difficult if you are trying to replicate a previously existing building. Stone construction still exists, but not built and detailed to the level of the 19th century stonemasons, IMHO, and I suspect that the amount of handwork required to do proper detailing would drive the costs up somewhat.

That said, it is possible, but not likely considering the current political/development climate that exists in Halifax. We are seeing some developers stepping up and restoring existing, but not so much creating new "old" buildings. I'd applaud any movement towards this, however.

someone123
Nov 3, 2016, 6:35 PM
Here is a CBC article entitled "Architects say city hall has big role in building a beautiful Halifax": http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/halifax-architecture-by-design-1.3794513

I thought it sounded promising but then when I read it there was almost no content on what makes buildings or neighbourhoods beautiful except comments that seem to suggest that 80% or more of beauty really comes down to low density and consistency of building heights.

The main tenets of urban design as described in the article are:

1 - Values of scale. Make sure the new stuff is like the old stuff in terms of scale. Presumably only small buildings built before WWII count when determining the optimal scale of a neighbourhood.
2 - Community character, i.e. make sure nothing is too densely built up. See (1).
3 - Neighbourhood livability. Example: make sure that new stuff isn't too large, or it will hurt livability. See (1).

They really drive the point home with a comment in the end that says that if you don't get this scale issue right you can dress up a building all you like but it's still a "sow's ear". People who like the Eiffel Tower or Chrysler Building have actually been fooled all these years; they are just not sophisticated to see those buildings as the ugly livability-sappers they truly are.

Is this really what the architects say or do the CBC reporters choose only to report on the scale issue? A charitable interpretation is that the architects interviewed actually did share a lot more useful wisdom but that it was pruned out by the writer of the article since it didn't tie in with the desired anti-density message.

If continuity of scale is so important then why do people like to live in neighbourhoods like Greenwich Village, New York, which has a mix of 2-4 storey lowrise buildings combined with heritage highrises that runs the full gamut of heights that you find in Halifax (and then some probably), and which has a much higher overall density than anywhere in Halifax?

Similarly ultra-liveable urban planning paradise Copenhagen has a mix of 4-6 storey buildings which are much denser than Halifax. If we were to transplant an optimally-planned Copenhagen neighbourhood there to Halifax would it turn out to be a terrible mistake because it would abut some smaller houses?

Does livability even have a an objective meaning? It seems like a code word for "whatever privileged property owners want".

IanWatson
Nov 3, 2016, 7:43 PM
I feel like maybe you're reading too much into the article? Nowhere does the article mention height, and the only mention of density is to suggest that yeah, developers will push the limits of density on their site and it's up to city hall to be the counterbalance to that. "Scale" isn't necessarily referring to height; a large building with artfully-done details can scale well to smaller buildings in its neighbourhood.

My takeaway from the article is that the architects are saying that developers come to them with the building they want and ask them to dress it up all nice an' fancy; the architects want to be involved from the start to help developers set the parameters on what the building should be.

someone123
Nov 3, 2016, 9:31 PM
I feel like maybe you're reading too much into the article? Nowhere does the article mention height, and the only mention of density is to suggest that yeah, developers will push the limits of density on their site and it's up to city hall to be the counterbalance to that.

Height and density are more or less the same thing in an urban setting where lot coverage is high, ceiling heights are fairly standard, and subterranean dwellings are discouraged. If they did mean something other than height with the term "scale" then they communicated their point poorly, because the development debate in Halifax remains dominated by concerns over height.

The link between "scale" and density is also unfortunate because as I pointed out Halifax is for the most part very low density. A lot of people in Halifax think that higher density (conflated with "scale" in the article) means less "livability". So they think that if you go beyond low density single family dwellings livability will suffer. The article isn't going to help these people to see the issue in a more nuanced way.

My takeaway from the article is that the architects are saying that developers come to them with the building they want and ask them to dress it up all nice an' fancy; the architects want to be involved from the start to help developers set the parameters on what the building should be.

Well here is a direct quote:

If the architect is instead brought in to finish the final design of a large building that's conceived without the values of scale, community character and neighbourhood livability in mind, said Macy, "modern design can try and dress up [that building] any way you want."

My paraphrasing would be: if the developers start out by building something that is too large (tall, but maybe wide or deep, it doesn't matter), then nothing can be done to save the project. Scale trumps all other concerns, and the correct scale is one that is similar to the buildings that are there already. Most buildings in Halifax are small single family dwellings and low-slung commercial buildings. Consequently we need architects to tell developers to build small buildings.

Colin May
Nov 4, 2016, 2:58 AM
It all changed on October 19 2016 and the staff know that.
At the swearing in I talked with several old and new members of council and they know how the dynamics have changed. I anticipate significant changes regarding slum landlords and crappy developers.

Keith P.
Nov 4, 2016, 3:37 AM
It all changed on October 19 2016 and the staff know that.
At the swearing in I talked with several old and new members of council and they know how the dynamics have changed. I anticipate significant changes regarding slum landlords and crappy developers.

Don't hold your breath. The bureaucrats pull the strings in this town.

counterfactual
Nov 4, 2016, 4:19 AM
It all changed on October 19 2016 and the staff know that.
At the swearing in I talked with several old and new members of council and they know how the dynamics have changed. I anticipate significant changes regarding slum landlords and crappy developers.

Don't hold your breath. The bureaucrats pull the strings in this town.

The funny thing here, is both of you mistrust HRM planning, but I think for different reasons.

Colin thinks HRM planning has been to easy on developers.

Keith, I'm guessing they've played too easy on NIMBYs.

I'd be curious to know why things might have changed due to the election? Did I miss countless people running on an anti-height / anti-STV platform?

Or is it like the Centre Plan -- hidden from the people until after the election, and then the real agenda emerges?

counterfactual
Nov 4, 2016, 4:23 AM
Here is a CBC article entitled "Architects say city hall has big role in building a beautiful Halifax": http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/halifax-architecture-by-design-1.3794513

I thought it sounded promising but then when I read it there was almost no content on what makes buildings or neighbourhoods beautiful except comments that seem to suggest that 80% or more of beauty really comes down to low density and consistency of building heights.

The main tenets of urban design as described in the article are:

1 - Values of scale. Make sure the new stuff is like the old stuff in terms of scale. Presumably only small buildings built before WWII count when determining the optimal scale of a neighbourhood.
2 - Community character, i.e. make sure nothing is too densely built up. See (1).
3 - Neighbourhood livability. Example: make sure that new stuff isn't too large, or it will hurt livability. See (1).

They really drive the point home with a comment in the end that says that if you don't get this scale issue right you can dress up a building all you like but it's still a "sow's ear". People who like the Eiffel Tower or Chrysler Building have actually been fooled all these years; they are just not sophisticated to see those buildings as the ugly livability-sappers they truly are.

Is this really what the architects say or do the CBC reporters choose only to report on the scale issue? A charitable interpretation is that the architects interviewed actually did share a lot more useful wisdom but that it was pruned out by the writer of the article since it didn't tie in with the desired anti-density message.

If continuity of scale is so important then why do people like to live in neighbourhoods like Greenwich Village, New York, which has a mix of 2-4 storey lowrise buildings combined with heritage highrises that runs the full gamut of heights that you find in Halifax (and then some probably), and which has a much higher overall density than anywhere in Halifax?

Similarly ultra-liveable urban planning paradise Copenhagen has a mix of 4-6 storey buildings which are much denser than Halifax. If we were to transplant an optimally-planned Copenhagen neighbourhood there to Halifax would it turn out to be a terrible mistake because it would abut some smaller houses?

Does livability even have a an objective meaning? It seems like a code word for "whatever privileged property owners want".

This is how I read it as well. It's certainly an "angle" that CBC news Halifax has taken constantly on downtown development issues/stories.

This quote said it all:

If the architect is instead brought in to finish the final design of a large building that's conceived without the values of scale, community character and neighbourhood livability in mind, said Macy, "modern design can try and dress up [that building] any way you want."

Note the language -- "large building" (and not "very dense but short building") conceived without "scale, community character", etc. They're quite clearly referring to a tall building.

And the idea that "low density" means better livability seems absolutely hair-brained to me. That if a developer increases density then that is going to reduce the quality of living for the community.

One of Halifax and Dartmouth's downtown's issues, for literally decades, was lack of density -- empty streets, dead neighborhoods, suburban commuting, nothing to sustain small biz in the core, etc. And with fewer people around, more crime.

The architects, at least as spun by the CBC, seem to have it backwards.

Colin May
Nov 4, 2016, 3:06 PM
The funny thing here, is both of you mistrust HRM planning, but I think for different reasons.

Colin thinks HRM planning has been to easy on developers.

Keith, I'm guessing they've played too easy on NIMBYs.

I'd be curious to know why things might have changed due to the election? Did I miss countless people running on an anti-height / anti-STV platform?

Or is it like the Centre Plan -- hidden from the people until after the election, and then the real agenda emerges?
No.
I think previous councils had a majority of members who voted for every proposal and here is a quote from a recently defeated candidate who said to me before the election : 'most of them hate Mason and Watts '. What we have now is a group of younger councillors who will not vote for a Wellington development, they won't vote for Wellington out of spite and they will have a much different agenda than Hendsbee, Rankin et al.
There were plenty of candidates who mentioned 'concerns about development' when interviewed by media and now they are councillors.

Keith P.
Nov 4, 2016, 4:52 PM
No.
I think previous councils had a majority of members who voted for every proposal and here is a quote from a recently defeated candidate who said to me before the election : 'most of them hate Mason and Watts '. What we have now is a group of younger councillors who will not vote for a Wellington development, they won't vote for Wellington out of spite and they will have a much different agenda than Hendsbee, Rankin et al.
There were plenty of candidates who mentioned 'concerns about development' when interviewed by media and now they are councillors.


All it takes is a bit of exposure to a few of the bigger pains on Council and it will all be back to the same schism. It is quite true that most of the old Council hated Mason and Watts. With only 5 new members it won't take much to reinstate that bloc.

Colin May
Nov 4, 2016, 6:44 PM
All it takes is a bit of exposure to a few of the bigger pains on Council and it will all be back to the same schism. It is quite true that most of the old Council hated Mason and Watts. With only 5 new members it won't take much to reinstate that bloc.

Don't know why any councillors 'hated' Mason & Watts.
Mosher, Rankin, Gloria gone. Rankin has gone to pension heaven.
Replaced by people who will vote the opposite way on many issues. Developers should be worried, the planners will soon have different marching orders.

Empire
Nov 5, 2016, 9:21 PM
I would like to see some buildings based on historic architecture from Halifax and elsewhere rise at the Cogswell St. Interchange site. The Chicago school built in 1904 shown here is a good example of what could be done. It has style but not too ornate to construct today.

http://i1172.photobucket.com/albums/r565/ckempton1/The%20Chicago%20School_zpsztq69kdx.jpg (http://s1172.photobucket.com/user/ckempton1/media/The%20Chicago%20School_zpsztq69kdx.jpg.html)

fenwick16
Nov 5, 2016, 9:41 PM
I would like to see some buildings based on historic architecture from Halifax and elsewhere rise at the Cogswell St. Interchange site. The Chicago school built in 1904 shown here is a good example of what could be done. It has style but not too ornate to construct today.

http://i1172.photobucket.com/albums/r565/ckempton1/The%20Chicago%20School_zpsztq69kdx.jpg (http://s1172.photobucket.com/user/ckempton1/media/The%20Chicago%20School_zpsztq69kdx.jpg.html)

I would to love to see buildings like this built today. Attractive historic buildings that are still eye catching today have stood the test of time.

Hali87
Nov 5, 2016, 9:43 PM
Well here is a direct quote:
If the architect is instead brought in to finish the final design of a large building that's conceived without the values of scale, community character and neighbourhood livability in mind, said Macy, "modern design can try and dress up [that building] any way you want."
My paraphrasing would be: if the developers start out by building something that is too large (tall, but maybe wide or deep, it doesn't matter), then nothing can be done to save the project. Scale trumps all other concerns, and the correct scale is one that is similar to the buildings that are there already. Most buildings in Halifax are small single family dwellings and low-slung commercial buildings. Consequently we need architects to tell developers to build small buildings.

I read this in the same was as IanWatson - that architects currently aren't involved in many stages of building design, but should be. Often it is a case of the developer deciding on a building envelope, site plan and rough design and then bringing in an architect to figure out the details (but within the parameters they've already set out). If architects were involved from the start (sometimes they are apparently not involved at all) then we would probably end up with more buildings that respond to the site context (like the Pearl or the Vic) and fewer that feel generic/out of place/do not respond to site very well (Monaghan Square comes to mind). However this is based on conversations I've had with other architects so her words sounded more like confirmation of what I'd already heard - possible that she was talking exclusively about height, or that she meant both, I agree the article made it unclear.

Keith P.
Nov 5, 2016, 10:40 PM
I would like to see some buildings based on historic architecture from Halifax and elsewhere rise at the Cogswell St. Interchange site. The Chicago school built in 1904 shown here is a good example of what could be done. It has style but not too ornate to construct today.

http://i1172.photobucket.com/albums/r565/ckempton1/The%20Chicago%20School_zpsztq69kdx.jpg (http://s1172.photobucket.com/user/ckempton1/media/The%20Chicago%20School_zpsztq69kdx.jpg.html)


Are they still building structures of this style in Chicago?

counterfactual
Nov 6, 2016, 5:19 AM
No.
I think previous councils had a majority of members who voted for every proposal and here is a quote from a recently defeated candidate who said to me before the election : 'most of them hate Mason and Watts '. What we have now is a group of younger councillors who will not vote for a Wellington development, they won't vote for Wellington out of spite and they will have a much different agenda than Hendsbee, Rankin et al.
There were plenty of candidates who mentioned 'concerns about development' when interviewed by media and now they are councillors.

Some Councillors "mentioned" their "concerns" and were elected. Sounds like a clear and broad democratic mandate to revolutionize development to me!

There are 5 new Councillors. One (Lindell Smith) replaces Watts who was always a reliable anti-development vote. So that's a wash.

Sam Austin is a regular poster on here, and he has some very good ideas as an urban planner, and is definitely no anti-height NIMBY.

So, that leaves 3 votes on a Council of 16.

That's your revolution?

counterfactual
Nov 6, 2016, 5:22 AM
I would like to see some buildings based on historic architecture from Halifax and elsewhere rise at the Cogswell St. Interchange site. The Chicago school built in 1904 shown here is a good example of what could be done. It has style but not too ornate to construct today.

http://i1172.photobucket.com/albums/r565/ckempton1/The%20Chicago%20School_zpsztq69kdx.jpg (http://s1172.photobucket.com/user/ckempton1/media/The%20Chicago%20School_zpsztq69kdx.jpg.html)

Beautiful! I actually was hoping The Alexander would look something like this. Seems not.

counterfactual
Nov 6, 2016, 5:33 AM
I read this in the same was as IanWatson - that architects currently aren't involved in many stages of building design, but should be. Often it is a case of the developer deciding on a building envelope, site plan and rough design and then bringing in an architect to figure out the details (but within the parameters they've already set out). If architects were involved from the start (sometimes they are apparently not involved at all) then we would probably end up with more buildings that respond to the site context (like the Pearl or the Vic) and fewer that feel generic/out of place/do not respond to site very well (Monaghan Square comes to mind). However this is based on conversations I've had with other architects so her words sounded more like confirmation of what I'd already heard - possible that she was talking exclusively about height, or that she meant both, I agree the article made it unclear.

Sorry, but I think someone123's reading is the better one. There is a hint of this idea (more involvement in early design for architects) in the article, but it's clearly NOT the main thrust of the piece.

It's kind of hard to miss the main point -- it's basically regurgitated and re-stated in about three different ways through out. The architects are critical of developments bringing increased density and along the way implicitly critiquing height. The article does so by making a direct connection between low-density and livability, suggesting we get developments that are higher density, which are bad, because added density decrease livability-- a laughable idea given Halifax has struggled immensely to revive its downtown core, and return more people and vibrancy to its streets. We need more density in many areas, not less.

Overall a bad article offering regressive ideas, even arguably NIMBYism dressed up in professional lingo, for downtown. In other words, pretty standard fair for CBC News Halifax's coverage of planning/development in this City. I'm a CBC fan, but the local outlet is awful on these issues.

OldDartmouthMark
Nov 6, 2016, 6:27 AM
I would like to see some buildings based on historic architecture from Halifax and elsewhere rise at the Cogswell St. Interchange site. The Chicago school built in 1904 shown here is a good example of what could be done. It has style but not too ornate to construct today.

http://i1172.photobucket.com/albums/r565/ckempton1/The%20Chicago%20School_zpsztq69kdx.jpg (http://s1172.photobucket.com/user/ckempton1/media/The%20Chicago%20School_zpsztq69kdx.jpg.html)

I think that's a great idea. Actually it would blend in well with the collection of old buildings and façades in the Granville/Historic Properties area.

worldlyhaligonian
Nov 6, 2016, 9:05 PM
Overall a bad article offering regressive ideas, even arguably NIMBYism dressed up in professional lingo, for downtown. In other words, pretty standard fair for CBC News Halifax's coverage of planning/development in this City. I'm a CBC fan, but the local outlet is awful on these issues.

Quite simply, there is a bias/agenda here. It doesn't have to be rooted in any kind of truth or fairness (like when people call variances "illegal").

Dmajackson
Nov 16, 2016, 4:55 PM
Public Informaiton Meeting - Case H00427 & H00428

Thu, 1 December, 18:30 – 21:00

Halifax City Hall, 1841 Agryle Street, Halifax, NS, Canada (map)

As part of Heritage Advisory Committee meeting

Case H00427 Application for Demolition of a registered municipal heritage property located at 1333-35 Barrington Street, Halifax.

Case H00428 Application for Demolition of a registered municipal heritage property located at 1349-53 Barrington Street, Halifax

Halifaxns
Nov 16, 2016, 5:13 PM
Public Informaiton Meeting - Case H00427 & H00428

Thu, 1 December, 18:30 – 21:00

Halifax City Hall, 1841 Agryle Street, Halifax, NS, Canada (map)

As part of Heritage Advisory Committee meeting

Case H00427 Application for Demolition of a registered municipal heritage property located at 1333-35 Barrington Street, Halifax.

Case H00428 Application for Demolition of a registered municipal heritage property located at 1349-53 Barrington Street, Halifax

What are the developers thinking???? That building can be used like many in Toronto as a gateway to a modern tower instead of destroying the beautiful building it is! I'm all for development, however this isn't appropriate and it'll be a huge mistake to raze 1351 Barrington

Drybrain
Nov 16, 2016, 8:50 PM
Public Informaiton Meeting - Case H00427 & H00428

Thu, 1 December, 18:30 – 21:00

Halifax City Hall, 1841 Agryle Street, Halifax, NS, Canada (map)

As part of Heritage Advisory Committee meeting

Case H00427 Application for Demolition of a registered municipal heritage property located at 1333-35 Barrington Street, Halifax.

Case H00428 Application for Demolition of a registered municipal heritage property located at 1349-53 Barrington Street, Halifax

Is there a link for this? I see nothing online.

yal
Nov 17, 2016, 3:28 PM
Public Informaiton Meeting - Case H00427 & H00428

Thu, 1 December, 18:30 – 21:00

Halifax City Hall, 1841 Agryle Street, Halifax, NS, Canada (map)

As part of Heritage Advisory Committee meeting

Case H00427 Application for Demolition of a registered municipal heritage property located at 1333-35 Barrington Street, Halifax.

Case H00428 Application for Demolition of a registered municipal heritage property located at 1349-53 Barrington Street, Halifax

This is Dexel for you. Pillaging the heritage one block at a time... Look at their future works page:

http://www.dexel.ca/Future-Work

3 out of 5 projects there will destroy very unique heritage buildings. They just dont care.

TheGreenBastard
Nov 17, 2016, 4:11 PM
This is Dexel for you. Pillaging the heritage one block at a time... Look at their future works page:

http://www.dexel.ca/Future-Work

3 out of 5 projects there will destroy very unique heritage buildings. They just dont care.

The buildings on Barrington are quite unfortunate. There must be a way to stop them..


I will say though that they have built some of my favourite modern buildings in Halifax. Looking forward to SGW if that ever gets approved....

someone123
Nov 17, 2016, 5:01 PM
On the bright side they now list 6324 Quinpool and that's the site of a McDonald's with parking lot and drive through, so it will be hard for that lot to end up looking any worse.

I wonder what's up with the empty lot across the street? I think it used to be a gas station? Maybe it still needs remediation.

JET
Nov 17, 2016, 5:35 PM
They did a nice job with Greenvale School; why can't the City limit what they can do with Historic Buildings?

Ziobrop
Nov 17, 2016, 5:53 PM
They did a nice job with Greenvale School; why can't the City limit what they can do with Historic Buildings?

the provinces heritage act is spineless. even if the city denies a demolition permit, the developer can do it as of right in year 3. the only chance these buildings have is for the barrington south HCD to come into effect before that year 3 - as hcd's eliminate as of right year 3 demos unless allowed by the hcd's policies.

someone123
Nov 17, 2016, 6:32 PM
the provinces heritage act is spineless. even if the city denies a demolition permit, the developer can do it as of right in year 3. the only chance these buildings have is for the barrington south HCD to come into effect before that year 3 - as hcd's eliminate as of right year 3 demos unless allowed by the hcd's policies.

Dexel gets a lot of heat but they are simply playing by bad rules. If they didn't buy up these properties there's a good chance that some other developer would; they have an incentive to find underdeveloped properties and a lot of those have heritage buildings on them.

I wonder what the holdup is with the Barrington South heritage conservation district? It has been talked about for years. I would also like to see one that encompasses areas like Brunswick Street and Falkland/Maynard.

I wish there were also more of an emphasis on good adaptive reuse in the planning rules. Unfortunately it seems like the city is stuck in an all-or-nothing debate where heritage advocates want many buildings preserved in amber and developers are totally ambivalent. There are lots of heritage buildings on big lots that could accommodate more development, and some of the heritage building additions like Barrington Espace have worked out really nicely. Others have not been so great, but I don't think there are any guidelines around how to reuse buildings (e.g. dead facadism vs. retaining old entrances and interior spaces).

Ziobrop
Nov 17, 2016, 6:35 PM
Dexel gets a lot of heat but they are simply playing by bad rules. If they didn't buy up these properties there's a good chance that some other developer would; they have an incentive to find underdeveloped properties and a lot of those have heritage buildings on them.

I wonder what the holdup is with the Barrington South heritage conservation district? It has been talked about for years.

I would also like to see one that encompasses areas like Brunswick Street and Falkland/Maynard.

its in the works. soon i believe. probably once schmidville is done.
i believe they already had the public meeting.

Drybrain
Nov 18, 2016, 3:45 AM
Dexel gets a lot of heat but they are simply playing by bad rules. If they didn't buy up these properties there's a good chance that some other developer would; they have an incentive to find underdeveloped properties and a lot of those have heritage buildings on them.

I wonder what the holdup is with the Barrington South heritage conservation district? It has been talked about for years. I would also like to see one that encompasses areas like Brunswick Street and Falkland/Maynard.



I'm frankly done defending elected officials the city's heritage planners on this front. It's taken an absurd amount of time to get this thing in place, and it's not going to be in place until next year, which means the Elmwood, and the building at Hollis and Bishop are pretty much doomed, and these two on Barrington will suffer whatever ignominious facade-hacking Dexel sees fit to subject them to. Or maybe even be entirely demolished.

This is as much the fault of the slow-moving bureaucracy as anything else, and frankly whenever I hear the issue raised with any elected official of heritage planner, the response is always a vague defence of the plainly inadequate process, despite the fact that these kinds of districts pass through the study and implementation phase far faster in many cities.

The whole thing is pathetic.

Anyway, there's a community workshop on the Old South Suburb HCD on Nov 30. Good place to go and start talking about these buildings.

OldDartmouthMark
Nov 18, 2016, 7:47 PM
Dexel gets a lot of heat but they are simply playing by bad rules. If they didn't buy up these properties there's a good chance that some other developer would; they have an incentive to find underdeveloped properties and a lot of those have heritage buildings on them.

I agree with this. As much as it irks me that they could potentially demolish or at least substantially change these buildings, it's really the weak rules that are at fault.

I wonder what the holdup is with the Barrington South heritage conservation district? It has been talked about for years. I would also like to see one that encompasses areas like Brunswick Street and Falkland/Maynard.

The city politicians/officials seem to place heritage preservation quite far down on their priorities list. While I can't be completely negative towards them since they are actually making at least a small effort towards heritage conservation, it's still pretty obvious that they don't consider it to be all that important.

I wish there were also more of an emphasis on good adaptive reuse in the planning rules. Unfortunately it seems like the city is stuck in an all-or-nothing debate where heritage advocates want many buildings preserved in amber and developers are totally ambivalent. There are lots of heritage buildings on big lots that could accommodate more development, and some of the heritage building additions like Barrington Espace have worked out really nicely. Others have not been so great, but I don't think there are any guidelines around how to reuse buildings (e.g. dead facadism vs. retaining old entrances and interior spaces).

Again, the city has not put much energy into this. It's funny, the heritage advocates always get skewered for trying to have buildings 'preserved in amber', but they are almost never successful at this. One would think from these comments that Halifax is a treasuretrove of pristinely preserved heritage properties, but instead we consider ourselves lucky if a developer sees fit to even keep part of the facade.

But I agree, some heritage buildings lend themselves well to accommodate further development, such as the Espace as mentioned, and The Dillon. It would be nice if the city could expend some effort to determine which ones should be preserved, which ones will lend themselves to adaptive development, and which ones are OK to demolish, and make strong rules to to enforce each circumstance. But, there is basically nothing.

Essentially, it's up to the developer to decide whether they want to expend the effort and cost to preserve at least part of a heritage property as a benefit to the city, but if they don't have that inclination, it is no problem to demolish pretty much any building they want while following the rules as they currently exist.

Keith P.
Nov 18, 2016, 9:23 PM
Urban council members are spending most of their time trying to give the HCC everything on their wish list, and spending an inordinate amount of taxpayer cash on bike infrastructure that is seldom used instead of on city-building things like this. HRM's priorities are badly messed up.

Drybrain
Nov 18, 2016, 10:09 PM
But I agree, some heritage buildings lend themselves well to accommodate further development, such as the Espace as mentioned, and The Dillon. It would be nice if the city could expend some effort to determine which ones should be preserved, which ones will lend themselves to adaptive development, and which ones are OK to demolish, and make strong rules to to enforce each circumstance. But, there is basically nothing.

Essentially, it's up to the developer to decide whether they want to expend the effort and cost to preserve at least part of a heritage property as a benefit to the city, but if they don't have that inclination, it is no problem to demolish pretty much any building they want while following the rules as they currently exist.

Indeed. And in the few circumstances where effort is being expended, like with the Old South Suburb HCD, the implementation process takes so many years that the very streetscapes the HCD is intended to protect are being destroyed while the thing is in-process.

Developers are buying properties, submitting plans, getting demolition approvals and bringing in the excavators in a fraction of the time it takes the city to do what amounts to paperwork. And suggestion that the city's timelines are insufficiently aggressive is met with defensiveness about respecting the process, despite the incredibly flawed nature of said process.

From what I've heard about Dexel on Barrington, they're pretty much going to all-but-completely destroy these buildings, retaining only facades, which given their massing can't possibly work very well. Heritage folks I've talked to about it are basically like, "meh, it's all above board." We can be almost certain the DRC will give a rave review to the thing. And much as I respect Waye, he's not going to raise a fuss about it, which is typical of Halifax council: councillors seem to be very quick to defer to the letter of the law, even when some additional leadership or stand-taking is called for. (Good example: Savage and Watts were both wholly opposed to Colonial Honda's expansion plans, but could barely be heard to whisper as much publicly, though it would have greatly bolstered the neighbourhood's case.)

Ziobrop
Nov 21, 2016, 7:24 PM
Indeed. And in the few circumstances where effort is being expended, like with the Old South Suburb HCD, the implementation process takes so many years that the very streetscapes the HCD is intended to protect are being destroyed while the thing is in-process.

Developers are buying properties, submitting plans, getting demolition approvals and bringing in the excavators in a fraction of the time it takes the city to do what amounts to paperwork. And suggestion that the city's timelines are insufficiently aggressive is met with defensiveness about respecting the process, despite the incredibly flawed nature of said process.

From what I've heard about Dexel on Barrington, they're pretty much going to all-but-completely destroy these buildings, retaining only facades, which given their massing can't possibly work very well. Heritage folks I've talked to about it are basically like, "meh, it's all above board." We can be almost certain the DRC will give a rave review to the thing. And much as I respect Waye, he's not going to raise a fuss about it, which is typical of Halifax council: councillors seem to be very quick to defer to the letter of the law, even when some additional leadership or stand-taking is called for. (Good example: Savage and Watts were both wholly opposed to Colonial Honda's expansion plans, but could barely be heard to whisper as much publicly, though it would have greatly bolstered the neighbourhood's case.)


the city has a aversion to litigation. so they get an opinion, go with it and fold and let stuff happen.
they have a bunch of lawyers on staff - they shouldnt be afraid to fight in court once and a while.

Jonovision
Dec 2, 2016, 7:58 PM
The small infill on Dresden.

https://c4.staticflickr.com/6/5813/30570502563_6181ed66d6_k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/NzpPmp)20161202_141608 (https://flic.kr/p/NzpPmp) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

Jonovision
Dec 19, 2016, 10:03 PM
Barrington is starting to look better and better.

https://c7.staticflickr.com/1/386/31378609510_499aa07edd_k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/PNPzoN)20161215_163049_HDR (https://flic.kr/p/PNPzoN) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

https://c8.staticflickr.com/1/425/31751240615_148bf3b203_k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/QnKpD2)20161215_162827_HDR (https://flic.kr/p/QnKpD2) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

portapetey
Dec 21, 2016, 5:23 PM
Very interesting study:

http://www.metronews.ca/news/halifax/2016/12/20/new-study-suggests-halifax-residents-like-development.html

Now, I always question how any study is done and would love to see what the actual questions were.

But if it was a good survey, I hope that Municipal staff and council heed the results and accept that the very loud voices of a very vocal minority may only represent the 2% of the population that object to the changes in our built environment.

Keith P.
Dec 21, 2016, 5:57 PM
Very interesting study:

http://www.metronews.ca/news/halifax/2016/12/20/new-study-suggests-halifax-residents-like-development.html

Now, I always question how any study is done and would love to see what the actual questions were.

But if it was a good survey, I hope that Municipal staff and council heed the results and accept that the very loud voices of a very vocal minority may only represent the 2% of the population that object to the changes in our built environment.

Sort of like advocates for bike lanes?

counterfactual
Dec 21, 2016, 8:09 PM
Very interesting study:

http://www.metronews.ca/news/halifax/2016/12/20/new-study-suggests-halifax-residents-like-development.html

Now, I always question how any study is done and would love to see what the actual questions were.

But if it was a good survey, I hope that Municipal staff and council heed the results and accept that the very loud voices of a very vocal minority may only represent the 2% of the population that object to the changes in our built environment.

Thanks for the link. Finally a credible study showing the *actual* attitudes in the city about development.

Agree -- enough with news/media/development debates dominated by literally a tiny group of NIMBY activists, who basically change their name/cover/acronym/group depending on where they are in the city-- Save the View, Heritage Foundation, Friends of the Commons, Friends of Schmidtville, Friends of Friends of STV, Friends of Shadow Studies, Friends of No Development Anywhere, etc, etc.

counterfactual
Dec 23, 2016, 4:16 AM
Speaking of lost great buildings in this city, here are a few.

1. How about the School for the Blind, originally located at the intersection of Morris (University) and Tower, which was a beautiful ivy covered Victorian building:

http://images.halinet.on.ca/OakvilleImages/Images/DF/jpgs/DF029300f.jpg

Demolished in the 1960s for a freaking parking lot for the VG.

Now all that stands is this monument:

http://www.capebretonpost.com/content/dam/tc/cape-breton-post/images/2012/11/2/monument-2207847.jpg


2. Or the original Exhibition Building on Tower Road:

https://novascotia.ca/archives/images/Notman/200714808.jpg

pblaauw
Dec 23, 2016, 5:50 AM
Speaking of lost great buildings in this city, here are a few.

1. How about the School for the Blind, originally located at the intersection of Morris (University) and Tower, which was a beautiful ivy covered Victorian building:

http://images.halinet.on.ca/OakvilleImages/Images/DF/jpgs/DF029300f.jpg

Demolished in the 1960s for a freaking parking lot for the VG.

Now all that stands is this monument:

http://www.capebretonpost.com/content/dam/tc/cape-breton-post/images/2012/11/2/monument-2207847.jpg


2. Or the original Exhibition Building on Tower Road:

https://novascotia.ca/archives/images/Notman/200714808.jpg

I remember playing in the building's playground...in the 80s. Wikipedia says it closed in 1983. (The cited article doesn't say 1983, however. :shrug: )

Keith P.
Dec 23, 2016, 2:15 PM
It was demolished in the 1980s. I had a gf that taught there. She said it was a fire trap and a dump beyond belief. Given that the students were residents of the building it was impossible to keep it operating while doing necessary renos.

Jonovision
Dec 23, 2016, 11:13 PM
Some additional lights have been added to all the trees in Grand Parade.

https://c5.staticflickr.com/1/590/31458078820_50fe30f543_k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/PVQSRj)20161223_001910_HDR (https://flic.kr/p/PVQSRj) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

bluenoser
Jan 4, 2017, 3:35 PM
$20M COVE transformation starts at old Dartmouth coast guard site

The buildings and wharves will be refurbished to make the site a hub for collaboration and innovation. It's called the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurs, or COVE.

https://i.cbc.ca/1.3744700.1472753056!/fileImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/16x9_620/cove.jpg

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/cove-development-underway-dartmouth-1.3919993

teddifax
Jan 8, 2017, 9:00 PM
From Halifax ReTales, the following:

"Tony's Variety on the corner of Robie and Cunard has closed, I'm going to miss the Benjamin Button movie rental poster to make way for this proposal"

I can't copy the picture, but it will take up the entire block fronting Robie, from Cunard to the next corner. The complex will be (if approved) about 14 stories high, with a 4 storey pad.

someone123
Jan 8, 2017, 9:30 PM
Here's a description of the development: https://haligonia.ca/proposal-cunard-and-robie-st-13-storey-mixed-use-development-178428/

fenwick16
Jan 8, 2017, 9:47 PM
Here's a description of the development: https://haligonia.ca/proposal-cunard-and-robie-st-13-storey-mixed-use-development-178428/

That looks good. Here is a rendering from someone123's source:

https://haligonia.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/98a780233b0614ff45e372348a922360.jpg

Hali87
Jan 10, 2017, 8:35 AM
https://c8.staticflickr.com/1/325/32224077455_4fa2afba88_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/R6wPyk)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/R6wPyk) by Hali87 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/72021271@N05/), on Flickr

https://c3.staticflickr.com/1/330/32185803706_f88764442a_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/R39E77)
Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/R39E77) by Hali87 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/72021271@N05/), on Flickr

IanWatson
Jan 11, 2017, 1:06 PM
Demo has started on the building at the corner of Hollis and Bishop.

OldDartmouthMark
Jan 11, 2017, 4:08 PM
Demo has started on the building at the corner of Hollis and Bishop.

What a shame.

It would be great if you could post some pics as I'm always interested to find out how they put buildings together in the past couple of centuries...

JustinHiscock
Jan 11, 2017, 10:00 PM
Demo has started on the building at the corner of Hollis and Bishop.

What's going in its place?