HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForum
     

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Atlantic Provinces > Halifax > Urban, Urban Design & Heritage Issues

About The Ads  This week the ad company used in the forum will be monitoring activity and doing some tests to identify any problems which users may be experiencing. If at any time this week you get pop-ups, redirects, etc. as a result of ads please let us know by sending an email to forum@skyscraperpage.com or post in the ads complaint thread. Thank you for your participation.


Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #121  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2014, 3:50 PM
portapetey portapetey is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 509
never mind. i'll try to find the delete button ??
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #122  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2014, 3:54 PM
portapetey portapetey is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 509
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
Not trying to spin at all. Was referring to some members of this forum that whenever any heritage building is discussed, there is an auto-answer "tear it down" message.

And, your second paragraph basically sums up my view on the matter.

The rest of your post would be directed at an individual blindly following and approving of all actions of the HT. That does not describe me.

You are correct. My rant was not directed at you, but at the Trust itself - just sort of inspired by the "wants them to have no voices at all" part of your post.

I suppose I am guilty of my own howling at the moon and shaking my fist at the sky
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #123  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2014, 3:59 PM
portapetey portapetey is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 509
Quote:
Originally Posted by JET View Post
interesting that anyone who says something positive about saving heritage buildings is pegged as a heritage extremist in bed with the Heritage Trust. The simplistic black and white characterizations are hilarious.
I think it's just frustration, as I described in another post.

I imagine people are much more thoughtful about their characterizations normally.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #124  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2014, 4:18 PM
Keith P.'s Avatar
Keith P. Keith P. is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 6,187
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
The Dennis Bldg. is an interesting case as it's government owned, and governments typically like to stay popular with the people so they will be looked upon favourably come election time. As has been mentioned, the actual level of damage to the Dennis seems to be unclear, and the government doesn't seem to be all too anxious to make it clear. So what are their intentions in this case? Cut costs so they can look good financially for the next election? Of course, it is much cheaper to rip it down than to preserve/refurbish it.

Other options for the building have already been covered in various threads, including handing it over to private ownership, so there is no need to rehash what has already been posted. However, to make the assumption that the building's historical value isn't worth the cost of refurbishment is only a matter of opinion at this point. In my opinion it is worth being refurbished as it is a significant part of Halifax's downtown. Your opinion is that it's not. Let's see what happens...
Again, the following probably belongs in the Dennis Building thread, but since you raised the question, here's what I know.

The building itself has a bunch of issues related to repair and maintenance or lack thereof. So there is water leakage, mold, problems with the basement, pests, decaying stonework, obsolete windows, roof issues, materials coming off the outside and falling onto the sidewalk, asbestos... all sorts of issues like that. With enough money, they could all be fixed I suppose.

The other issue with the Dennis is a functional issue. It simply does not work well for its intended use. The ceiling heights are all too low. There is no lobby worth mentioning. There is nothing left of whatever interior architectural detail it may once have had - it is all 1960s-1980s govt issue. There is only one exit so an exterior fire escape was installed on the rear many years ago. The elevator shafts are ridiculously small. The stairwells are equally small and do not meet code. Heck, virtually nothing about the building meets code. There is no central air handling and no central climate control. There is no insulation in the walls. Wiring and plumbing are completely obsolete despite some upgrades to the washrooms a decade or so ago. And of course there is very little in the way of modern communications infrastructure.

For all of those reasons, in practical terms the only thing it is possible to save is the facade. If money was no object, perhaps you could rectify all the issues while keeping the original floor plates intact, but then you have a seriously compromised result at tremendous cost. We are broke and cannot in good conscience waste money like that. Indeed, it would likely be another Bluenose project gone off the rails. We do not need to repeat that experience. I totally understand why the Minister has taken the position that he has.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #125  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2014, 4:22 PM
JET JET is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,672
"The building itself has a bunch of issues related to repair and maintenance or lack thereof. So there is water leakage, mold, problems with the basement, pests, decaying stonework, obsolete windows, roof issues, materials coming off the outside and falling onto the sidewalk, asbestos... all sorts of issues like that. With enough money, they could all be fixed I suppose."

sounds like how my old house was.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #126  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2014, 4:26 PM
Drybrain Drybrain is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 3,274
Quote:
Originally Posted by JET View Post
"The building itself has a bunch of issues related to repair and maintenance or lack thereof. So there is water leakage, mold, problems with the basement, pests, decaying stonework, obsolete windows, roof issues, materials coming off the outside and falling onto the sidewalk, asbestos... all sorts of issues like that. With enough money, they could all be fixed I suppose."

sounds like how my old house was.
Sounds like a lot of old, derelict buildings.

I don't want to downplay the cost of it, because it'd be a lot of money. And I know there are a loads of issues to deal with—but I do believe the cost would be worth it. And I mean, no old building was built to modern code. Many, if not most, sizable 19th-century buildings in this or any other city have faced these issues at some point, especially re: fire exits, elevators, etc.

And I just keep coming back to Hamilton's Lister's Block which cost around $25 million to restore from essentially being condemned to being a community cornerstone. Worth every penny.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #127  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2014, 4:31 PM
portapetey portapetey is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 509
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
Sounds like a lot of old, derelict buildings.

I don't want to downplay the cost of it, and I know there are a loads of issues to deal with—but I do believe the cost would be worth it. I just keep coming back to Hamilton's Lister's Block which cost around $25 million to restore from essentially being condemned to being a community cornerstone. Worthy every penny.
So yeah, we're way off topic. But since we are already, what about cleaning the exterior?

That doesn't seem to be a priority in many North American or even many European cities.

Why don't we scrub the black soot and (I assume) algaes from our stone buildings?

I was in a few Middle Eastern countries not so long ago, and they keep their stone buildings and houses well scrubbed. Some places that are hundreds of years old looked shockingly fresh.

Is it just because we have different tastes and actually like the patina (I do not)? Is it about the expense? Something else?

Oh yeah. Back on topic.

BOOOOOOO Heritage Trust BOOOOOOOOO
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #128  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2014, 4:41 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 4,003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
Again, the following probably belongs in the Dennis Building thread, but since you raised the question, here's what I know.

The building itself has a bunch of issues related to repair and maintenance or lack thereof. So there is water leakage, mold, problems with the basement, pests, decaying stonework, obsolete windows, roof issues, materials coming off the outside and falling onto the sidewalk, asbestos... all sorts of issues like that. With enough money, they could all be fixed I suppose.

The other issue with the Dennis is a functional issue. It simply does not work well for its intended use. The ceiling heights are all too low. There is no lobby worth mentioning. There is nothing left of whatever interior architectural detail it may once have had - it is all 1960s-1980s govt issue. There is only one exit so an exterior fire escape was installed on the rear many years ago. The elevator shafts are ridiculously small. The stairwells are equally small and do not meet code. Heck, virtually nothing about the building meets code. There is no central air handling and no central climate control. There is no insulation in the walls. Wiring and plumbing are completely obsolete despite some upgrades to the washrooms a decade or so ago. And of course there is very little in the way of modern communications infrastructure.

For all of those reasons, in practical terms the only thing it is possible to save is the facade. If money was no object, perhaps you could rectify all the issues while keeping the original floor plates intact, but then you have a seriously compromised result at tremendous cost. We are broke and cannot in good conscience waste money like that. Indeed, it would likely be another Bluenose project gone off the rails. We do not need to repeat that experience. I totally understand why the Minister has taken the position that he has.
Thanks for weighing in on that, Keith. And yes much of this discussion would be more appropriately contained in the Dennis building thread.

There are a lot of issues indeed, but likely not insurmountable. Would be interesting to see the option tossed to the private sector to understand the possibilities of retaining the main structure with an eye on repurposing.

I don't know that I would use the Bluenose comparison as it appears to me that the main problem was mismanagement by people lacking wooden ship expertise. I think it would have been a good project had it been handled properly, a concept that could likely be applied to the Dennis as well.

However, as has been pointed out, if all else fails a properly done facade-job is still better than losing the entire structure. Not entirely against it, but personally would prefer that the other options are carefully considered before it comes to that.

Just my .
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #129  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2014, 4:43 PM
Keith P.'s Avatar
Keith P. Keith P. is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 6,187
Quote:
Originally Posted by portapetey View Post
There is yet another article in the Herald tonight waving the same flag and saying that protecting the historical is good (which I agree with) but offering no suggestions on how to include modern along with it.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/opinion...eally-get-bold

The campaign is certainly going strong.
Interestingly enough, Maurice Lloyd references the 1971 "Encounter" exercise in that article. I am old enough to remember that, although I wasn't old enough to take part in it. It was quite the exercise, looking back on it. It was organized by the provincial Voluntary Planning Board, now defunct, but obviously quite activist at the time.

The process got into issues beyond urban planning, touching on the issues of racism and poverty that were prevalent at the time, and also highlighting the ineptitude of govt programs, particularly those related to economic development, and the defensiveness of govt officials when it came to accounting for their decisions and actions. The city was quite engaged in it, and there were daily TV programs covering it. There is a NFB documentary on it that I highly recommend.

https://www.nfb.ca/film/encounter_on_urban_environment

Everyone here should find the time to watch this. It is amazing to see some of the things outlined here that are still the same today - the reluctance to change, the clinging to the status quo, the attitudes of the citizens... it is shocking how little things have changed in some regards.

There isn't much online otherwise but here is a summary of what happened:

Quote:
Encounter on Urban Environment

Documents a planning/public engagement exercise that occurred in 1971 called “Encounter on the Urban Environment”. Basically the then Planning Secretariat for the Province of Nova Scotia brought in twelve well know subject-matter experts to Halifax-Dartmouth for a week long process to help the local population understand the problems that existed within the community. It was felt that the twelve experts (urban economics, industrial development, community organization, urban planning, urban transportation, urban redevelopment, etc.) would bring with them a fresh set of eyes to unearth problems that the community might not see for themselves. For six days, the twelve experts met with a variety of groups during the day and then would reconvene in the evenings in front of a live studio and television audience to give their frank assessment of the problems within Metro. It is a riveting documentary with great footage of the era.

Two of the 12 experts were:

Edward Logue
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_J._Logue
http://www.nytimes.com/2000/04/23/ny...emembered.html

Lucius Walker
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucius_Walker
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/12/us/12walker.html?_r=0
There was also Scott Greer: http://www4.uwm.edu/letsci/urbanstud...aboutgreer.cfm

I see Bob Geraghty in the film, who I dealt with over the years, and did not know he was part of this.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #130  
Old Posted Jul 12, 2014, 12:38 PM
fenwick16 fenwick16 is offline
Honored Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Toronto area (ex-Nova Scotian)
Posts: 5,558
In the following opinion piece I think Bill Black gave a good description of the mood of many people towards the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia. It also gives a history of what has led to the declining support for the Heritage Trust.

(source: http://thechronicleherald.ca/opinion...use-a-bad-name )
Giving a good cause a bad name
Published July 11, 2014 - 5:25pm

The following link to a CH story is not about the Heritage Trust but gives the view of a Heritage Trust supporter, John DeMont, who feels that the Heritage Trust has "stepped outside of its remit" in its dispute with Joe Ramia.

(source: http://thechronicleherald.ca/thenova...taboos-and-all
DeMONT: Share the journey, taboos and all

Last edited by fenwick16; Jul 12, 2014 at 12:49 PM.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #131  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2014, 12:10 PM
IanWatson IanWatson is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 845
Hi SSP-ites. As stated over and over again in this thread, the heritage dialogue in Halifax isn't productive. Halifax has an amazing asset in its heritage buildings, but they're now seen as an impediment to good development, rather than a starting point for great development. Our heritage buildings matter, but so does building new buildings and extra density downtown. For the good of this city we need to find a way that heritage and development aren't mutually exclusive.

Tomorrow (Sunday) I'll be in the basement of the Henry House at 6:00pm. I'd love if you could join me to talk about what we can do to fix the heritage dialogue in this city. Do we need to start a new heritage group?

P.S. I have brown hair and glasses and will probably have a little bit of scruff.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #132  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2014, 2:10 PM
fenwick16 fenwick16 is offline
Honored Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Toronto area (ex-Nova Scotian)
Posts: 5,558
Quote:
Originally Posted by IanWatson View Post
Hi SSP-ites. As stated over and over again in this thread, the heritage dialogue in Halifax isn't productive. Halifax has an amazing asset in its heritage buildings, but they're now seen as an impediment to good development, rather than a starting point for great development. Our heritage buildings matter, but so does building new buildings and extra density downtown. For the good of this city we need to find a way that heritage and development aren't mutually exclusive.

Tomorrow (Sunday) I'll be in the basement of the Henry House at 6:00pm. I'd love if you could join me to talk about what we can do to fix the heritage dialogue in this city. Do we need to start a new heritage group?

P.S. I have brown hair and glasses and will probably have a little bit of scruff.
I think that Halifax heritage needs a new group, or the Heritage Trust needs new members.

I think that heritage buildings are important. It is the Heritage Trust and the actions of its members that really peeve me.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #133  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2014, 3:18 PM
curnhalio's Avatar
curnhalio curnhalio is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by IanWatson View Post
Hi SSP-ites. As stated over and over again in this thread, the heritage dialogue in Halifax isn't productive. Halifax has an amazing asset in its heritage buildings, but they're now seen as an impediment to good development, rather than a starting point for great development. Our heritage buildings matter, but so does building new buildings and extra density downtown. For the good of this city we need to find a way that heritage and development aren't mutually exclusive.

Tomorrow (Sunday) I'll be in the basement of the Henry House at 6:00pm. I'd love if you could join me to talk about what we can do to fix the heritage dialogue in this city. Do we need to start a new heritage group?

P.S. I have brown hair and glasses and will probably have a little bit of scruff.
I will be unable to attend, but I will pose a question to you. What can you do to better maintain the current heritage stock before they get to the point of condemnation? We have a long history here of building grand buildings, and then letting them fall into disrepair, knock them down and build something else. This cycle has continued uninterrupted, until this generation of HT/STV have desperately tried to stave off the wrecking ball. But they did nothing to keep buildings like the Dennis from getting to the state that it is currently in.

Also, what can you do to improve the outward appearance of the current stock? A lot of these buildings look their age, and are in desperate need of a power wash.

Just my . Good luck, and I hope you get enough of a turnout to get some meaningful discussion out of it.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #134  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2014, 8:13 PM
halifaxboyns halifaxboyns is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Calgary
Posts: 3,882
Calgary doesn't have a lot of heritage (compared with Halifax) but there is an interesting posting in the Calgary Planning General Manager's Blog about how we were able to preserve the Baron's Building. You can see the blog entry here.

From what I understand; the Calgary Heritage Authority (which is our equivalent to the HT out here) worked really hard to help make this happen. What we ended up with was a site specific land use, retention of the heritage elements and a great addition of space. I know our GM also talks about some tax incentives in the USA; which help retain heritage buildings. Something I wonder if should be considered in Canada?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #135  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2014, 9:20 PM
Keith P.'s Avatar
Keith P. Keith P. is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 6,187
That would appear to be a somewhat usable structure, and being built in 1949, would not be ridiculously obsolete. Our 2-storey wood-frames with 6'6" ceiling heights are a bit more challenging.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #136  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2014, 4:08 PM
JET JET is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,672
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
That would appear to be a somewhat usable structure, and being built in 1949, would not be ridiculously obsolete. Our 2-storey wood-frames with 6'6" ceiling heights are a bit more challenging.
Many of the 2-storey woodframes have tall ceilings, mine are 9.5 feet. One of my neighbors has 8 foot ceilings on the first floor, and 9.5 on the second floor. Another neighbor has 10 ft. ceilings.
Reply With Quote
     
     
End
 
 
Reply

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Atlantic Provinces > Halifax > Urban, Urban Design & Heritage Issues
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:05 PM.

     

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.