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  #21  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2017, 2:19 AM
portapetey portapetey is offline
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I'm not one of those "tear it down!" people, but this one just doesn't feel like any loss to me. It's a plain beige box with no interesting architectural features at all.
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  #22  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2017, 4:05 AM
fenwick16 fenwick16 is offline
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This one looks great. It is too bad the old place is being torn down, but this is a big upgrade over what was there.
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  #23  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2017, 4:17 AM
Phalanx Phalanx is offline
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Are they demolishing before approval, or has this gone beyond the 'proposed' status on the thread?
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  #24  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2017, 5:59 PM
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This is pretty well down now.
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  #25  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2017, 8:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by portapetey View Post
I'm not one of those "tear it down!" people, but this one just doesn't feel like any loss to me. It's a plain beige box with no interesting architectural features at all.
It is not a landmark building but I think there are a few things to question about this.

The southern end of Hollis Street could and should be part of a heritage district, and "background" buildings contribute a lot to the character of the area in aggregate even if no single building makes or breaks the neighbourhood. Schmidtville is the same way; you could argue that no single building there is critical, but together they create a distinctive heritage district.

We hear arguments all the time about how it isn't economical to save these buildings, but really they are arguments about how it is more profitable to tear them down and build something larger. This reasoning ignores the public good. In a city like Halifax where there are empty lots all over the place it is crazy to accept that we cannot support the 3% of the metro area (or whatever it is) that has buildings like this.

Another factor here is that the developer has wanted to tear down this building for a while, so they have no incentive to make the building look good and in fact probably have an incentive to let it get run down so that fewer people see it as a loss. There are other buildings of this style around the city that are well-maintained, have colourful wooden cladding, and look great. They have a fine-grained scale, good proportions, and features like the granite foundation that we are not likely to see in new construction.
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  #26  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2017, 8:55 PM
portapetey portapetey is offline
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Originally Posted by someone123 View Post
It is not a landmark building but I think there are a few things to question about this.

The southern end of Hollis Street could and should be part of a heritage district, and "background" buildings contribute a lot to the character of the area in aggregate even if no single building makes or breaks the neighbourhood. Schmidtville is the same way; you could argue that no single building there is critical, but together they create a distinctive heritage district.

We hear arguments all the time about how it isn't economical to save these buildings, but really they are arguments about how it is more profitable to tear them down and build something larger. This reasoning ignores the public good. In a city like Halifax where there are empty lots all over the place it is crazy to accept that we cannot support the 3% of the metro area (or whatever it is) that has buildings like this.

Another factor here is that the developer has wanted to tear down this building for a while, so they have no incentive to make the building look good and in fact probably have an incentive to let it get run down so that fewer people see it as a loss. There are other buildings of this style around the city that are well-maintained, have colourful wooden cladding, and look great. They have a fine-grained scale, good proportions, and features like the granite foundation that we are not likely to see in new construction.
This is a good explanation, thanks. I still won't shed a tear for this particular building, but I get where you're coming from.
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  #27  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2017, 9:01 PM
Colin May Colin May is offline
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Originally Posted by ILoveHalifax View Post
What a fabulous design - reminiscent of the library. Great to get rid of the old building (slum?) before it goes in flames with a number of fatalities.
If you think it was a 'slum' you must have a very low opinion of the owner as it has been owned by Mr Lawen,Dexel, for over 5 years.
Older character buildings which he bought quite cheaply have more than paid off the original purchase cost and maintenance.

Everyone should go down to Young Avenue and see the destruction wrought by a real slum landlord - who lives in a mansion at 623 Shore Drive Bedford, see here http://www.viewpoint.ca/sidebarmap#!
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  #28  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2017, 9:36 PM
Drybrain Drybrain is offline
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Originally Posted by someone123 View Post
It is not a landmark building but I think there are a few things to question about this.

The southern end of Hollis Street could and should be part of a heritage district, and "background" buildings contribute a lot to the character of the area in aggregate even if no single building makes or breaks the neighbourhood. Schmidtville is the same way; you could argue that no single building there is critical, but together they create a distinctive heritage district.

We hear arguments all the time about how it isn't economical to save these buildings, but really they are arguments about how it is more profitable to tear them down and build something larger. This reasoning ignores the public good. In a city like Halifax where there are empty lots all over the place it is crazy to accept that we cannot support the 3% of the metro area (or whatever it is) that has buildings like this.

Another factor here is that the developer has wanted to tear down this building for a while, so they have no incentive to make the building look good and in fact probably have an incentive to let it get run down so that fewer people see it as a loss. There are other buildings of this style around the city that are well-maintained, have colourful wooden cladding, and look great. They have a fine-grained scale, good proportions, and features like the granite foundation that we are not likely to see in new construction.
Indeed. I'm sure that if this building looked anything like its original appearance, the conversation would be quite different. It was also harmonious in style and form with the larger building of a similar era across the street.
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  #29  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 12:44 AM
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It is the natural life cycle of most wood-frame buildings to decline over time as they wear out, their use changes, and eventually be replaced. Halifax fights change at every turn so this reaction seen above is no real surprise. We need to get over the stereotype that "old=good" just as much as we need to get over the "tall building=bad" mindset locally.

It's funny because I had a similar thought earlier today before reading this thread as I was driving along Dutch Village Rd. I observed the new development on the site of the old Halifax West, the new building going up at the foot of Rufus, the new building at the intersection with Bayers, and of course the newish Fares development at the southern end,. These are surrounded by some run-down 1960s small wooden apartment buildings along with grow-op shops, various sketchy rental properties and businesses, and other eyesores. This is really no different than what is being talked about above. Those structures I mentioned were probably quite nice when new. But why would anyone want to save them now?
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  #30  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 1:18 AM
Drybrain Drybrain is offline
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
It is the natural life cycle of most wood-frame buildings to decline over time as they wear out, their use changes, and eventually be replaced. Halifax fights change at every turn so this reaction seen above is no real surprise. We need to get over the stereotype that "old=good" just as much as we need to get over the "tall building=bad" mindset locally.

It's funny because I had a similar thought earlier today before reading this thread as I was driving along Dutch Village Rd. I observed the new development on the site of the old Halifax West, the new building going up at the foot of Rufus, the new building at the intersection with Bayers, and of course the newish Fares development at the southern end,. These are surrounded by some run-down 1960s small wooden apartment buildings along with grow-op shops, various sketchy rental properties and businesses, and other eyesores. This is really no different than what is being talked about above. Those structures I mentioned were probably quite nice when new. But why would anyone want to save them now?
Halifax has older wood-framed buildings than this. Lots of places do. New England towns and cities are full of them. Keep mold at bay and they can last for centuries. Here's the old town of Goslar, Germany, which dates back to the 16th century.
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  #31  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 3:29 AM
ILoveHalifax ILoveHalifax is offline
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Originally Posted by Colin May View Post
If you think it was a 'slum' you must have a very low opinion of the owner as it has been owned by Mr Lawen,Dexel, for over 5 years.
Older character buildings which he bought quite cheaply have more than paid off the original purchase cost and maintenance.

Everyone should go down to Young Avenue and see the destruction wrought by a real slum landlord - who lives in a mansion at 623 Shore Drive Bedford, see here http://www.viewpoint.ca/sidebarmap#!
I was in that building about 5 years ago and I came out feeling like I needed a shower. I don't know Lawen Dexel and have no opinion of him so please don't tell me how I feel about him
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  #32  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 6:22 AM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
Halifax has older wood-framed buildings than this. Lots of places do. New England towns and cities are full of them. Keep mold at bay and they can last for centuries. Here's the old town of Goslar, Germany, which dates back to the 16th century.
Unfortunately there are many people in the world who don't have the ability to understand the importance of historic structures. You can't teach it to them, they will never get it. Some are just uber-practical and some just plain don't understand and don't want to understand. They have no vision - they just see something old and can't picture the potential in the building - just tear it down and build something new, keeping in step with the rest of our throw-away society that has helped put the world in the state it is in now.

Then there are those who feel that making the most money possible is the only thing of importance, regardless of its effect on the rest of the population or the city in general. Philanthropists they are not.

For some reason, Halifax seems to have a higher percentage of all those mentioned above than other cities. It's perplexing that a city with such a long and rich history (for North America, anyhow) has so many people who don't know enough to appreciate it. Shameful, really.
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  #33  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 11:07 AM
fenwick16 fenwick16 is offline
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
Unfortunately there are many people in the world who don't have the ability to understand the importance of historic structures. You can't teach it to them, they will never get it. Some are just uber-practical and some just plain don't understand and don't want to understand. They have no vision - they just see something old and can't picture the potential in the building - just tear it down and build something new, keeping in step with the rest of our throw-away society that has helped put the world in the state it is in now.

Then there are those who feel that making the most money possible is the only thing of importance, regardless of its effect on the rest of the population or the city in general. Philanthropists they are not.

For some reason, Halifax seems to have a higher percentage of all those mentioned above than other cities. It's perplexing that a city with such a long and rich history (for North America, anyhow) has so many people who don't know enough to appreciate it. Shameful, really.

It depends on the building being torn down. The one being torn down at 1363 Hollis Street doesn't get much appreciation because it is a rather unattractive building that isn't even that old. Replacing it with something attractive and new, as in the rendering below (originally posted by Jonovision), is easy to accept.

In my opinion, these are a couple of great re-purposed complexes - https://haligonia.ca/rbc-waterside-c...ater-st-82074/ and http://doorsopenhalifax.com/founders-square/ . Although some consider these complexes to be facadism, the streetscape was saved, and old, poorly functioning buildings were replaced with modern, useful buildings. There are many cities where the old buildings would have been demolished.

There are buildings that should be saved. The building that the Halifax AGNS is located in, is a beautiful, old building but even so, there are people who want a new, bigger, modern building which will leave a beautiful, historic building vacant. In my opinion, that is the type of building that people should be supporting.

Overall, in spite of some mistakes, Halifax in 2017 is a far more attractive city than Halifax in the early 1970's (which is the earliest that I can remember the city). I remember the old ferries, which were fun to take across the Harbour and while the old ferry terminals were somewhat decrepit, they were welcoming like an entrance gate to an old stadium with its turnstiles. Purdy's wharf was an actual wharf and warehouse, but it was nowhere near as impressive as the current Purdy's Wharf office complex. In the early 1970's Halifax didn't have its current boardwalk, which has made the harbour-front accessible and is enjoyed by locals and tourists. In short, Halifax has lost some old buildings, and made some mistakes such as the Scotia Square super-block and Cogswell Interchange, but even so, it is a far more attractive and interesting city than it was in the early 1970's. Let's give the city leaders credit for being progressively minded in its desire to tear down the Cogswell Interchange and restore the street grid, and for all the other great changes that the city has seen over the past 40 plus years. Cheers to Halifax, a great city that keeps becoming even better.


Last edited by fenwick16; Jan 22, 2017 at 11:53 AM.
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  #34  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 2:09 PM
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Some more renderings are available on the Dexel Site. This also appears to named "The Bishop".





Source
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  #35  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 2:24 PM
fenwick16 fenwick16 is offline
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The renderings look good. I hope this will be approved soon so they can start construction.
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  #36  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 3:02 PM
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Originally Posted by fenwick16 View Post
It depends on the building being torn down. The one being torn down at 1363 Hollis Street doesn't get much appreciation because it is a rather unattractive building that isn't even that old. Replacing it with something attractive and new, as in the rendering below (originally posted by Jonovision), is easy to accept.

In my opinion, these are a couple of great re-purposed complexes - https://haligonia.ca/rbc-waterside-c...ater-st-82074/ and http://doorsopenhalifax.com/founders-square/ . Although some consider these complexes to be facadism, the streetscape was saved, and old, poorly functioning buildings were replaced with modern, useful buildings. There are many cities where the old buildings would have been demolished.

There are buildings that should be saved. The building that the Halifax AGNS is located in, is a beautiful, old building but even so, there are people who want a new, bigger, modern building which will leave a beautiful, historic building vacant. In my opinion, that is the type of building that people should be supporting.
Sums it up nicely.
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  #37  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 5:25 PM
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  #38  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2017, 10:35 PM
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Does the rendering show preserved granite blocks from the foundation of the old corner building? That would be a nice feature.

I like the design of the new building, but I remain unconvinced that the amount of demolition of older buildings happening right now is necessary or ideal from the public's perspective.
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  #39  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2017, 5:09 AM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by fenwick16 View Post
It depends on the building being torn down. The one being torn down at 1363 Hollis Street doesn't get much appreciation because it is a rather unattractive building that isn't even that old. Replacing it with something attractive and new, as in the rendering below (originally posted by Jonovision), is easy to accept.

In my opinion, these are a couple of great re-purposed complexes - https://haligonia.ca/rbc-waterside-c...ater-st-82074/ and http://doorsopenhalifax.com/founders-square/ . Although some consider these complexes to be facadism, the streetscape was saved, and old, poorly functioning buildings were replaced with modern, useful buildings. There are many cities where the old buildings would have been demolished.

There are buildings that should be saved. The building that the Halifax AGNS is located in, is a beautiful, old building but even so, there are people who want a new, bigger, modern building which will leave a beautiful, historic building vacant. In my opinion, that is the type of building that people should be supporting.

Overall, in spite of some mistakes, Halifax in 2017 is a far more attractive city than Halifax in the early 1970's (which is the earliest that I can remember the city). I remember the old ferries, which were fun to take across the Harbour and while the old ferry terminals were somewhat decrepit, they were welcoming like an entrance gate to an old stadium with its turnstiles. Purdy's wharf was an actual wharf and warehouse, but it was nowhere near as impressive as the current Purdy's Wharf office complex. In the early 1970's Halifax didn't have its current boardwalk, which has made the harbour-front accessible and is enjoyed by locals and tourists. In short, Halifax has lost some old buildings, and made some mistakes such as the Scotia Square super-block and Cogswell Interchange, but even so, it is a far more attractive and interesting city than it was in the early 1970's. Let's give the city leaders credit for being progressively minded in its desire to tear down the Cogswell Interchange and restore the street grid, and for all the other great changes that the city has seen over the past 40 plus years. Cheers to Halifax, a great city that keeps becoming even better.
FWIW, I don't disagree with most of your points, but keep in mind that the city leaders thought they were being 'progressively minded' when the Cogswell Interchange and Scotia Square were conceived - and they were, in a 1950's/1960's mindset. Cities evolve, of course, and the future happens - we have no choice - but sometimes today's good ideas turn out to be tomorrow's bad ideas. The ferry terminal example you stated is a very good one - I remember those old terminals really well, and from a human standpoint they were much more welcoming and interesting than the 'industrial warehouse' style of the current ones, which I believe were built in the late 1970s. Perhaps if somebody at the time had the vision to restore and update them, or even build new, larger ones in the same style with similar materials at the human-interaction level, then today we'd be saying how much we like them...

Rather than regurgitate already-stated ideas, I'll just say that someone123's post up near the top of this page pretty much sums up how I feel about the situation, though he stated it much better and more completely than I ever could.

My post was more reactionary to the ideas expressed by some - that anybody who appreciates heritage buildings is 'resistant to change' or thinks that 'just because it's old it's good'. The point I was making is that Halifax's heritage buildings contain a value much greater than the simple collection of physical materials of which they are made - there is a history connected to each of them. There are construction methods used in building them that have not been practiced in many decades, there are peoples' lives and lineage associated with each and every one, not just the 'important' people, but also the everyday citizens who were the backbone and the life of this city over the past two-and-a-half centuries. What could be wrong with trying to preserve some of them in their original context? There are many empty lots and other more-appropriate spots to build new. Yet we continue to battle, and lose out to, those whose vision stops at the age of the structure, thinking that old is just old and therefore new must be better.

It's still surprising to me, given that most of the people I talk to in my travels tend to express the opinion that it's shameful to see century+ aged buildings torn down to build new glass and prefab-cladded structures. Yet it continues to happen, and nary a thought seems to be given to it by those who are in the position to do something about it.

That's all I was trying to say.
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  #40  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2017, 1:35 PM
IanWatson IanWatson is offline
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Interestingly, old photos from the NS Archives (I think they've been posted earlier on this thread) showed that this building was once clad in brick. I always assumed that brick was still there underneath the siding.

However, the demo has shown that the only remaining brick was on the firewall on the south side of the building. The rest of the building was wooden shingles under the siding. Now I'm really curious to know when the brick was removed.

I'm torn on this one. I've always felt that 1363 Hollis, while unremarkable now after being neglected, was a good candidate for a restoration. And that while it was a small, fairly insignificant building on its own, it did contribute to the overall feel of this area of the city.

At the same time, I do really like the new building proposed, especially if they get the cladding right (and I generally trust Dexell to get it right). If we're going to be losing old buildings, it's at least some consolation to get new ones that are nice.
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