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  #61  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2016, 2:12 AM
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It's interesting that the crowd that is lamenting the loss of view from the library no doubt complained about the height, design and footprint of the same library before it was built.

All the cards are on table now and an 11th hour compromise has to be reached to save the BMO - Maritime Life Building. This will mean extra height and if a view of the Citadel from the living room in the library is lost or a view from the Citadel to the harbour is lost then so be it. Saving this building is far more important for the fabric of Halifax than a minor loss of views. Given the popularity of the view from the library it's time to look at opening up more views downtown. This would require access to the top of some key buildings. Aliant building, Duke or Barrington tower or Purdy's Wharf could provide incredible vistas.

Top of the Rock, Empire State Building, CN Tower, Calgary Tower, Vancouver Lookout, Tower hotel Niagara Falls, Space Needle etc. commercialize the views but at the end of the day the view is accessible to the public. In Halifax we rely on the Citadel for the free view but that should not be the only option.

Let's save the BMO building and open up more views. If a can of worms is opened up by allowing more height to save built heritage then it just emphasises how much work there is to do to prevent this from happening again going forward.
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  #62  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2016, 2:07 PM
counterfactual counterfactual is offline
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Originally Posted by Empire View Post
It's interesting that the crowd that is lamenting the loss of view from the library no doubt complained about the height, design and footprint of the same library before it was built.

All the cards are on table now and an 11th hour compromise has to be reached to save the BMO - Maritime Life Building. This will mean extra height and if a view of the Citadel from the living room in the library is lost or a view from the Citadel to the harbour is lost then so be it. Saving this building is far more important for the fabric of Halifax than a minor loss of views. Given the popularity of the view from the library it's time to look at opening up more views downtown. This would require access to the top of some key buildings. Aliant building, Duke or Barrington tower or Purdy's Wharf could provide incredible vistas.

Top of the Rock, Empire State Building, CN Tower, Calgary Tower, Vancouver Lookout, Tower hotel Niagara Falls, Space Needle etc. commercialize the views but at the end of the day the view is accessible to the public. In Halifax we rely on the Citadel for the free view but that should not be the only option.

Let's save the BMO building and open up more views. If a can of worms is opened up by allowing more height to save built heritage then it just emphasises how much work there is to do to prevent this from happening again going forward.
I hear your, Empire, I just don't think heritage preservation is a winning argument for a Policy 89 exception, I think you need something more significant to make the case. And the Library as a public asset does it, with the happy side effect of also saving the Maritime Life building.
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  #63  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2016, 2:09 PM
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I'm mostly happy about this setting a precedent to finally for Council and the Mayor to have the spine to take on the idiotic view planes.

This would be a compromise that preserves a more important view (the library), heritage (Maritime Life building), and provides a minor impingement on a useless view plane (toward the grain elevators).

It'll be awesome to see Peggy Cameron regret ever raising this issue.
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  #64  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2016, 2:34 PM
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I'm mostly happy about this setting a precedent to finally for Council and the Mayor to have the spine to take on the idiotic view planes.

This would be a compromise that preserves a more important view (the library), heritage (Maritime Life building), and provides a minor impingement on a useless view plane (toward the grain elevators).

It'll be awesome to see Peggy Cameron regret ever raising this issue.
The problem is that the councillor for the area seems to have no appetite to even get near the issue. If he is taking a hands-off attitude then nothing will change and Westwood will have to go forward with their original plan. Perhaps this is all part of a Machiavellian plan to demonize evil developers, who knows.

I disagree that the view from the top floor of the library is in any way an important view. I also disagree that the Maritime Life building is of sufficient architectural and heritage value to be saved.
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  #65  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2016, 4:17 PM
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The problem is that the councillor for the area seems to have no appetite to even get near the issue. If he is taking a hands-off attitude then nothing will change and Westwood will have to go forward with their original plan. Perhaps this is all part of a Machiavellian plan to demonize evil developers, who knows.
I'm a bit disappointed in that I concur with your first point, Waye seems reluctant to wade into this particular minefield.

I certainly don't think he's letting it happen in order to demonize developers though. Geez. He's honestly and fairly skeptical of anything that smacks of spot zoning--which I understand, but Christ, if ever there was an exception, his is it. Both for the library view (which is a legit issue I think) and moreover for the built heritage perspective.
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  #66  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2016, 5:47 PM
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I'm a bit disappointed in that I concur with your first point, Waye seems reluctant to wade into this particular minefield.

I certainly don't think he's letting it happen in order to demonize developers though. Geez. He's honestly and fairly skeptical of anything that smacks of spot zoning--which I understand, but Christ, if ever there was an exception, his is it. Both for the library view (which is a legit issue I think) and moreover for the built heritage perspective.
He seems to take pride in calling himself a policy wonk, a term I despise. But if that is true this would certainly be opposed to existing policy (HRMxD) so his makeup would predispose him to not lift a finger.
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  #67  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2016, 10:42 PM
Colin May Colin May is offline
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I'm a bit disappointed in that I concur with your first point, Waye seems reluctant to wade into this particular minefield.

I certainly don't think he's letting it happen in order to demonize developers though. Geez. He's honestly and fairly skeptical of anything that smacks of spot zoning--which I understand, but Christ, if ever there was an exception, his is it. Both for the library view (which is a legit issue I think) and moreover for the built heritage perspective.
He said nothing at the Library Board meeting I referenced yesterday. The Board CEO and the Chair think the issue is best left to HRM.
http://www.halifaxpubliclibraries.ca...6/Feb-4-16.pdf bottom of page 4
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  #68  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2016, 4:19 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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So has there been even a hint that some movement is being made towards saving the BMO/Maritime Life structure, or is all this purely speculation?
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  #69  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2016, 4:26 PM
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Basically, Chedrawe expressed his openness to this possibility last week, to some people at the downtown business association. Brendan Sommerhalder, the Association's director of marketing, tweeted about it and expressed his positive feelings toward it as a possible solution.

There was a further online discussion later on involving Waye, who seemed pretty negative on the whole idea. I don't know where else it's gone, or what conversations Chedrawe is having with people at the city, or whatever else.

Basically, it's something that is possible to do, which has at least briefly been considered by the major actors in the situation. I don't think the councillor is going to lead the charge on this front though.
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  #70  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2016, 8:31 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Hopefully there is activity behind the scenes. Time will tell, though. Haven't seen pics of the BMO being knocked down with a wrecking ball online yet, so there's hope I guess.
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  #71  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2016, 2:46 PM
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Hopefully there is activity behind the scenes. Time will tell, though. Haven't seen pics of the BMO being knocked down with a wrecking ball online yet, so there's hope I guess.
It was still there Monday night. All the other buildings on site are now rubble, however.
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  #72  
Old Posted Apr 7, 2016, 12:23 AM
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  #73  
Old Posted Apr 7, 2016, 12:24 AM
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  #74  
Old Posted Apr 7, 2016, 1:28 AM
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The larger machine (that fell through the floor) is back down at Hollis and South. It would be needed to take down the BMO building, so maybe there is hope, for now. It's still a pretty major design change that would significantly or completely restart the achitectural and structural design.
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  #75  
Old Posted Apr 7, 2016, 1:34 AM
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The larger machine (that fell through the floor) is back down at Hollis and South. It would be needed to take down the BMO building, so maybe there is hope, for now. It's still a pretty major design change that would significantly or completely restart the achitectural and structural design.
We've been talking about this from the perspective of the city at large but I bet the building could really add some cachet to the development if used creatively. Since Westwood owns so much of this area they'll also gain from the character of this building.

Adaptive reuse of heritage buildings, particularly high-end stone buildings like this one, is pretty standard in successful retail districts in many cities. I can imagine the Maritime Life Building with airy glass additions on top and beside it to match the library across the street, and that'll be the view from Westwood's Starbucks redevelopment kitty corner.
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  #76  
Old Posted Apr 7, 2016, 11:43 AM
Drybrain Drybrain is offline
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Originally Posted by kph06 View Post
The larger machine (that fell through the floor) is back down at Hollis and South. It would be needed to take down the BMO building, so maybe there is hope, for now. It's still a pretty major design change that would significantly or completely restart the achitectural and structural design.
Apparently chedrawe has said building taller on the east side and preserving Maritime Life as his "preference". Of course if he were really that committee is imagine the current design would accomplish that, but anyway, the city/zoning seems to be the real obstacle preventing a compromise solution. Again, get in touch with the councillor or others to express support for that approach, I think.
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  #77  
Old Posted Apr 7, 2016, 12:37 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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I assume this pic was taken from the library?

If so, then it's a great illustration for what everybody has been suggesting - maintain the façade and other interesting parts of the building such as the entranceway, etc. (there are some cool elements inside - see this site: http://halifaxbloggers.ca/noticedinn...ites-the-dust/ ). Build low on the Citadel side to preserve that view, build high on the other side where the view is not so important.

Significant part of the building saved, view preserved, interesting and viable building is built - everybody wins.

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  #78  
Old Posted Apr 7, 2016, 12:50 PM
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I assume this pic was taken from the library?

If so, then it's a great illustration for what everybody has been suggesting - maintain the façade and other interesting parts of the building such as the entranceway, etc. (there are some cool elements inside - see this site: http://halifaxbloggers.ca/noticedinn...ites-the-dust/ ). Build low on the Citadel side to preserve that view, build high on the other side where the view is not so important.

Significant part of the building saved, view preserved, interesting and viable building is built - everybody wins.

Go post that over here and see what they say. https://www.facebook.com/viewfromhal...brary/?fref=ts

I wonder if the response will be uniformly negative due to the viewplane issue, or if some debate would actually ensue.

The reality is (and I'd hope reasonable people would see it) that this is the only possibility for preserving the library view. And if there's any hope of this compromise happening, it's time to push the idea aggressively. Larry Haiven et. al. can coimplain as much as they want, but Westwood can build this as-of-right. If the city is unwilling to make a one-off exception to raise the east-side height limit in order to salvage the view and the building, they're not going to make a one-off change to lower the height limit for the west side.
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  #79  
Old Posted Apr 7, 2016, 1:03 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Go post that over here and see what they say. https://www.facebook.com/viewfromhal...brary/?fref=ts

I wonder if the response will be uniformly negative due to the viewplane issue, or if some debate would actually ensue.

The reality is (and I'd hope reasonable people would see it) that this is the only possibility for preserving the library view. And if there's any hope of this compromise happening, it's time to push the idea aggressively. Larry Haiven et. al. can coimplain as much as they want, but Westwood can build this as-of-right. If the city is unwilling to make a one-off exception to raise the east-side height limit in order to salvage the view and the building, they're not going to make a one-off change to lower the height limit for the west side.
It's a great idea but I'm one of the 5 or 6 North Americans who is not on facebook. That said, feel free to post it yourself, I would have no problem with anybody using the image (the original photo image isn't mine, though).
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  #80  
Old Posted Apr 7, 2016, 1:15 PM
Drybrain Drybrain is offline
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If someone else wanted to do it that might be good (I've already been all over social media on this thing, so new voices might be more effective!)
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