HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForum
     

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

Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #1  
Old Posted May 16, 2016, 11:03 PM
Ziobrop's Avatar
Ziobrop Ziobrop is offline
armchairitect
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Halifax
Posts: 720
The Action Group for Better Architecture in Nova Scotia

I Posted something briefly in the General topic a few weeks ago, but the idea is more matured. I have gathered some Volunteers, and offers of some funding, so it looks like this is getting off the ground.

Recent events in Halifax have brought to light an inadequacy in existing Heritage and Community groups. Specifically they are narrowly focused on the protecting the very old, at the expense of more recent important structures, or they are directed at opposing the very tall. By their inability to compromise, they have lost their seats at the table, and by too narrowly focusing on a specific issue have allowed communities to suffer.

Thus a new group is required that is capable of preserving both our built heritage and working for better buildings and Neighborhoods.

The Action Group for Better Architecture in Nova Scotia (AGBANS) was formed to advance the public purposes of architecture and planning. AGBANSs aims include preservation and advocacy.

1. We believe that historic structures exist in a continuum, and can be appropriately adapted for modern reuse, while maintaining their history.
2. We believe Architecture should be debated and discussed openly
3. We believe age should not be the major factor in determining a buildings historical significance.
4.We recognize "NIMBY" concerns about Wind, Shadow, traffic,reduced property values and height often are the product of fear of change, or masking someones self interest. They may also be legitimate and should be investigated
5. We believe that rather then meerly opposing elements of projects,or projects entirely, workable solutions must be presented.
6. We believe that better discourse leads to better development - as such, we are committed to clear messages.

We are looking for our first volunteers - we need 2 people to sit on the board of AGBANS. One Will sit as Treasurer, the other as a Director at Large. email us at info@agbans.ca to volunteer.

also See http://agbans.ca for more.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #2  
Old Posted May 17, 2016, 8:32 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3,694
I like the sound of this. If you can make it work I believe you have the potential to make a positive difference in the building stock of Halifax.

I wish you all the best with it, please keep us informed. I can't offer my time at the moment, but at the very least wish to offer my moral support.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #3  
Old Posted May 20, 2016, 8:00 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3,694
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #4  
Old Posted May 21, 2016, 1:47 PM
TheGreenBastard's Avatar
TheGreenBastard TheGreenBastard is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Halifax/Toronto
Posts: 161
What can I do to help?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #5  
Old Posted May 22, 2016, 12:25 AM
Ziobrop's Avatar
Ziobrop Ziobrop is offline
armchairitect
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Halifax
Posts: 720
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
And the Coast http://www.thecoast.ca/RealityBites/...o-be-town-down
and an interview on News 95.7

We will also be featured in next weeks Coast, and Frank Not bad for week 1.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #6  
Old Posted May 22, 2016, 12:39 AM
Ziobrop's Avatar
Ziobrop Ziobrop is offline
armchairitect
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Halifax
Posts: 720
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGreenBastard View Post
What can I do to help?
This was the update email i sent around last week - If you want to recive these - please submit your name and email on http://AGBANS.ca

Quote:
Here are some of the Latest Updates on AGBANS

1.Organizational Progress
We have Started the paperwork to be a registered society. We also have 4/5 people needed for the first Board of Directors - Myself, Matthew Halliday, Angela Henry, and Ian Watson. There is still 1 spot open, but there is an interested party.
once this is done, we will open up memberships

2. Media - Mathew will be talking about AGBANS and the proposal for 5189 South St on News 95.7 on the 20th at 12:45. AGBANS will also be the subject of the Development column in Frank Mag Next week.

3. Our first campaign is against the Demolition of the Elmwood Apartments on South St. It appears that there was no consideration to preserving the building, which would fall under the Barrington Heritage District. - our statement can b found at http://agbans.ca/2016/05/19/16/

4.Website is up and running - the first static site has now been converted to wordpress.

5. We need your Suggestions. As a New Society, the BOD has ideas of what we should do, but ultimately a group is better for its members. SO, if you want to help out, or think there is a project or activity you think we should take on, please let us know. We have ideas for an education program - and a lecture series might not be a bad idea either. film fest? sketch walks? all ideas are welcome.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7  
Old Posted May 24, 2016, 6:55 PM
JET JET is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,662
I have sent an email to council with your link requesting that they intervene in preserving this building.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #8  
Old Posted May 24, 2016, 11:22 PM
Drybrain Drybrain is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 3,266
Quote:
Originally Posted by JET View Post
I have sent an email to council with your link requesting that they intervene in preserving this building.
If council's grudging response to requests to intervene in the as-of-right demolition of three blocks around Colonial Honda is any indication, they're unlikely to take any steps at all to save the building.

I'd say direct appeal to the developer is the only way to go. Public meeting, June 8, 7 pm, Westin. And of course appeals to the developers. I sent a brief letter describing my opposition, especially pertaining to the scarcity of these kind of buildings, the plentiful other sites nearby more appropriate for this, the impending conservation district, and the fact that a restoration of the building would probably stand them in better stead with the community and would be far better contribution to the city than the demolition of one of the only buildings like this left.

Contact info from the AGBANS release: "Comments can also be sent to the architects – Mr. Paul Skerry (pauls@pskerry.ca) or Mr. Greg Johnston (gregj@pskerry.ca) who are acting as representatives for the developer, or the developer directly at renthalifax@live.com."
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #9  
Old Posted May 25, 2016, 12:54 PM
JET JET is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,662
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
If council's grudging response to requests to intervene in the as-of-right demolition of three blocks around Colonial Honda is any indication, they're unlikely to take any steps at all to save the building.

I'd say direct appeal to the developer is the only way to go. Public meeting, June 8, 7 pm, Westin. And of course appeals to the developers. I sent a brief letter describing my opposition, especially pertaining to the scarcity of these kind of buildings, the plentiful other sites nearby more appropriate for this, the impending conservation district, and the fact that a restoration of the building would probably stand them in better stead with the community and would be far better contribution to the city than the demolition of one of the only buildings like this left.

Contact info from the AGBANS release: "Comments can also be sent to the architects – Mr. Paul Skerry (pauls@pskerry.ca) or Mr. Greg Johnston (gregj@pskerry.ca) who are acting as representatives for the developer, or the developer directly at renthalifax@live.com."
I expect that you are correct about what council may be inclined to do; however, the Honda proposal in not in the middle of a proposed heritage District. It may be all futile, but the more it gets out in the public... I had little hope for the Dennis Building, but it had some good press, and maybe at least the façade will be saved.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #10  
Old Posted May 25, 2016, 2:51 PM
Drybrain Drybrain is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 3,266
Quote:
Originally Posted by JET View Post
I expect that you are correct about what council may be inclined to do; however, the Honda proposal in not in the middle of a proposed heritage District. It may be all futile, but the more it gets out in the public... I had little hope for the Dennis Building, but it had some good press, and maybe at least the façade will be saved.
I have more hope than ever for the Dennis. They always said they planned to save the facade, and then backtracked and said they would look for a private developer to redevelop the site (presumably keeping the Dennis facade). Then they went to the trouble of gutting the whole building and remediating the mold, but left the shell standing.

Now that it's out for tender I certainly hope that whatever private partner steps up commits to retention. Honestly, the government should have made it a heritage property before opening it up, but such forward-thinking would be pretty novel for these guys.

Has anyone seen the RFP for redevelopment of the Acadian Recorder/Dennis site, by the way?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #11  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2016, 12:35 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3,694
This one has to be on your radar as well. Although we've known about it for a while now, I was surprised at how enraged I felt when I walked by it on the weekend, after attending some Doors Open Halifax showings (which probably had an influence on how I was feeling, after seeing some nicely maintained and restored older buildings).

It's incredulous to me that ripping this down or even substantially modifying it is even on the table. It's obvious when looking at the exterior, that the current "owner" is not going to great lengths to maintain it (the old ploy...).






Last edited by OldDartmouthMark; Jun 7, 2016 at 1:15 PM. Reason: typo
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #12  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2016, 1:17 PM
Ziobrop's Avatar
Ziobrop Ziobrop is offline
armchairitect
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Halifax
Posts: 720
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
This one has has to be on your radar as well. Although we've known about it for a while now, I was surprised at how enraged I felt when I walked by it on the weekend, after attending some Doors Open Halifax showings (which probably had an influence on how I was feeling, after seeing some nicely maintained and restored older buildings).

It's incredulous to me that ripping this down or even substantially modifying it is even on the table. It's obvious when looking at the exterior, that the current "owner" is not going to great lengths to maintain it (the old ploy...).






My sense is the developer is now willing to keep them. i think the demo permits were a bargaining chip with the city.

iirc these will be enshrined in the Barrington HCD, which under provinces heritage act does away with the as of right demo after 3 years, and makes them subject to what ever demolition policies are in the act.

we are watching, but as of now belive them to be safe.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #13  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2016, 1:27 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3,694
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziobrop View Post
My sense is the developer is now willing to keep them. i think the demo permits were a bargaining chip with the city.

iirc these will be enshrined in the Barrington HCD, which under provinces heritage act does away with the as of right demo after 3 years, and makes them subject to what ever demolition policies are in the act.

we are watching, but as of now belive them to be safe.
Thanks for the reassurance.

The signs still make me nervous, though...
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2016, 2:51 PM
JET JET is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,662
Quote:
Originally Posted by JET View Post
I have sent an email to council with your link requesting that they intervene in preserving this building.
After sending my email to the mayor and all of council, the only one I heard back from was Waye Mason.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #15  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2016, 2:52 PM
Drybrain Drybrain is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 3,266
I was talking to a member of the Heritage Advisory Committee who said he'd seen some preliminary renderings of the project, and it involved some facadism. I don't really know how you can meaningfully retain the quality and massing of these buildings via facadism, unless it's extraordinarily sensitive and well-done but the guy I talked to said it looked like the developer was "trying".

Which doesn't make sense to me, since if the developer is truly "trying" to maintain the heritage aspect, they wouldn't assemble development parcels full of registered heritage buildings, and then propose ripping off the building faces for use on some new building.

Anyway, facadism would be a substantial alteration, and that still needs to be approved by council. If council votes against it, we go into the three-year waiting period. But I'd be surprised to see council vote against it, no matter how bad it is.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #16  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2016, 4:26 PM
someone123's Avatar
someone123 someone123 is offline
hähnchenbrüstfiletstüc
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 21,496
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
I was talking to a member of the Heritage Advisory Committee who said he'd seen some preliminary renderings of the project, and it involved some facadism. I don't really know how you can meaningfully retain the quality and massing of these buildings via facadism, unless it's extraordinarily sensitive and well-done but the guy I talked to said it looked like the developer was "trying".
If you look on Google Maps, the lots are quite a bit deeper than the houses. The developer could demolish the already-ruined building next door and then connect to the rear of the other buildings such that there would be almost no difference at street level.

Even better would be to build on the space behind the registered heritage houses and leave them as they are. I am not sure if this runs afoul of some density or land coverage rules though. If it does that is something the city should fix.

Often when developers pick out heritage properties to redevelop it's because there's a building with a small footprint on a huge lot that according to the city's planning rules can accommodate a lot more units.
__________________
flickr
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #17  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2016, 4:35 PM
Ziobrop's Avatar
Ziobrop Ziobrop is offline
armchairitect
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Halifax
Posts: 720
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
I was talking to a member of the Heritage Advisory Committee who said he'd seen some preliminary renderings of the project, and it involved some facadism. I don't really know how you can meaningfully retain the quality and massing of these buildings via facadism, unless it's extraordinarily sensitive and well-done but the guy I talked to said it looked like the developer was "trying".

Which doesn't make sense to me, since if the developer is truly "trying" to maintain the heritage aspect, they wouldn't assemble development parcels full of registered heritage buildings, and then propose ripping off the building faces for use on some new building.

Anyway, facadism would be a substantial alteration, and that still needs to be approved by council. If council votes against it, we go into the three-year waiting period. But I'd be surprised to see council vote against it, no matter how bad it is.
3 year is from date of application iirc. anyway, when the HCD passes, there is no 3 year demolition under the heritage act, so council can say no, and it stays no, unless there is a provision in the HCD policies to allow the Demo, or substantial alteration.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #18  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2016, 4:40 PM
Drybrain Drybrain is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 3,266
Quote:
Originally Posted by someone123 View Post
If you look on Google Maps, the lots are quite a bit deeper than the houses. The developer could demolish the already-ruined building next door and then connect to the rear of the other buildings such that there would be almost no difference at street level.

Even better would be to build on the space behind the registered heritage houses and leave them as they are. I am not sure if this runs afoul of some density or land coverage rules though. If it does that is something the city should fix.

Often when developers pick out heritage properties to redevelop it's because there's a building with a small footprint on a huge lot that according to the city's planning rules can accommodate a lot more units.
Yeah, it's pretty obvious how a high-quality development could be accommodated while retaining the two worthwhile buildings in full. The footprint of the buildings in question occupy probably less than one quarter of the total area available for development.

But that leaves the developer in a situation where they can't use the hypothetical square footage above the existing buildings. I wouldn't be surprised if that concern trumps heritage in their minds.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #19  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2016, 10:04 PM
Jonovision's Avatar
Jonovision Jonovision is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 4,749
When I look at these properties I always think of the Toronto School of Ballet. Something like this could easily be accommodated on these properties.

Reply With Quote
     
     
  #20  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2016, 12:44 AM
Drybrain Drybrain is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 3,266
This sort of treatment of heritage has become incredibly common in most cities, yet so hard for local developers to wrap their brains around.

Though there is the proposal to add a rear addition to the Benjamin Wier House, which has the right idea.
Reply With Quote
     
     
This discussion thread continues

Use the page links to the lower-right to go to the next page for additional posts
 
 
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 10:31 AM.

     

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