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  #21  
Old Posted May 28, 2018, 3:25 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by JET View Post
30 years ago I had a basement apartment at 1465 Carlton St. A family lived above, and it was very well maintained. Since it was sold and made into more apartments the decline is painful to see. There should be laws that maintain the Heritage Street Scape. In some parts of the US all changes to historic houses must be approved and buildings maintained. I expect that this will never happen in Halifax. I had hoped that Wade and Sam might do something about maintaining historic heritage, but disappointingly no.
Anecdotally, I believe it exists to some extent in parts of Halifax, as a former coworker who was living in the Hydrostones had to apply to make any changes which may alter the appearance of the structure, but this may have just the Hydrostones?

Looking through the proposal, it seems that just one of the College Street victorians will be moved, so presumably the others will be leveled. Definitely no restrictions there, unfortunately.
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  #22  
Old Posted May 28, 2018, 3:29 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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What the rendering doesn't show is the Dexel proposal at the corner of Spring Garden and Robie. Those towers are going to be tight together!

I'm not too optimistic about the materials. Kassner Goodspeed's favourite cladding is pre-cast. In fact, I can't think of any buildings they've designed that's not been pre-cast. The Doyle rendering appeared to show fancy marble cladding, and it ended up as pre-cast.
I was thinking, with the two proposals together it will be quite a blockbuster, i.e. 'tear it all down and fill the block'.

All in all I suppose it's not a horrible proposal, but as stated the perception will be largely based on the quality of materials at street level - and from what you are saying we shouldn't expect too much.
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  #23  
Old Posted May 28, 2018, 4:28 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
Looking through the proposal, it seems that just one of the College Street victorians will be moved, so presumably the others will be leveled. Definitely no restrictions there, unfortunately.
I'm not totally sure of that. On Carlton starting at the west side corner of College St there are 3 (and maybe a 4th, not sure) dumpy Victorians side by side that all appear to be student apartments which likely are all beyond saving. So perhaps those will be razed to make space to move a few survivors there.
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  #24  
Old Posted May 28, 2018, 4:30 PM
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Originally Posted by IanWatson View Post
What the rendering doesn't show is the Dexel proposal at the corner of Spring Garden and Robie. Those towers are going to be tight together!
So the old Coburg Apartments on that corner are finally going to meet their make? I was unaware of that. I was always curious about that building and how the units inside were. Never knew anyone who lived there.
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  #25  
Old Posted May 28, 2018, 5:14 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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I'm not totally sure of that. On Carlton starting at the west side corner of College St there are 3 (and maybe a 4th, not sure) dumpy Victorians side by side that all appear to be student apartments which likely are all beyond saving. So perhaps those will be razed to make space to move a few survivors there.
I was going from the following text in the proposal which indicates that 5969 College will be moved to what was the back yard of the Carlton properties:

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The alteration proposal is to move a registered municipal heritage building from its current location at 5969 College Street to a nearby location on College Street in the rear yards of two municipal heritage properties located in the registered heritage streetscape along Carlton Street.
However, currently (on Google streetside) in that 'back yard' location is a rather uninspired 1970s-looking brick and glass structure, and the renderings show both 5969 and another victorian building in the location, so it's not really clear.

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  #26  
Old Posted May 28, 2018, 7:43 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
Anecdotally, I believe it exists to some extent in parts of Halifax, as a former coworker who was living in the Hydrostones had to apply to make any changes which may alter the appearance of the structure, but this may have just the Hydrostones?
Maybe he/she had an especially historic one with a particular desigation? I own a Hydrostone and there are definitely no restrictions on exterior renovations. The quantity of vinyl siding is evidence of that, but people are constantly adding dormers and mud rooms and all kinds of things that mess with the architectural integrity of the blocks.
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  #27  
Old Posted May 28, 2018, 7:49 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
I was going from the following text in the proposal which indicates that 5969 College will be moved to what was the back yard of the Carlton properties:



However, currently (on Google streetside) in that 'back yard' location is a rather uninspired 1970s-looking brick and glass structure, and the renderings show both 5969 and another victorian building in the location, so it's not really clear.

It looks like the brick-and-glass building will be torn down and the green house will be moved to its current lot. The building to the west of that will be torn down, and the yellow house with the turret, which is currently up the block a bit, will be moved a few metres to the east. The house on the corner will be torn down altogether.

So two Victorians lost. The best of them will be preserved, but still. I'm not too bothered, given the density boost and the effort to save the others, but I'd be a lot happier if the new buildings were of higher quality.

And yeah, as someone said above, Kassner Goodspeed doesn't inspire great confidence.
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  #28  
Old Posted May 28, 2018, 8:53 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
Maybe he/she had an especially historic one with a particular desigation? I own a Hydrostone and there are definitely no restrictions on exterior renovations. The quantity of vinyl siding is evidence of that, but people are constantly adding dormers and mud rooms and all kinds of things that mess with the architectural integrity of the blocks.
I don't know the details, but it was a number of years ago, though. IIRC, I think he was wanting to add a dormer but he told me was that it needed to be approved based on appearance, not structure.

Have you actually applied to do renovations? He found out during the process to get a permit, from what I remember.
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  #29  
Old Posted May 28, 2018, 9:05 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
It looks like the brick-and-glass building will be torn down and the green house will be moved to its current lot. The building to the west of that will be torn down, and the yellow house with the turret, which is currently up the block a bit, will be moved a few metres to the east. The house on the corner will be torn down altogether.

So two Victorians lost. The best of them will be preserved, but still. I'm not too bothered, given the density boost and the effort to save the others, but I'd be a lot happier if the new buildings were of higher quality.

And yeah, as someone said above, Kassner Goodspeed doesn't inspire great confidence.
You can't save everything, for sure, but at least you can hope for a good trade-off. Density is a good one.

If the materials are of low quality it won't look much different than most other new buildings going up in Halifax these days, so it's not like we're lowering our standards or anything.

Also, IMHO, in today's architectural climate it appears that all new towers are being designed with a mish-mash of materials. So it's pretty much a given that we will have unattractive towers, with 4 or 5 different finishes competing for attention, until a better style becomes popular.

At least there will be a lot of bicycles around to bother Keith...
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  #30  
Old Posted May 28, 2018, 9:34 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
Also, IMHO, in today's architectural climate it appears that all new towers are being designed with a mish-mash of materials. So it's pretty much a given that we will have unattractive towers, with 4 or 5 different finishes competing for attention, until a better style becomes popular.
Well, The Keep is the exact opposite of that and looks very blah, like an '80s govt low-bid red brick special. I think the problem here is the architectural firms employed locally, none of whom seem to be particularly great at developing attractive finishes.
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  #31  
Old Posted May 28, 2018, 9:46 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Well, The Keep is the exact opposite of that and looks very blah, like an '80s govt low-bid red brick special. I think the problem here is the architectural firms employed locally, none of whom seem to be particularly great at developing attractive finishes.
Point taken, perhaps, in that it comes down to personal tastes, but it still looks better -to me- than the ones I'm referring to, and would have looked tons better if they had built it faithfully to the rendering.

In terms of finishing, though, it seems like the cost of finishing materials seems to be as much an issue as the selection, which appears to be developers cheaping out because, well, they can. Nobody here seems to care when a building is constructed with cheap, ugly finishes because it's new - and new is always better than old... right?
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  #32  
Old Posted May 28, 2018, 10:04 PM
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Well, The Keep is the exact opposite of that and looks very blah, like an '80s govt low-bid red brick special. I think the problem here is the architectural firms employed locally, none of whom seem to be particularly great at developing attractive finishes.
I feel like Napier has been doing some good work. But most everyone else is all about faux historic, faux stone, faux structure... basically anti architecture / pro cake decorating.
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  #33  
Old Posted May 28, 2018, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
You can't save everything, for sure, but at least you can hope for a good trade-off. Density is a good one.

If the materials are of low quality it won't look much different than most other new buildings going up in Halifax these days, so it's not like we're lowering our standards or anything.

Also, IMHO, in today's architectural climate it appears that all new towers are being designed with a mish-mash of materials. So it's pretty much a given that we will have unattractive towers, with 4 or 5 different finishes competing for attention, until a better style becomes popular.

At least there will be a lot of bicycles around to bother Keith...
That is a fairly defeatist way of looking at it though. We should strive for better quality and push the architects/developers/staff/politicians to demand better buildings. I think it is the public's job to not just accept mediocrity but to demand better.
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  #34  
Old Posted May 29, 2018, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
I don't know the details, but it was a number of years ago, though. IIRC, I think he was wanting to add a dormer but he told me was that it needed to be approved based on appearance, not structure.

Have you actually applied to do renovations? He found out during the process to get a permit, from what I remember.
Hmm. Interesting. It certainly wasn't mentioned at any point when we bought the house. I'm just guessing that there are no restrictions, due to the number of renovations going on in the area right now, affecting everything from cladding to additions. None of the neighbours have ever mentioned that either, and the people to the left of my house have a huge third-storey addition that eliminated the roofline and made the house into a rectangle, basically. They did that maybe five-six years ago.

But there could be something I don't know about. And I'd bet there are restrictions on Young Avenue itself, since those buildings seem to be very carefully kept in accordance with historical appearance.
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  #35  
Old Posted May 29, 2018, 10:48 AM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by Jonovision View Post
That is a fairly defeatist way of looking at it though. We should strive for better quality and push the architects/developers/staff/politicians to demand better buildings. I think it is the public's job to not just accept mediocrity but to demand better.
Perhaps so, but how can the public demand better? It all comes down to profit, and in reality you can build the ugliest building with the cheapest exterior finishes and people will still rent/buy apartments/condos based on location, unit size/layout/amenities, and cost.

Architects work for the developers, so they don't call the shots. Staff can only make recommendations and politicians want to encourage development, so developers are really the ones in control. You are then asking developers to lower their profit margins for no reason other than the fact that you would like to have a nicer looking building to look at while you walk, bike or drive by.

So, how do you improve the situation?
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  #36  
Old Posted May 29, 2018, 10:53 AM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
Hmm. Interesting. It certainly wasn't mentioned at any point when we bought the house. I'm just guessing that there are no restrictions, due to the number of renovations going on in the area right now, affecting everything from cladding to additions. None of the neighbours have ever mentioned that either, and the people to the left of my house have a huge third-storey addition that eliminated the roofline and made the house into a rectangle, basically. They did that maybe five-six years ago.

But there could be something I don't know about. And I'd bet there are restrictions on Young Avenue itself, since those buildings seem to be very carefully kept in accordance with historical appearance.
I don't have any better information, other than that example, and it was over 10 years ago so I'm not sure how it is now.

There's a blurb in the article linked below which indicates that there are some rules and regulations regarding exterior appearance but it doesn't go into details:

http://thechronicleherald.ca/artslif...-old-new-again

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Outwardly, the home is still in harmony with her centenarian neighbours.

“The exterior was left as is . . . being part of the townhouse structures, there are lots of rules and regulations. They really try to leave them intact, and we left in the aesthetic of the original Hydrostone construction,” Braithwaite said.
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  #37  
Old Posted May 29, 2018, 1:04 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
I don't have any better information, other than that example, and it was over 10 years ago so I'm not sure how it is now.

There's a blurb in the article linked below which indicates that there are some rules and regulations regarding exterior appearance but it doesn't go into details:

http://thechronicleherald.ca/artslif...-old-new-again
I know many of the Hyrdostones were afflicted with siding and alterations in the '60s and '70s. In bylaw-happy HRM I would not be surprised if there were restrictions placed into effect in more recent years.
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  #38  
Old Posted May 29, 2018, 9:57 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
Perhaps so, but how can the public demand better? It all comes down to profit, and in reality you can build the ugliest building with the cheapest exterior finishes and people will still rent/buy apartments/condos based on location, unit size/layout/amenities, and cost.

Architects work for the developers, so they don't call the shots. Staff can only make recommendations and politicians want to encourage development, so developers are really the ones in control. You are then asking developers to lower their profit margins for no reason other than the fact that you would like to have a nicer looking building to look at while you walk, bike or drive by.

So, how do you improve the situation?
I think it ultimately falls to politicians. We need to get them to care about design, or elect new ones who do care and will call out a developer on a crappy building. They have the power to implement policy (partly the centre plan will help with this) that can force developers to create nicer buildings.
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  #39  
Old Posted May 30, 2018, 3:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Jonovision View Post
I think it ultimately falls to politicians. We need to get them to care about design, or elect new ones who do care and will call out a developer on a crappy building. They have the power to implement policy (partly the centre plan will help with this) that can force developers to create nicer buildings.
Most HRM councillors probably have no idea what goes into making a building look good or bad or what ultimately makes a neighbourhood good or bad. It is a tricky problem.

Isn't this one outside of the HRM by Design review area? Is the Centre Plan going to extend something like the DRC to all of the peninsula?
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  #40  
Old Posted May 30, 2018, 10:57 AM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by Jonovision View Post
I think it ultimately falls to politicians. We need to get them to care about design, or elect new ones who do care and will call out a developer on a crappy building. They have the power to implement policy (partly the centre plan will help with this) that can force developers to create nicer buildings.
Thanks Jono, I appreciate your optimism. I would truly like to see this happen, but I'm not sure how to get politicians onside. If the 'friends of' type groups would demand better quality buildings rather than 'no buildings' there might be sufficient political pressure to improve the standards (or create standards). It would require a very persuasive person with a very convincing argument to ever make this happen, though (IMHO).
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