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  #301  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2018, 6:01 AM
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These are not new projects but a locally well-known person who did great heritage restoration projects, Hal Forbes, passed away a little while ago. Noticed in Nova Scotia posted a few examples of his work. These are what you might call creative restorations; they are examples of reconstructing ornamentation that similar buildings might have had at one time.







I love these buildings and wish every old rowhouse covered in vinyl siding in North End Halifax could get this sort of treatment (or maybe 3/4 of them, with 1/4 getting modern overhauls).

This old building that used to be tucked under the Macdonald bridge was also mentioned. Look at how great it was:



It was actually a strange shape and was in this state back in the 60's or 70's:



The full post is here: https://halifaxbloggers.ca/noticedin...not-forgotten/
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  #302  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2018, 12:31 PM
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That Halifax 'Tramway Building' looks very modern for 1916.

(Just to make sure my comment is not misinterpreted - I mean that as a compliment; it's therefore more architecturally interesting than the average 1916 commercial building. Some of Chicago's early skyscrapers also stood out for being really ahead of their time, that's what it reminds me of, a bit. I certainly don't mean I think the datation can't be correct.)
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  #303  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2018, 4:02 PM
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Yes, it's a great little building. I think it is undervalued somewhat because concrete construction became so popular by the 1960's, but in the 1910's it would have been cutting edge modern. It has not been well-maintained over the years either; it has ugly storefronts and lost portions of detailing. There is another exposed concrete building downtown from around 1900 and that one might be the first of its kind in Canada.

Halifax is packed with gems like this that were standouts in their day. It had some great architects like Andrew Cobb during the ~1900-1940 period, and before them there were generations of Scottish stonemasons that migrated to the city and built amazing stuff. If you want to see the origins of this have a look at Glasgow in streetview.
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  #304  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2018, 4:33 PM
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The Chicago style had a brief but substantial impact here and Barrington Street in particular still reflects that.

Halifax has really benefited over the years by having its own architecture school.
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  #305  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2018, 8:30 PM
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For interest's sake, here's a photo previously posted in the Halifax section.

Date is approx 1957, and you can see the Tramway Bldg. in the background, showing some of the detail that has been lost over the years.



Source

Compare to the more recent photo posted by Hali87 on the previous page of this thread:
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  #306  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2018, 9:22 PM
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This pool/gym is housed in what used to be the chapel of the Sainte-Jeanne d'Arc sisterhood's Motherhouse in Quebec City. I do not have pics of the rest of the project but if it is up to par with this pool, it will be splendid.






https://www.facebook.com/Stephane.Gr...eJw1zpjcrCM054


The project:






https://www.ccm2.ca/projet/domaine-sillery
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  #307  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2018, 3:55 AM
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edit: it seems like they removed the rendering I was referring to, and replaced it with the pool.

Last edited by Architype; Dec 15, 2018 at 3:41 AM.
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  #308  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2018, 3:49 PM
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That pool inside the former church nave sure is cool, but it looks like it will be a nightmare to build and maintain.
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  #309  
Old Posted Dec 2, 2018, 9:26 PM
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That pool inside the former church nave sure is cool, but it looks like it will be a nightmare to build and maintain.
Yea. no kidding. It looks rather unappealing just by it's layout alone....along with the thought of putting a pool into a traditionally religious space.
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  #310  
Old Posted Dec 2, 2018, 10:10 PM
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I just can't think of a worse place to put an indoor pool than an old wooden church nave with stained glass windows. The humidity generated by thousands of litres of evaporating water every year must be insane, not to mention the temperature difference between inside and outside half the year. I look at that and all I see is astronomical condo fees in ten years' time.
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  #311  
Old Posted Dec 15, 2018, 2:06 AM
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Here's a picture of the recently-resorted St. Paul's Building on Barrington Street in Halifax. I think it used to have a cornice and clock on top, but it's still interesting without those details.

It is from the 1890's. The one on the left is circa 1830 and the one on the right is circa 1760. The visible foundation stones were supposedly taken from Louisbourg.


Source
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  #312  
Old Posted Dec 15, 2018, 2:46 AM
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Sorry to be negative (by Canadian standards, I guess we should already be grateful it wasn't razed and replaced by a standalone Tim Horton's with drive thru) but... first off, the bars-less windows suck, but worst of all is the architectural treatment of the cornice - that stupid blank 'headband' is horrible, what were they thinking? (ran out of budget? couldn't just restore/keep original cornice detail?)

The top, correctly done, should look somewhat like this:
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  #313  
Old Posted Dec 15, 2018, 3:47 AM
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Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
Sorry to be negative (by Canadian standards, I guess we should already be grateful it wasn't razed and replaced by a standalone Tim Horton's with drive thru) but... first off, the bars-less windows suck, but worst of all is the architectural treatment of the cornice - that stupid blank 'headband' is horrible, what were they thinking? (ran out of budget? couldn't just restore/keep original cornice detail?)

The top, correctly done, should look somewhat like this:
[img]http://www.boweryalliance.org/images...oorCornice.jpg[ /img]
This was something commonly done, unfortunately, seeing that modern a/c ventilation does not require windows that open in offices. It also looks like they either ran out of money or preferred a kind of nouveau minimalist cherry picking approach to heritage to fit modern aesthetics, similar to the way we choose to re-write history to fit our convenient narrative.
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  #314  
Old Posted Dec 15, 2018, 6:04 AM
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I agree that Canada tends to have low standards and Halifax is particularly bad for applying utilitarian standards to exceptional heritage buildings. It's pretty common to see debates over whether or not to allow a condo developer to gut a 200 year old building, even national heritage sites. In most wealthy countries such sites would be very carefully preserved. The number of buildings like this is so small that preserving them well is not an expensive proposition for the city, province, or country as a whole.

How many 5 storey Victorian office buildings are there in all of Canada? Maybe in the hundreds?

Here's an old picture of that building from the NS archives:



The good news is that if one day someone wants to restore the building it's still possible without much reconstruction. Based on how things have evolved over the past 20 years I think standards probably will continue to improve.
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  #315  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2018, 1:11 AM
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The good news is that if one day someone wants to restore the building it's still possible without much reconstruction.
That's very true. As I said, I couldn't help but voice those negative comments but I recognize that this glass is more than half full (just not completely full, which would be a proper, tasteful restoration) here. Obviously, an imperfect heritage building with potential is greatly preferable to no more building.

FWIW, I did make that argument once to Sherbrooke's City Council (that a temporarily boarded up, downtown multistory centenarian building was preferable to forcing me to turn it into an immediate, permanent surface parking lot). They disagreed.
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  #316  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2018, 1:16 AM
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It is from the 1890's.
I'm noticing that in your old pic, it was occupied by the New York Life Insurance Co, did they build it? The dates and style kinda match Montreal's:
(Halifax's being newer by a few years, and smaller by a few stories, would also make sense.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Yo...ing_(Montreal)
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  #317  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2018, 1:53 AM
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I'm noticing that in your old pic, it was occupied by the New York Life Insurance Co, did they build it? The dates and style kinda match Montreal's
They were definitely an early tenant, since this picture is from right around when the building was completed. The records I have seen just list a local builder/developer, and it is never referred to as the "New York Life Building". The details aren't that similar to the one in Montreal; I don't think they were designed to look similar across the country (which a bunch of banks actually did, like CIBC which spread ugliness from coast to coast as part of their architectural branding exercise). It is possible that the similarities that exist are only there because those styles were popular circa 1890.

This was a shopping area around 1880-1930. The Place d'Armes equivalent in Halifax is around Hollis Street, which has more impressive stone buildings (though a bunch have been torn down, like the one that was the Royal Bank HQ up until 1907.. it is hard to even find good pictures of a lot of them).

An interesting piece of trivia is that this corner building from the 1890's was built closer to the present day than it was to 2 of its neighbours from the mid-1700's. The heritage registration process gives a lot of points for "building age" and even something from 1890 only gets half points, which is pretty flawed in my opinion. It's easy for a 1755 cottage to get more points than an 1880 stone office block. The city won't get a lot of new heritage buildings if the 60 year old stuff is perpetually torn down, as has happened recently with some of the city's nicest 1950's buildings.
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  #318  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2018, 2:09 AM
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It is possible that the similarities that exist are only there because those styles were popular circa 1890.
Yeah, that's very likely actually. I'm sure you're correct. I guess when you're under the impression the same company built them, you start to see things through that lens. The position of a clock on a structural beyond-the-top-floor minitower, the turrets in the corners, those aren't that generic, but the rest of the features I found similar at first sight (for example, the top floor having rounded windows) are indeed just common in Victorian office buildings.
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  #319  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2018, 2:16 AM
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The heritage registration process gives a lot of points for "building age" and even something from 1890 only gets half points, which is pretty flawed in my opinion. It's easy for a 1755 cottage to get more points than an 1880 stone office block. The city won't get a lot of new heritage buildings if the 60 year old stuff is perpetually torn down, as has happened recently with some of the city's nicest 1950's buildings.
Couldn't agree more.

Age is one thing, but it's not the be all end all.

Unless it's among the oldest stuff in the city; that's where I'd make an exception to this rule.

A nondescript building from the late 1800s in Vancouver should get heritage status (it wouldn't in Quebec City or Halifax); a building from ~1750 in Halifax gets the highest heritage status while in Europe you wouldn't blink before razing it if you had to; my 1830s Lévis duplex is uninteresting (by that I mean it's a very common Early Québécois Vernacular style) and is not even on the city's extensivest "barely worth mentioning" heritage properties list, but if it were in Sherbrooke instead it would be the city's oldest surviving structure and I have no doubt it'd enjoy the highest heritage status there is.
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  #320  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2018, 3:14 AM
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Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
A nondescript building from the late 1800s in Vancouver should get heritage status (it wouldn't in Quebec City or Halifax); a building from ~1750 in Halifax gets the highest heritage status while in Europe you wouldn't blink before razing it if you had to; my 1830s Lévis duplex is uninteresting
It is interesting how this varies between cities.

Halifax was a planned capital, similar to a mini Washington DC. When evil Mr. Cornwallis arrived on day 1 he brought around 2,500 settlers with him plus troops, preconstructed kits to build some public buildings like St. Paul's church, the street grid was immediately laid out, etc. Houses built a few years after the city was founded are not that big of a deal, although many have now famous (or infamous) people associated with them.

Quebec City in 1609 had a population of 8 surviving early explorer pioneer types. Halifax never was this type of settlement. There's no Jebediah Springfield log cabin from 1702.

Around Nova Scotia there's also a decent number of houses that predate 1749. Annapolis Royal is a much older town and was settled in 1605. Annapolis Royal + Halifax is the NS equivalent of Quebec City. Nova Scotia and Canada had around the same population in the late 1700's (there's an interesting assemblage of old census counts here: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/...151287-eng.htm). NS has an impressive collection of 1700's and early 1800's architecture, with lots of stuff that is very exceptional on a national basis. The same can't really be said of buildings from the 1880's or later, with only a few exceptions (my nominations would be the armoury and Bank of NS). That building above is considered a "filler" building that is merely part of a larger Victorian streetscape, not a landmark.
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Last edited by someone123; Dec 16, 2018 at 3:32 AM.
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