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General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - Printable Version

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RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - BuildingScout - 03-20-2015

(03-20-2015, 11:47 AM)Spokes Wrote: I believe it's on the heritage register

You gotta be kidding. We are talking about this right:

[Image: macintosh.jpg]


I think it is a really sad and damning statement of the local architecture that a building can be added to the registry on the basis of "1) it uses vitriolite 2) it has a triangular roof support for the drive through and 3) it uses yellow brick (not-visible and actually more brown then yellow)".

This reminds me of the otherwise rather forgettable movie "Doc Hollywood" in which the town of Grady inadvertently damns itself with faint price by declaring themselves ‘The Squash Capital of the South’.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - panamaniac - 03-20-2015

You've have made comparable comments in the past abut other buildings, iirc.  The fact that a building is not monumental, unusually old, or "beautiful" is not especially relevant to the question of whether it has heritage value in the context of Kitchener's urban core.  We've lost a lot more than we've saved, so I hardly think the City is over-doing things on the heritage front.

By the way, this building, the Bullas Glass building and the old Rockway Restaurant (now AM Africa?) are the only three places in town with old Vitrolite cladding still in town.  Are there others?  Maybe these three are just more noticeable because of the yellow and/or green colourway.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - Spokes - 03-20-2015

(03-20-2015, 02:59 PM)BuildingScout Wrote:
(03-20-2015, 11:47 AM)Spokes Wrote: I believe it's on the heritage register

You gotta be kidding. We are talking about this right:

[Image: macintosh.jpg]


I think it is a really sad and damning statement of the local architecture that a building can be added to the registry on the basis of "1) it uses vitriolite 2) it has a triangular roof support for the drive through and 3) it uses yellow brick (not-visible and actually more brown then yellow)".

This reminds me of the otherwise rather forgettable movie "Doc Hollywood" in which the town of Grady inadvertently damns itself with faint price by declaring themselves ‘The Squash Capital of the South’.


Yup, that's the one.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, maybe it's because we've lost some great heritage pieces in the past, but Heritage Kitchener over protects properties on a regular basis.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - BuildingScout - 03-20-2015

(03-20-2015, 03:10 PM)panamaniac Wrote: You've have made comparable comments in the past abut other buildings, iirc.  The fact that a building is not monumental, unusually old, or "beautiful" is not especially relevant to the question of whether it has heritage value in the context of Kitchener's urban core.  We've lost a lot more than we've saved, so I hardly think the City is over-doing things on the heritage front.

So it's heritage value is that is the only building that uses Vitriolite. Do we need to keep a copy of every single material used in the past regardless if it is aesthetically appealing? Say, I dump a pile of wet cement on a Vitriolite foundation and it is now a heritage structure?

I'm willing to grant that I could be wrong about this (or other) buildings in town, but simply "this is the only example of X left" doesn't cut it unless X was particularly relevant to the local heritage, e.g. the last example of a Menonite hand raised barn.

We have no connection to Vitriolite, why is up to us to preserve an ugly structure which is now out of place given the forthcoming surrounding densities? I'd be perfectly happy if that structure got replaced by a nicely designed high rise with mixed usage, and in the atrium, featuring prominently, a large picture of the dry cleaners facade.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - panamaniac - 03-20-2015

I was just checking on-line and I couldn't find this one (130 Victoria St. S) on either of the list of designated or non-designated properties.

Edit:  Re you last comment, BuildingScout, reasonable people can differ about the heritage value of a particular structure.  In the case of Kitchener, which even its biggest boosters would have to admit is never going to win any beauty contests, I have sympathy for the preservation of structures that reflect the City over its history (and no, not in every case).  We could, of course, just tear everything down and build new structures, but what would that mean for the city's "texture" (not sure if that's the right word)?  If I am correct that this building is not on the Heritage Register, then better minds than mine have decided that it doesn't merit being there.  That doesn't prohibit me from feeling that its loss, if that were to occur, would be unfortunate.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - BuildingScout - 03-20-2015

(03-20-2015, 03:22 PM)panamaniac Wrote: I was just checking on-line and I couldn't find this one (130 Victoria St. S) on either of the list of designated or non-designated properties.

It was recommended for listing. Search for:

LISTING OF NON-DESIGNATED PROPERTY OF CULTURAL HERITAGE VALUE OR INTEREST ON THE MUNICIPAL HERITAGE REGISTER
December 16, 2009.

Maybe the Heritage committee never approved it. It would make a lot of sense if it didn't, as far as I'm concerned.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - realtyforward - 03-20-2015

(03-20-2015, 03:24 PM)BuildingScout Wrote:
(03-20-2015, 03:22 PM)panamaniac Wrote: I was just checking on-line and I couldn't find this one (130 Victoria St. S) on either of the list of designated or non-designated properties.

It was recommended for listing. Search for:

LISTING OF NON-DESIGNATED PROPERTY OF CULTURAL HERITAGE VALUE OR INTEREST ON THE MUNICIPAL HERITAGE REGISTER
December 16, 2009.

Maybe the Heritage committee never approved it. It would make a lot of sense if it didn't, as far as I'm concerned.

I find myself somewhere in the middle on this one. I think "beauty" with respect to heritage value is somewhat irrelevant and very subjective. Instead, we should be preserving buildings and sites for their value in defining the community they serve. If Vitrolite is what is valued here, then yes, it doesn't need to be protected. That material will be hard to replace and preserve if it is to remain 'forever' and to my limited knowledge, we don't owe Vitrolite anything locally. However, I suspect it might be the rare authenticity of the drive-through dry cleaners that remain in the City that is being valued in this case.

I would prefer to see the site well documented and allowed to be redeveloped in the long run or incorporated as part of a new development because there is a much higher and better use that could be served in this location. Incorporating elements of the building in a new development would be appropriate in my opinion. One re-use option that comes to mind is turning this into a cool restaurant - has anyone ever been to Vinsetta Garage in Detroit?


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - ookpik - 03-20-2015

Aficionados of "Vitriol-lite" don't have to travel far to see a much better implementation:

[Image: 320px-Eglinton_Station_Vitrolite.jpg]


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - YKF - 03-20-2015

I can only imagine how contaminated that site must be, having served as a dry cleaning location for decades.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - panamaniac - 03-20-2015

(03-20-2015, 11:47 AM)Spokes Wrote: I believe it's on the heritage register

(03-20-2015, 05:25 PM)YKF Wrote: I can only imagine how contaminated that site must be, having served as a dry cleaning location for decades.

That certainly seems to be the case for the old Jessups Cleaners site at Duke and Ontario Sts.  Although when I see that Cam MacIntosh has been at the business for 45 years and that his uncles were there even longer, I have to wonder about the alleged danger of the chemicals used.  Of course I'm old enough to remember playing with liquid mercury and asbestos in science class at school and, as a small child, eating coal tar that bubbled up from our street.  (!)  Wink


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - mpd618 - 03-21-2015

Mid-century architecture. It would be nice if we didn't destroy all of it now and could see some traces of it left, especially if it differs from what we consider to be tasteful today.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - Spokes - 03-21-2015

(03-20-2015, 03:24 PM)BuildingScout Wrote:
(03-20-2015, 03:22 PM)panamaniac Wrote: I was just checking on-line and I couldn't find this one (130 Victoria St. S) on either of the list of designated or non-designated properties.

It was recommended for listing. Search for:

LISTING OF NON-DESIGNATED PROPERTY OF CULTURAL HERITAGE VALUE OR INTEREST ON THE MUNICIPAL HERITAGE REGISTER
December 16, 2009.

Maybe the Heritage committee never approved it. It would make a lot of sense if it didn't, as far as I'm concerned.

If memory serves, when it was recommended for listing it was one of a TON of properties, many of which not warranting being listed, so maybe a lot of them didn`t get added


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - panamaniac - 03-21-2015

The main floor of the former Boa Nova restaurant at Charles and Ontario Sts has been occupied by an accounting firm.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - MacBerry - 03-21-2015

(03-20-2015, 03:20 PM)Spokes Wrote:
(03-20-2015, 02:59 PM)BuildingScout Wrote: You gotta be kidding. We are talking about this right:

[Image: macintosh.jpg]


I think it is a really sad and damning statement of the local architecture that a building can be added to the registry on the basis of "1) it uses vitriolite 2) it has a triangular roof support for the drive through and 3) it uses yellow brick (not-visible and actually more brown then yellow)".

This reminds me of the otherwise rather forgettable movie "Doc Hollywood" in which the town of Grady inadvertently damns itself with faint price by declaring themselves ‘The Squash Capital of the South’.


Yup, that's the one.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, maybe it's because we've lost some great heritage pieces in the past, but Heritage Kitchener over protects properties on a regular basis.

It's an old warehouse full of asbestos and 60's cladding. Nothing on the side street shows it worthy of  preserving.

Sorry ... but there is nothing architecturally worth protecting here.


RE: General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours - BuildingScout - 03-21-2015

(03-20-2015, 03:22 PM)panamaniac Wrote: In the case of Kitchener, which even its biggest boosters would have to admit is never going to win any beauty contests, I have sympathy for the preservation of structures that reflect the City over its history (and no, not in every case).  We could, of course, just tear everything down and build new structures, but what would that mean for the city's "texture" (not sure if that's the right word)?  If I am correct that this building is not on the Heritage Register, then better minds than mine have decided that it doesn't merit being there.  That doesn't prohibit me from feeling that its loss, if that were to occur, would be unfortunate.

I don't follow your logic here. Are you saying that because the city is ugly we need to preserve the ugly buildings? isn't that going against what we want the city to become??

Moreover I don't agree with your overall negative sentiment on the city. When we were assembling the list of top ten buildings in the region, there were well over 30 different structures all of which were worthy of note to which we could easily add the top twenty houses in the region for a total of 50. Why don't focus our preservation efforts on those and then work with developers to create even more structures like that, be it by renovating old buildings (Seagram lofts, Barrel Warehouse, Tannery, Breihaupt, Kaufman lofts, etc) or by building new noteworthy structures (CCGG, Pharmacy, CIGI, Perimeter, Kitchener city hall, etc).

What do we gain by unnecessarily antagonizing developers to protect ugly structures? Again the heritage committee needs to re-examine it's "protect every odd wart in the city" approach, and focus on things that truly deserve protection.