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General Urban Waterloo Updates and Rumours
#61
(05-27-2015, 05:45 PM)curiouschair Wrote: I don't really get why this would be a heritage consideration, it's not something I really see as worth saving. I would rather see this one torn down and something new built, but who knows maybe the developer will come up with something nice.

I said it before: this is preserving mediocrity, not heritage.
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#62
(05-27-2015, 08:44 PM)BuildingScout Wrote:
(05-27-2015, 05:45 PM)curiouschair Wrote: I don't really get why this would be a heritage consideration, it's not something I really see as worth saving. I would rather see this one torn down and something new built, but who knows maybe the developer will come up with something nice.

I said it before: this is preserving mediocrity, not heritage.

For some people, anything old automatically means "heritage."  Sad

But by that standard, my old hockey socks should be in a museum, too.  Smile
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#63
(05-27-2015, 09:07 PM)tomh009 Wrote: But by that standard, my old hockey socks should be in a museum, too.  Smile


Shush. Don't give them ideas.
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#64
So just how much of our built history do we need to tear down before a building of "mediocre" architecture can be declared "Heritage"?
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#65
(05-28-2015, 09:11 AM)Markster Wrote: So just how much of our built history do we need to tear down before a building of "mediocre" architecture can be declared "Heritage"?

If there is nothing better left, sure, I can agree with that.  But otherwise ... are you suggesting the (most recent) Waterloo post office building should also be declared to be a "Heritage" building?
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#66
Just how many of our smelly hockey sock history do we need to throw away before a pair of "mediocre" socks can be declared "Heritage"?

RoWHSHC (Region of Waterloo Hockey Sock Heritage Committee)
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#67
The way some people talk on this forum, I feel like it's important to draw a line in the sand sooner rather than later on heritage as I don't trust that they would not wholeheartedly advocate the tearing down of anything, anywhere, even if it is the last building of its kind in the Region or the world.

I'm less certain than I am about this building than others, though. I don't see the aesthetic appeal, though I recognize that's at least partly my own sense of aesthetics talking. But a manufacturing facility left so close to Uptown might be worth preserving.

I find it interesting that this is a good example of adaptive reuse. I wish there was some way to know what the conversation was when the Legion converted it from a factory to their facilities in the 1950s. If there were those who advocated replacing an old, out-of-fashion building with what was at the time beautiful, we'd today have something dating from the '50s and indisputably uglier.
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#68
I think if all of those bricked-up windows are turned back into windows, it will be a nice enough building. I don't see why we need to rush to demolish everything, especially when there are people willing to invest money into reuse.
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#69
(05-28-2015, 10:44 AM)MidTowner Wrote: The way some people talk on this forum, I feel like it's important to draw a line in the sand sooner rather than later on heritage as I don't trust that they would not wholeheartedly advocate the tearing down of anything, anywhere, even if it is the last building of its kind in the Region or the world.

Strawman.

Every one here has at one time or another spoken strongly in favour of preserving certain heritage structures in the region. Go to the forum on top 10 buildings in the region and you'll find the same names there defending old structures that have spoken here against preserving smelly socks.

My guesstimate is that there are somewhere between 50-100 buildings in the region (some old, some modern) worthy of protection on an aesthetic basis alone. To that we need to add historical value items (Schneider house, Woodside) as well as a choice few last representatives of an important period in our past (e.g. a Mennonite hand raised barn, early XX century industrial buildings like the Tannery, etc.)

Lastly as an environmentalist I'm in favour of reuse whenever sensible, but not in the name of some made up heritage connection.
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#70
(05-28-2015, 10:51 AM)mpd618 Wrote: (...) especially when there are people willing to invest money into reuse.

If there are people willing to invest money into reuse (of what I consider mediocre buildings), where are they when these buildings are being sold?

Surely none of our city councils are refusing permits to renovate and reuse existing buildings -- provided that there is no safety issue, of course.  And private sellers are generally happy to sell regardless of what the buyer's ultimate intention is for the building at hand.
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#71
(05-28-2015, 11:21 AM)BuildingScout Wrote: Strawman.

Not when you have commenters disparaging the committee tasked with preserving built heritage when they speak out in favour of preserving built heritage.

(05-28-2015, 11:21 AM)BuildingScout Wrote: My guesstimate is that there are somewhere between 50-100 buildings in the region (some old, some modern) worthy of protection on an aesthetic basis alone. To that we need to add historical value items (Schneider house, Woodside) as well as a choice few last representatives of an important period in our past (e.g. a Mennonite hand raised barn, early XX century industrial buildings like the Tannery, etc.)

Lastly as an environmentalist I'm in favour of reuse whenever sensible, but not in the name of some made up heritage connection.

I really don't think there should be some sort of a quota. "Aesthetic basis alone" also might not be sufficient reason for forcing an owner to preserve something- in fact, it shouldn't be, given that aesthetics is by definition a matter of judgment, and subjective. My point really is about the "choice few last representatives." Well, they're the last because none of the other representatives were protected, and people felt they were mediocre and should be razed. It doesn't inspire a lot of confidence that this example should be demolished, because it's not the last, but obviously when we get to the last one we'll protect that.
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#72
(05-28-2015, 12:10 PM)MidTowner Wrote: Not when you have commenters disparaging the committee tasked with preserving built heritage when they speak out in favour of preserving built heritage.

I missed the part when they spoke in favour of preserving a heritage building. From all I heard there were just defending a mediocre old building.

Let me give you an example of what I mean: I would defend the Button factory if it came under threat, and I defended the Waterloo Train Station when it was defaced with that boring square addition on its back.

Those are truly heritage structures worth defending. The legion has no particular value and I'm indifferent, from a heritage perspective if it is refurbished or torn down. From an environmental perspective I'm in favour of reuse, while from an intensification/urban planning perspective I would favour it be replaced by something like 36 Regina St. N.
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#73
(05-28-2015, 11:34 AM)tomh009 Wrote: If there are people willing to invest money into reuse (of what I consider mediocre buildings), where are they when these buildings are being sold?

Um, at least sometimes they are buying these buildings? I mean, this conversation started with people complaining that a developer bought the old Legion building in Waterloo with the intention of reusing it.
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#74
This seems an odd discussion given the fact, it seems, that the purchaser plans to retain and re-use the building. Apart from any heritage value the building might or might not have, I would think that the opportunity to preserve and re-purpose a century old industrial building into the sort of high tech office space that is all the rage would be very attractive to Waterloo.
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#75
(05-28-2015, 02:11 PM)panamaniac Wrote: This seems an odd discussion given the fact, it seems, that the purchaser plans to retain and re-use the building.  Apart from any heritage value the building might or might not have, I would think that the opportunity to preserve and re-purpose a century old industrial building into the sort of high tech office space that is all the rage would be very attractive to Waterloo.

The comments are because of:

Quote:It also requires the developer to submit a heritage impact assessment as part of their redevelopment plan, said the city’s heritage planner Michelle Lee.

“It’s certainly worthy of (heritage) consideration,” said Lee. “There are very few old commercial or manufacturing buildings left in the downtown core.

It is perfectly possible to support the reuse plans by the owner/developer while opposing heritage designation.
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