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General Heritage Discussion


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#341 Rob Randall

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 08:15 AM

A good question, but here's an even better one: if architecture must be true to its era then how come we've got so many examples of buildings that were modified from their original form into monstrous imitations of whatever happened to be popular in some later era?

 

Maybe "must" is too strong of a word. Ideally it should represent its time. This often does not happen--either because the building is deemed to be sadly out of date and is "modernized". Look at the MEC for example, stuccoed over in the '50s to resemble a shoebox, then partially revealed 10 years ago. 

 

In a way, that building embodies all its eras: it's original architecture, the 50s modernization and the recent rehab and rooftop addition are all visible to the eye.



#342 aastra

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 08:56 AM

 

So why does there seem to be such a push to make contemporary local architecture represent no distinctive era at all?

 

In such a stifling environment it's probably inevitable. Consider: you aren't allowed to make reference to Victoria's genuine historic built form (because that would be bad), and you also aren't allowed to make reference to international trends (because that would be bad), and you also aren't allowed to do anything that bears even a vague resemblance to anything in the city of Vancouver (because that would be bad).

 

I'm exaggerating, the environment isn't quite that stifling. But I'd still suggest that post-1945 Victoria is one of the more architecturally self-conscious places in the western world (starkly contradicting the extreme self-assurance that it demonstrated in earlier eras). There's way too much hand-wringing about taboos and things thy shall not do. There's been an effort to force a contrived identity based on all of the things that Victoria supposedly IS NOT, instead of recognizing and celebrating what Victoria actually is (and what it was). I've made the case before that the modern city's true architectural identity starts to become evident if you really open your eyes (and also plug your ears, so as not to be distracted by the nonsense spouted by the politicians and high priests).


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#343 Nparker

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 09:07 AM

...I'd still suggest that post-1945 Victoria is one of the more architecturally self-conscious places in the western world (starkly contradicting the extreme self-assurance that it demonstrated in earlier eras). There's way too much hand-wringing about taboos and things thy shall not do. There's been an effort to force a contrived identity based on all of the things that Victoria supposedly IS NOT, instead of recognizing and celebrating what Victoria actually is...

Very true. This goes back to Pam's alarmist concerns re Hudson Place. She emphasized "what kind of city do we want to be?". What I'd like her (and others with decision making capacity) to answer is "what kind of city are we"? We sure seem to be afraid of embracing any significant change or taking risks, particularly when it comes to architecture. At this stage of the game, what exactly are we fighting to preserve?



#344 aastra

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 09:22 AM

"That's enough" seems to be the unofficial motto of the stinkers. You know how the HBC building is so ornate and magnificent? Well, that's enough. There shouldn't be anything else like that around there. You know how the Empress Hotel is so impressively grand and showy? Well, that's enough. There shouldn't be anything else like that around there. I seem to recall one of the usual suspects was even quoted a few years back for pondering, "When will it end?" And some snarky SOB on the internet replied, "It never ends, because when it ends the city dies." Or something like that.

 

My gosh, they're proposing to build the tallest building on Vancouver Island! In the largest city on Vancouver Island! In the city that had ALL of the tallest and/or most prominent buildings on Vancouver Island for more than a hundred years! In the city that still has many times the number of tall and/or prominent buildings that every other community on Vancouver Island has combined, including Victoria's own suburban municipalities! When will it end? Isn't that enough?


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#345 Nparker

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 09:26 AM

Well said aastra.



#346 aastra

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 09:26 AM

For the record, I'm not crazy about the look of that Hudson tower. But you get my point.



#347 Bingo

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 03:07 PM

 I'd still suggest that post-1945 Victoria is one of the more architecturally self-conscious places in the western world (starkly contradicting the extreme self-assurance that it demonstrated in earlier eras). There's way too much hand-wringing about taboos and things thy shall not do. There's been an effort to force a contrived identity based on all of the things that Victoria supposedly IS NOT, instead of recognizing and celebrating what Victoria actually is (and what it was). I've made the case before that the modern city's true architectural identity starts to become evident if you really open your eyes (and also plug your ears, so as not to be distracted by the nonsense spouted by the politicians and high priests).

 

In my opinion we could use more architects with the chops of John di Castri who left a huge legacy here in post-war Victoria.

 

http://www.maltwood....s/dicastri.html

 

https://www.google.c...iw=1920&bih=950

 

IMG_5126.jpg


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#348 Nparker

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 03:36 PM

In my opinion we could use more architects with the chops of John di Castri who left a huge legacy here in post-war Victoria...

Centennial Square parkade notwithstanding.



#349 Bingo

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 04:00 PM

post-1196-0-97388700-1479599487.jpg


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#350 amor de cosmos

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 08:26 AM

0907-shasta1525-jpg.jpg


A historic Rockland home once owned by the coal-mining Dunsmuirs and Victoria politician Sam Bawlf has earned a reprieve from demolition.

Victoria city councillors voted Thursday to invoke a section of the Local Government Act to order the house at 1525 Shasta Pl. be protected for 60 days to discuss the possibility of longer-term preservation.

The city’s board of variance was scheduled to consider an application for the property on Sept. 14. Board decisions cannot be appealed, and if the application were approved, the city would have no choice but to issue a demolition permit to make way for re-development. The temporary-protection order provides a reprieve.

According to B.C. assessment rolls, the home is owned by Matthew N. MacNeil and Wendy L. MacNeil. Neither could be reached for comment. The value of the property is assessed at $1,232,000 for the land and $373,000 for the house.

The motion to delay was authored by councillors Pam Madoff, who takes a keen interest in heritage matters, and Charlayne Thornton-Joe. The decision was made at a committee of the whole meeting.

Madoff said the delay would give the city and property owner a chance to talk about preserving the house.

The city has taken a similar approach with other properties with good results, she said.

http://www.timescolo...ieve-1.22530374

#351 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 08:30 AM

Is that Irish Times Matt MacNeil?

 

EDIT:  Yes, it is.


Edited by VicHockeyFan, 09 September 2017 - 08:38 AM.

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#352 aastra

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 11:02 AM

I will never in a million years understand this Victorian zeal for demolishing noteworthy stuff while so much crap gets a pass. In Rockland there are plenty of mundane modern homes that are just asking for replacement.



#353 Mike K.

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 09:03 PM

Was the late Bawlf not Madoff's former partner?

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#354 Rob Randall

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 09:24 PM

Was the late Bawlf not Madoff's former partner?


No, you're thinking of Sam's brother Nicholas Bawlf.

#355 Mike K.

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 10:45 AM

Ah, that's it.

Wouldn't it be a conflict of interest to have Councillor Madoff spearheading a request to place a demo moratorium on a property owned by her late partner's brother?
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#356 MarkoJ

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 12:28 PM

What happens after the 60 days?


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