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The Hallmark Heritage Society


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#21 Rob Randall

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 07:14 AM

Yeah, lost what little respect I had for the hallmark society as a genuine historical-preservation society with the bridge.


I think that's painting the org. with a broad brush. I believe there was a faction within Hallmark (and within City Hall, btw) in favour of preservation of the bridge but their silence was encouraged for the sake of unity. Johnson's waffling on the importance of heritage infrastructure was telling.

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#22 Ken Johnson

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 07:49 AM

Its tough to be criticized for being a small population of heritage preservationists by those who steadfastly continue to oppose a new bridge; the spending referendum for same being approved in a referendum by a majority of the City voters.

In our opinion, the Johnson Street Bridge may have been a heritage structure but presented several structural problems for its preservation over the longer term. We try to remember the longer terms implications of heritage preservation. If anyone had disagreed, they could have joined our Society and joined in our conversation.

The Hallmark Society will get over the new Plaza Development. The architecture and the building will have to stand the judgement of time. We'll get on with promoting what we believe in and continue to advocate for heritage preservation.

I you feel the Hallmark Heritage Society is anathema to your beliefs, I suggest you join the Society, the annual membership dues are very reasonable and other opinions are welcome - just like within this blog.

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#23 amor de cosmos

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 08:14 AM

nm

#24 sdwright.vic

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 08:15 AM

Well... at least with this "forum", members get to voice their opinion for the price of a view advertisements.

Why should I pay to disagree with someone?
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#25 HB

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 08:26 AM

The bridge was the last opportunity to preserve something that was an interesting piece of mechanical heritage...the last of it's kind, and soon to be extinct.


It will be far from extinct and definitely not the last of its kind there are many of those bridges in other cities.
When the remaining one comes down and you get lonely I suggest you get on teh ferry to Port Angeles then drive 3.5 hours south on the 101 to Abderdeen once there you can see the same bridge, a bridge that is in great condition.
There is a nice one in Toronto too.

http://en.wikipedia....lmon_Bay_Bridge
http://en.wikipedia....Air_Line_Bridge
http://en.wikipedia....railroad_bridge
http://en.wikipedia...._Bascule_Bridge
http://en.wikipedia...._Salle_Causeway
http://en.wikipedia...._Bascule_Bridge


#26 tedward

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 08:50 AM

It will be far from extinct and definitely not the last of its kind there are many of those bridges in other cities.

OK, so by your standards if we find a similar building in another city we can safely demolish the one here in Victoria?

Given how many of the "heritage" buildings in Victoria were "kit" facades shipped up from San Francisco we should be able to get rid of quite a few. Perhaps the Hallmark Society can arrange for plaques telling people what city they can travel to in order to see the "heritage" that used to be here.

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#27 Bob Fugger

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 09:13 AM

So much venom!!!!
Give them their due, at least they are standing up for what they believe in. Personal attacks are not becoming of us, or so I've been told!
Personally I think we have far too many vocal minority groups attempting to sway the masses with their claim they speak for all, they don't, only their members, they seem to forget that.


Just because my commentary was vociferous, doesn't make it personal. In fact, it's really nothing that wasn't already said. Indeed, I think it's the height of hipocrisy to censor an already censored word - but worse is removing my point of characterizing the HMS as sellouts, which is the exact sentiment a moderator of this board implied barely a half dozen posts previous. Probably best to just go back to keeping my thoughts to myself.

#28 Mike K.

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 09:23 AM

Its tough to be criticized for being a small population of heritage preservationists by those who steadfastly continue to oppose a new bridge; the spending referendum for same being approved in a referendum by a majority of the City voters.


I'm not sure that it matters that the spending referendum was eventually approved, the Society simply refused to stand behind individuals fighting for the preservation of a heritage asset, and given that the Society is a "small population of heritage preservationists," the movement to save the Johnson Street Bridge would have been an incredible opportunity to stand hand-in-hand with thousands of Victorians! Hallmark's absence from that movement was absolutely bewildering.

We also need to clarify something. Is the Society a "small population of heritage preservationists" or does it have a "broad-based membership that reflects much of Victoria?" These descriptions are being used interchangeably in this discussion.

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#29 Mike K.

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 09:39 AM

Just because my commentary was vociferous, doesn't make it personal. In fact, it's really nothing that wasn't already said. Indeed, I think it's the height of hipocrisy to censor an already censored word - but worse is removing my point of characterizing the HMS as sellouts, which is the exact sentiment a moderator of this board implied barely a half dozen posts previous. Probably best to just go back to keeping my thoughts to myself.


There's absolutely no need for profanity, censored by the system or not. We can conduct ourselves here without having to degrade the conversation to the point where such words are being used.

You've got the vernacular of an English professor, Bob, and I'm always amazed by your choice of words and your ability to convey a message. I think all readers of your contributions would prefer it stay that way.

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#30 rjag

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 09:49 AM

Just because my commentary was vociferous, doesn't make it personal. In fact, it's really nothing that wasn't already said. Indeed, I think it's the height of hipocrisy to censor an already censored word - but worse is removing my point of characterizing the HMS as sellouts, which is the exact sentiment a moderator of this board implied barely a half dozen posts previous. Probably best to just go back to keeping my thoughts to myself.


Bob, my comments were in general and not aimed at any particular person. I was simply noting the negativity towards the HS and was surprised at the commentary....:thumbsup: No idea if your comments had been censored or not...

#31 HB

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 11:08 AM

OK, so by your standards if we find a similar building in another city we can safely demolish the one here in Victoria?

Given how many of the "heritage" buildings in Victoria were "kit" facades shipped up from San Francisco we should be able to get rid of quite a few. Perhaps the Hallmark Society can arrange for plaques telling people what city they can travel to in order to see the "heritage" that used to be here.


The only reason that the Johnson street bridge is going to be gone is because the city put no effort no man power and more importantly no money into maintaining it on a regular basis
What happened to the bridge is quite literally what would happen to any structure if it were not maintained

The only people who are to blame for the inevitable demise of the bridge is the municipal government


Bingo claimed that the type of bridge of which the JSB is will be extinct very soon I only pointed out there there are many of yhese bridges still operating and on excellent condition in fact the one south of Victoria is on a federal list of historical bridges

Maybe the city can save some rivets from the JSB and weld them to the new bridge they could then feel justified in slapping a heritage sign on the new $110 million dollar bridge

Yes you read that correctly .... My prediction is that ....the final cost at completion wl be over $100 million

#32 Mike K.

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 11:54 AM

We failed at preserving a major heritage asset. It's really as simple as that. This failure was two-fold: through neglect the structure aged prematurely and as a result was ordered to be replaced.

Of course that is not to say that the bridge could not have been saved, and surely remediation would have cost far less than the new bridge replacement will cost, road network improvements and all, but the way the numbers were presented and the bias showed throughout the whole process ensured that the voting public would go for the sexy new bridge despite the complexities and costs involved.

The irony of course is private industry has spent millions of dollars preserving heritage under the watchful eye of heritage advocates, some of whom are our elected representatives. But when the City of Victoria walks up to the plate the rules suddenly change in favour of demolition and replacement.

Unfortunately another piece of our urban fabric that I feel is worthy of preservation but which has already been earmarked for destruction is the Royal British Columbia Museum's 1960's-era Fanin Building (streetview). Fanin is an absolutely wonderful example of international-style architecture but sadly the powers that be feel it is outdated. You can bet your chops the City of Victoria won't get in the way and I certainly haven't heard anything from The Hallmark Society despite the RBCM's multi-year redevelopment planning process.

The silence is rather deafening as the Society focuses on private developers developing private land and restoring private heritage buildings, but the government is being given a free pass once again simply because the powers that be feel a building is outdated. Shame.

If by chance the Society is involved in an effort to save the Fanin but is doing so in a discreet manner than hats off to them and I'd love to know how that effort is playing out.

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#33 phx

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 12:06 PM

When new buildings are added, they should reflect the traditions inherent in every city - not to copy or create a 'Disneyland', but to incorporate some traditional architectural elements that state "here is where we started and here is where we are going".


I disagree. New construction should always reflect current and developing styles, not the past.

Consider Victorian architecture, for example. There are some nice old houses around, but it would be a mistake to construct a new one in that style. Even if you used all the materials and techniques from 100 years ago, and painted it in period colours, it would never be right.

The worst is when new and old styles are combined. This often results from efforts to make new buildings fit in with the old.

#34 jonny

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 12:25 PM

The worst is when new and old styles are combined. This often results from efforts to make new buildings fit in with the old.


This is bad, but can be done well in some instances. In my humble opinion, the worst is when new buildings are purposely made to be bland in an effort to yield to neighbouring vintage architecture. I think this approach does a disservice to the whole of the architecture of downtown.

I think where the VV community and "heritage preservationists" (I put this in brackets because I really can't recall anybody on VV advocating the destruction of heritage construction) really differ is that VV tends to look at downtown as a whole, whereas the preservationists focus heavily on one building without looking at the whole picture.

#35 jonny

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 12:29 PM

The silence is rather deafening as the Society focuses on private developers developing private land and restoring private heritage buildings, but the government is being given a free pass once again simply because the powers that be feel a building is outdated. Shame.


I have noted the emphasis on attacking private development as well. In one of Mr. Johnson's posts above he made a reference to "profit" I found to be rather interesting.

There are often strong undertones in this city of people being quite oppossed to the idea of people or companies putting their own personal capital at risk in the name of pursuing a profit.

#36 Mike K.

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 02:11 PM

It boggles the mind why a heritage preservationist society sidesteps heritage preservation when it chooses to but oversteps its mandate when private land and finances are involved.

Northern Junk is being renovated and restored but the Society insists on fighting the project tooth and nail and even wishes the buildings were left in their current state. Same goes for the Janion, it will be restored and brought back to life after decades of neglect. That's great and all, but the Society still has "some minor architectural concerns" with the proposed modern building.

So what is Hallmark? Is it a heritage preservation organization or is it a private development lobby group with political affiliations? It certainly seems like the Society is more interested in dictating what will be built rather than simply ensuring what has been built is preserved, likely because there is no actual threat to heritage in this city and nobody advocates for the sort of "wholesale destruction of the heritage and history of a city" that Hallmark claims it is protecting Victoria's built form from.

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#37 aastra

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 04:27 PM

...the worst is when new buildings are purposely made to be bland in an effort to yield to neighbouring vintage architecture. I think this approach does a disservice to the whole of the architecture of downtown.

Indeed. The notion of deference in architecture is something that really bugs me because a) there's an inherent implication that something old will always pale in comparison to something newer, and b) it tends to overlook the whole (the whole streetscape, the whole neighbourhood, the whole downtown, etc.). If an impressive district was created a hundred+ years ago because every new building represented an effort to outshine the buildings around it then where's the sense in enforcing blandness as the same district evolves today? When you really think about it, it's a formula that -- given enough time, enough careless demolitions, enough fires, enough earthquakes -- will inevitably transform any formerly impressive district into something ordinary.

#38 aastra

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 04:53 PM

When the remaining one comes down and you get lonely I suggest you get on teh ferry to Port Angeles then drive 3.5 hours south on the 101 to Abderdeen once there you can see the same bridge, a bridge that is in great condition.

This is a really good point. Consider the HBC building. Why did Townline bother restoring it when the HBC building in Vancouver is basically the same? They could have saved a bunch of money and trouble by demolishing it. Lonely Victorians in need of a nostalgia fix could have hopped on a floatplane at any time to go view the real thing in person.

#39 Bingo

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 05:25 PM

It will be far from extinct and definitely not the last of its kind there are many of those bridges in other cities.


Yes I am aware of those other bridges and have been over the one in Aberdeen. However Victoria had the only twin bascule bridge of this type left. If you had been active on VV back when the bridge debate was the most active thread going you would have known that. By the way I am not lonely for the old bridge, but I can comment on the rational for it's demise.

#40 LJ

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 07:11 PM

This is bad, but can be done well in some instances. In my humble opinion, the worst is when new buildings are purposely made to be bland in an effort to yield to neighbouring vintage architecture. I think this approach does a disservice to the whole of the architecture of downtown.


Totally agree, we should be building bold new structures that will become heritage buildings themselves in a hundred years or so.
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