A snip from a planning and land use report for Thursday Sep 10.
Short version;The owner has applied to obtain a heritage designation for the front facade, but staff recommend to decline because previous alterations in the late 60s may mean the original facade may not be able to be restored.
"Assessing a property's eligibility for heritage designation is based on existing conditions of heritage value at the time of application for designation rather than on the basis of a future desired state."
This application for the designation of the property at 727-729 Johnson Street as a Municipal Heritage Site involves a building that has heritage value because it reflects the surge of development that characterized Victoria's expanding gateway economy and for its continued commercial use over time; is one of the earliest local examples of the use of reinforced concrete structure with brick infill as a fagade material; and is associated with persons important in the history of Victoria.
However, it is also necessary to consider whether the extent of alterations to the building make it difficult to tell what it looked like during the period of its significance.
The heritage values of the place have been considerably impacted by the extent and nature of previous alterations.
Staff have previously advised the applicant that if the building were restored to its pre 1910 appearance in accordance with the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada, that an application for heritage designation could be considered after the rehabilitation work is completed.
Assessing a property's eligibility for heritage designation is based on existing conditions of heritage value at the time of application for designation rather than on the basis of a future desired state.
A portion of the exterior wall that was apparently opened up to examine how the previous alterations were carried out, will be relevant to any restoration objectives.
It is acknowledged that there may be practical difficulties in removing the previous alterations without damaging the historic fabric.
Staff are available to work with the applicant to determine the scope and nature of interventions that would be required to achieve a restoration that meets the Standards and Guidelines (information that could be part of a future Heritage Alteration Permit Application) and review the execution of a detailed restoration plan that might lead to a future application for designation.
Staff therefore recommend that Council decline Heritage Designation Application No. 000153 due to the impact that previous alterations have had on the building.