Special Report: Education

Board of Ed Building on Heritage Canada Foundation's Endangered Places List

A demolition permit has been issued for the building, and McMaster has no plans to incorporate any part of this structure into their new development on the site.

By Matt Jelly
Published June 27, 2012

100 Main Street West, the soon-to-be-demolished Education Centre, has made Heritage Canada Foundation's annual top ten list of endangered places.

Dandelions adorn the doomed Board of Ed lawn (RTH file photo)
Dandelions adorn the doomed Board of Ed lawn (RTH file photo)

A demolition permit has been issued for the building as a condition of sale between the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board and McMaster University. McMaster has no plans to incorporate any part of this structure into their new development on this site.

The Heritage Canada Foundation explains why the building matters:

Thought to be Hamilton architect Joseph Singer's signature work, this elegant modernist 8-storey building partly clad in white marble with elongated arched windows and library in the round is considered by many as the city's best example of mid-century Modern architecture. Opened in 1967, the Education Centre was built as a monument to public education and is located opposite City Hall on prominent Civic Square land donated by the City as a way to convince the Board to remain downtown. Keeping the building from landfill preserves an important piece of Hamilton's history, respects the civic component of the site, and makes ecological and environmental sense.

You can read the Heritage Canada Foundation's listing for 100 Main, as part of the full list of endangered sites.

Here's a list of contacts with McMaster, The School Board, MPP's and the Minister of Culture. Please send them a note to tell them what you think of the plan to demolish this building:

couldrr@mcmaster.ca, presdnt@mcmaster.ca, keltonj@mcmaster.ca, ahorwath-co@ndp.on.ca, judith.bishop@hwdsb.on.ca, tim.simmons@hwdsb.on.ca, ray.mulholland@hwdsb.on.ca, jessica.brennan@hwdsb.on.ca, wes.hicks@hwdsb.on.ca, robert.barlow@hwdsb.on.ca,karen.turkstra@hwdsb.on.ca, dlcouncil@hamilton.ca, mchan.mpp@liberal.ola.org

First posted on Matt Jelly's website.

Jelly is a local artist, graphic designer and map maker living in Downtown Hamilton, Ontario in the Central Neighbourhood. Matt is an advocate for built heritage, toxic waste eradication and the revitalization of downtown Hamilton. www.mattjelly.com

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted June 27, 2012 at 14:29:50

Work with it instead of destroying it.

Mirrors into our past

demolition permit submission and approval as reported by Joey Coleman

Imagine the Board of Ed in all it's glory within the new glass structure

Education destroying education.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2012-06-27 14:39:06

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By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted June 27, 2012 at 14:59:38

A Top 10 is media-friendly but it does nothing to aid the preservation of #11 onward. Heritage Canada Foundation should consider doing a long list. If the Polaris Prize can garner attention with its driftnet of largely decaf alternative adult contemporary albums, surely some good would come of a similar roster of imperilled architectural lovelies.

Leave it to Architecture Hamilton and you'll be stuck in 2008, with its attendant cause du jour.

http://www.architecturehamilton.com/savethelister.html

BTW, are we in the clear on #10, or is the Beach Canal Lighthouse going the way of the incandescent light bulb?

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/641377--preservationists-hope-to-own-1858-lighthouse
http://www.thespec.com/news/canada/article/735579--lots-of-interest-in-protecting-surplus-lighthouses

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By rednic (registered) | Posted June 27, 2012 at 15:37:32

Too bad Heritage Canada didn't put the Cannon St Cotten Mills on the endangered list. It would have been just deserts for the Board of Ed.

Comment edited by rednic on 2012-06-27 16:33:17

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted June 27, 2012 at 20:59:37

Too little, too late. Still don't understand the appeal of this building.

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By jason (registered) | Posted June 27, 2012 at 22:15:54

Institutions that understand (or care about) city building in Hamilton - definitely should be on the endangered list.

Comment edited by jason on 2012-06-27 22:16:08

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By BB (anonymous) | Posted June 28, 2012 at 08:51:48

As long as the new development's sun and shadow analysis satisfies the Downtown Hamilton Secondary Plan this shouldn't be a problem right?

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By BB (anonymous) | Posted June 28, 2012 at 08:52:42 in reply to Comment 78976

By way of explanation, http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/682013--omb-gives-all-saints-green-light-to-demolish-downtown-hamilton-church

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted June 28, 2012 at 09:41:27

My feelings on tearing this building down aside, (Not for it) I feel it is somewhat depressing when such an uninspiring piece of pastiche and quickly dated architecture built in 1967, as an oddball conglomerate of dropped ceilings, round walls and fluorescent lighting is considered an important part of our national heritage.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted June 28, 2012 at 09:49:16 in reply to Comment 78979

That's because we're in the trough of public appreciation for mid-century postmodern architecture.

Our kids will think we were crazy to stand by and let this stuff get demolished.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted June 28, 2012 at 10:52:44 in reply to Comment 78979

Have you been inside it? Don't knock it 'til you have. It's a beauty. You can't fully appreciate it from the vantage point most people see it from - whipping past it on Main at 60k.

Have a look: http://mattjelly.wordpress.com/2012/02/0...

Comment edited by highwater on 2012-06-28 11:03:34

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By Tired (anonymous) | Posted June 28, 2012 at 13:07:17

I'll miss Toronto's Bata office more.
Hope that Mac's new venture here will be as impressive as the Aga Khan's there.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted June 28, 2012 at 13:41:58 in reply to Comment 78980

Our kids will think we were crazy to stand by and let this stuff get demolished.

Doubtful.

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By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted June 28, 2012 at 14:00:12 in reply to Comment 78962

Not to mention that there might have been room for concern when the first iteration of this deal was announced four years ago.

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By Conrad66 (registered) | Posted June 28, 2012 at 14:17:44

This HCF is somthing els .. why only when someone buys a place after spending Millions on and now they get this from HCF.. i say once bouth to bad so sad get over it ... the building thats going up its gonna be sweet .. unlick the one is there now .. hiden in the back ... jjuuste tell me once when you drive east on main street do you see that building NOTTTTTT .. if your seriousely teling you see it all the time you drive by that place your not looking were your driving

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By Conrad66 (registered) | Posted June 28, 2012 at 14:27:28

Oh and tell me one more thibng ... i have never been in it and im sure 99%on Hamilton havent eiter im sure they have nice rooms in there but get over it ... if the Board like it so much why are they not bring some of the stuff to there new place on the mountain

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted June 28, 2012 at 15:12:04 in reply to Comment 78980

I still think the roof is legitimately ugly, but that it's otherwise a beautiful structure and it's a damned shame to lose it.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted July 03, 2012 at 20:17:22

They're emptying out the building now. 2 large moving trucks parked on the grass this evening and lots of furniture being moved out.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted July 04, 2012 at 07:15:10 in reply to Comment 79141

Who downvoted that comment? Why?

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted July 04, 2012 at 10:18:07 in reply to Comment 79146

Maybe it's more about people down voting items being moved out of the Board building than your comment specifically.

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By DIY (anonymous) | Posted July 04, 2012 at 10:25:22 in reply to Comment 79156

Maybe it's more about DIH gloating about the demolition in an earlier comment.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted July 04, 2012 at 10:41:54 in reply to Comment 79146

Obviously there's some trolls getting carried away with the upvote/downvote buttons lately. I just ignore the votes generally, at this point the only real use is that established trolls get pushed out of sight.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted July 04, 2012 at 20:08:20 in reply to Comment 79158

Can you show me where I gloated? Would love to see it. I am personally not a fan of that building and won't be sad to see it gone, but don't remember gloating about it.

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By Conrad66 (registered) | Posted August 05, 2012 at 21:50:44

Matt Jelly is still hook on this poor biulding ... GET OVER IT look to the future and move on stuck in the 80 is not going to move this city forward

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By OnlineLoan (anonymous) | Posted September 19, 2013 at 15:36:13

Say thank you you for your low-down which helped me in significant more wide Payday Loans Online - Get Instant Loan Approval.

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