Architecture

Civic Monument or Big Box: Your Call

By Jason Leach
Published October 10, 2008

Mayor Fred has posted a survey on his website asking for public input on how to proceed with the renovations of city hall.

Go check it out and make your opinion count.

For those who don't want city hall to end up looking like a Home Depot store, now is the last chance to voice your opinion about which building materials should be used. City council will have a final vote on this issue on October 15th.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.

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By H Mag (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2008 at 14:17:12


The attack on the designated City Hall is underway again. This time, Councillor Lloyd Ferguson is leading the charge to re-clad the building in concrete rather than in marble – which is a designated feature of the building.

The building is clad in White Cherokee marble from a quarry that is still operating, and still supplying the very same marble that City Hall architect, Stanley Roscoe, personally selected when he designed the building in the mid-50’s. The quarry has been operating since 1884.

As recently as noon yesterday (October 14, 2008) Lloyd Ferguson said, “We have never had a quote for replacing the marble.” That quote was read into the public record one minute later. The premium for marble over concrete is said to be between $6 and $8 million. These numbers need to be investigated. So too do the reasons it took until 24 hours before City Council votes on marble or concrete to come up with a cost for marble. It gives neither Councillors, nor the public, time to make an informed decision! Councillor Ferguson seems to know a great deal about concrete, and very little about marble. After all, by his own admission, he just learned of the costs of marble at noon yesterday. He’s the same Councillor who says that a green roof is out of the question. Wonder if he ever got any real estimates about what a green roof might cost?

I’m urging you to attend the Council meeting tonight where Councillors will be casting their vote either for marble, or concrete. It starts at 7 p.m. in the Albion Room on the 2nd floor of the Convention Centre.

Believe it or not, immediately following this agenda item, Council will be debating Minimum Property Standards for the Maintenance of Heritage Attributes of Designated Heritage Properties Under Parts IV and V of the Ontario Heritage Act. This is a pretty blatant example of do what we say, not what we do.

We need your help to save one of the best examples of mid-century modern architecture in Canada!

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 15, 2008 at 14:21:34

perhaps we can take the 'grant' that we're giving Walmart to bless us with another store on Centennial Pkwy and use it towards a proper reno of city hall. I mean, it's so kind of us to be paying Walmart to build another store, but I've got a strange feeling they can afford to build their own store.

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By JH (anonymous) | Posted October 17, 2008 at 16:05:08

The link provided on Mayor Fred's page is not working: when I enter marble, concrete, or limestone, a little box appears that says "invalid captcha value."
I love how democracy in Hamilton is sooo functional :Z

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted October 17, 2008 at 16:27:18

The CAPTCHA is the short sequence of distorted letters in an image above the poll. You have to type the letters into the text box beside them (to prove that you're a human and not a bot) as well as choosing the option you prefer.

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By historian (anonymous) | Posted October 18, 2008 at 22:18:24

Councillor Ferguson has once again demonstrated his abysmal ignorance of all things bright and beautiful. A Library Catd and some spare hours might, just might, bring him up to date with the history of this once Ambitious City and thus join with the majority of our citizens who take pride in showing City Hall to out of town visitors. We really do need more visionaries and less clodders and pedlers of concrete.

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