Lister Block

Hamilton Forgetfulness Project

By Jason Leach
Published June 11, 2006

First of all, you'll note it's always the developers and councillors who bring up Red Hill - Sam Merulla (Centre Mall), Larry Di Ianni, Bill Kelly (Maple Leaf), all the guys who own the airport, and so on.

The fact is, all the people now opposed to the Lister deal were supportive of it last year (including me). The big change: a facade restoration as originally planned has now turned into a complete demolition. The new building will sort of look like Lister, but use different materials in many areas.

They don't need $30 million to tear down a building a build a new one.

I don't want to buy the newest Gary Evans book in five years and see Lister added to the already painful list of amazing buildings we needlessly demolished.

Think of this - the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts building and Pigott building were slated for demolition back in the 1960s and '70s. Citizens intervened because they had a vision for the future and cared about our history.

The same is happening right now. Imagine Hamilton with no Pigott building. We're about to lose Lister if we aren't careful. Councillor Bob Bratina is doing what we pay councillors to do - get the best deal for the city and with my money.

I'm tired of these developers acting like spoiled brats. Every time someone says something they disagree with they threaten lawsuits and act like little babies. I guess they're so used to councillors being nothing more than puppets on their strings that they don't know what to do when someone actually uses their brain and thinks for a change.

I hope the province comes in and sissy-slaps the city for being so short-sighted when they approve the demo permit on Monday. International architects, engineers, developers, historians, and citizens are lining up to save this building because they understand the significance of it in Canadian history (and Hamilton history).

Do we preserve this building or add it to the "Hamilton Memory Project"?

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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