LIUNA's newest plans to rebuild the Lister Block hews much closer to the original building.
By Trey Shaughnessy
Published March 18, 2006
This article has been updated
Original Lister proposal released by LIUNA
Rendering of LIUNA's latest plan for rebuilding the Lister Block
A new rendering of the proposed Lister Block rebuild has surfaced, published in the January issue of Panorama Magazine, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce's official monthly publication.
To my delight it looks very much like the original. The glass curtain is gone from the first proposal. The new rendering appears to maintain all the architectural details intact with the exception of two elements.
The current and proposed Lister Block buildings, compared by detail
The top cornice is intact. Below the cornice the upper entablature is complete and appears to have all the embellishments and details. However, the lower entablature does appear to be smaller and less intricate. Furthermore, the pilasters and capitals are missing.
I give good marks the exterior finish, brickwork and windows. In fact, the windows look taller and the whole Lister looks to be taller. This may be to make it function well as a modern office building. Since many kilometers of cables and wires are hidden in the floors of modern offices and the ceilings need to contain the bulk of HVAC systems, the floor to floor heights in modern buildings tend to be taller.
Overall I approve of the new proposed Lister. I wish that more attention would be spent on the lower entablature and pilasters, but this appears to be something we can still be proud of, providing once construction begins the proposal is followed through without scrimping on construction costs.
We couldn't find any proposals for the interior, but I hope that what really is salvageable is saved and what can be replicated is replicated as close as possible to the original. The Right House restoration did a wonderful job on the interior and exterior and I hope LIUNA/Hi-Rise can use that as a model.
The terra cotta pilasters and capitals. The Sobel's Clothiers canopy can be seen
The interior arcade (what we call a mall today) was groundbreaking in the early twentieth century and it's what makes the Lister a mixed-use building.
I haven't seen anything of the possible tower that would rise behind it; I hope a rendering is released to the public for input.
Architectural details of the Lister Block
In a final note, I hope that roll-up canopies are incorporated outside over the street level. I've seen many old pictures of Hamilton showing pedestrians walking under canopied storefronts and I believe the Lister used these at one time. It would be a nice touch.
Update: Trevor's article included a mention of the fact that the Thomas Builsing is not mentioned in the new plans. Somehow, I managed to lose it and the accompanying image in the translation to the website. I've included it below. -Ed.
The Thomas Building, built 1854, is not depicted in the new rendering
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