Comment 82245

By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted October 25, 2012 at 20:50:23

How about putting the rear of those buildings into the article?

http://maps.google.ca/?ll=43.255208,-79....

They look a lot less pretty and have a lot less supposed heritage from that side, opening up into that glorious decaying parking lot that this development would remove. Which brings us to why I feel this article I find does a disservice to Hamilton and this website. A project comes around that A) Removes a large swath of unsightly surface parking from the core B) Adds further density to the core to better leverage infrastructure C) Furthers the goal of pedestrianizing downtown, as Gore Park, Jackson Square, Copps, THAQ, Hamilton Place and the beloved James St N are all within walking distance D) Is likely to add the presence of a walkable, reachable grocery store E) Likely reasonably priced which young professionals appreciate and F) Adds revenue for our city through a larger tax base and development fees.

However, when a developer who actually HAS a history of preserving old facades and knows the costs and feasibility involved with such work, is willing to put forward the largest development in city history next to Jackson Square, that addresses MANY of the concerns that this website and many others have raised with our core, all out of his own pocket mind you, and has stated he'd be amenable to preserving them with extra funding from the government but realizes it's not likely to happen in these times, and has honestly said he is unsure of the costs that will be involved with such a restoration, but has stated that the buildings are becoming structurally unsound and are a nightmare to continue upkeep is demonized because of why exactly? Because he wants to remove four buildings of dubious worth, and I do mean that.

What actual heritage does this block of buildings have besides that they are next to Gore park, and they've been standing for a long time? Is there is some actual history behind the buildings, like the say the Royal Connaught that hosted the NHL board of governors meetings, was the place visiting teams came to when we had the Hamilton Tigers and was home to the oldest radio station in English Canada? Maybe then, sure there is a case for heritage, but there isn't. Two dry goods merchants living there is history in the same sense that the minutes of city council looking to raise property tax by two cents in 1957 is history. In no way is it interesting, memorable or containing anything noteworthy, other then being a marginal curiosity because it's old.

Moreover, what unique architectural characteristics make these buildings so worth saving? A facade of four inconsistent styles boasting plain, square plain Grey Brick on one end, a middle which at holds the only redeeming feature in my eyes, in the three arches atop of three closely spaced Windows, followed by two, differently coloured and textured dull white, stained buildings, one boasting a bizarre faux brown brick base and the other a selection of pigeon roosts.

Oh right, I forgot, you can't ever tear down a building that has stood for more then 20 years, even if most of it's floors are abandoned, shuttered and unlivable because it's an unattractive, overly expensive money pit to restore, with no free parking, no nearby grocery store and whose main floors can barely attract two respectable (I'm sure well meaning) restaurants, and must suffice with a money mart, a bankrupt clothing store and a low end convenience store. Exactly the place a young professional wants to seek out on his first mortgage.

Sure, keep the good buildings ticking. Show some love to the Apheus or the Centenial buildings along king with their unique stone text, outcropped Window/cubbies and above window arches and vertical brickwork. Do something with the Canon St Mills with it's castle like exterior on Cannon and the large, industrial windows along Mary. Save the city's blatantly stretched heritage budget for projects like the Royal Connaught. In this case though, these buildings are rotten, unsustainable, decaying crap and the sooner we can be rid of them and replace them with new, dense growth, the better. And while you are at it, take down that decayed grey atrocity we call the corner of James and King, opposite to that beautiful, MODERN tower of glass that is Commerce Place, that actually employs hundreds if not thousands of young professionals and businesses.

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2012-10-25 22:04:09

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