Thursday, January 22, 2009

Everyone likes facades, right?

...so why isn't "maybe" keeping the facades of one of the most impressive streetscapes in the city not selling the sub-station idea? I don't get it. What do these fancy-pants latté-drinkers want? An important neighborhood that will continue getting nicer?
Buildings eyed by Hydro. Photo courtesy of West End Dumplings

From the
Free Press story:
-Cindy Tugwell, executive director of Heritage Winnipeg: "We want to bring people and activity to the Exchange," Tugwell said.

-Brian Timmerman, director of operations for the Exchange BIZ: "The recent success in the Exchange District has come from growth in retail, office and residential sectors. If Hydro takes away that whole block, it would affect life in the area."

-John Giavedoni, chairman of the Residents of the Exchange District [finally! one was formed]: "Area businesses depend on people who work in those buildings."

-Hart Mallin: "It [Hydro] should find another location."


Centre Venture CEO Ross McGowan, meanwhile, said he "would oppose any plans that call for demolition of the three buildings."

Even with the facade kept (both Centre Venture and the WRHA said it was "worth considering" keeping the Starland Theatre's facade last year, too), the effect is largely the same as tearing it down for a parking lot. Visually, a kept facade is superior to a wind-swept lot--one can squint his eyes and imagine they are still real buildings--but practically, it is the same: massive amounts of space dedicated to the dead storage of machinery. Nothing else is done there.

At least with parking lots, people walk in and out of them from time to time.

Related:
West End Dumplings
Policy Frog
No more rhymes now, I mean it
Update: Regan Wolfrom

5 Comments:

Anonymous cancelbot said...

Two thumbs down to this inane plan. I can't believe we're even having this discussion in the first place.

8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Believe it CB, it's Winnipeg after all, one step forward two steps back and all that kind of stuff.

I find McGowans comments almost laughable. Maybe if he speaks loud enough on this people will forget his defense of/involvement in the WRHA debacle.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Mr. Nobody said...

Either these buildings are protected 100% or market forces should prevail.

As per the bylaw, almost anything goes and is subject to interpretation.


Grade II buildings include the majority of Winnipeg’s heritage stock. Sympathetic alterations and additions to the exterior and listed interior elements of these buildings may be allowed in order to maintain the economic viability of the structure. In certain instances, the adaptive re-use of listed interior elements may be permitted.


** define "economic viablitity ". Does it mean its vacant or its generating Tax revenue and is being used ?




Grade III buildings have been identified as moderately significant heritage examples worthy of listing. Suitable exterior alterations and modifications may be permitted. There is usually no restriction on interior alterations.


This one is what hydro is contemplating.....gutting it.


http://www.winnipeg.ca/PPD/historic/historic_policies.stm#criteria





Grade List

http://www.winnipeg.ca/PPD/historic/historic_conservlist.stm


That means, 2 out 3 are at risk of being demolished. After reading the bylaw, its clear that City Hall and Historical boards don't prescribe to the KISS theory. ( Keep it Simple Stupids )

9:38 AM  
Blogger Mr. Nobody said...

Perhaps a move should be made by the province to acquire the properties and have the university relocate its law and business faculties.

That would bring pedestrian traffic to an area that can become an urban education Center. ( maybe even , perhaps, be still my heart, shutting the street down.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unrelated to this post, but it would be much appreciated if we could get your thoughts on the River Heights By-Election candidates in relation to urban issues.

Thanks!

10:51 AM  

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