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Old Posted Jan 13, 2020, 1:33 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Historic Dartmouth

I saw this article on CBC's site, figured that Dartmouth's items usually get mixed in here and there with Halifax's, so I figured I'd start a new thread...

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-...tion-1.5422622

I agree with Sam's view on this, by the way.

It's interesting that Dartmouth hasn't had a home for its heritage museum in a long time, and it's my opinion that this would be an ideal location for it. Hopefully it doesn't get leveled as it's one of the few heritage buildings left in Dartmouth, and one of the nicest actually.



Quote:
Sam Austin doesn't want to see the post office building in downtown Dartmouth, N.S., demolished.

The councillor for Dartmouth Centre wants the 100-year-old building to receive heritage designation before it's sold and redeveloped.

The building is too large for Canada Post's needs, so it's moving into a retail space in nearby King's Wharf.

"By doing that, we encourage the people who are interested in the building to do something creative with it, not just levelling the site," said Austin. "It's been just a prominent landmark in the community."

Austin said given the size of the property, which is located at the corner of Queen and Wentworth streets, he doesn't believe having to retain the stone building will impede redevelopment.

"I think it will guide it," said Austin. "There's some additions on the post office that could be changed and there's a vacant parking lot."
'An open canvas'

The head of the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission agrees with the call for a heritage designation.

"It could be a great opportunity for a mixture of commercial, public and residential uses," said Tim Rissesco. "It's an open canvas."

Rissesco said part of the property could even house a municipal museum.

Austin's motion to get the heritage designation process underway will be considered at Halifax regional council on Tuesday. If the motion is passed, city staff would prepare a report.
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Old Posted Jan 13, 2020, 2:09 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Here are a few photos that were originally posted in the General Updates and News thread:



Source - Dartmouth Federal Building and Post Office
Retrieval code: 101-80C-6-3
[196-?]


Original post



Source

Original post



Original post

This pic was posted because of the old clock tower in the background left...



101-103 Portland St., Leonard's Lunch and John's Pastry
[1967] (101-80C-2-8-N-75)


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  #3  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2020, 4:37 PM
JET JET is offline
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It's a nice old building, I hope that it can be held onto.
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Old Posted Jan 13, 2020, 5:57 PM
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Originally Posted by JET View Post
It's a nice old building, I hope that it can be held onto.
Agreed. The idea of a museum scares me though. They are always a financial burden on govts and have very little attraction to the public at large.
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Old Posted Jan 13, 2020, 7:06 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Agreed. The idea of a museum scares me though. They are always a financial burden on govts and have very little attraction to the public at large.
A museum is just one idea. Dartmouth used to have a very comprehensive museum which I feel covered the city's history quite well. I don't recall the old City of Halifax having any such museum, which I find a little odd given the rich history of the city and its significance to the development of Canada. I think the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic partially covers Halifax's history, but mostly the seafaring aspects (as would be expected).

I think Halifax deserves to have a museum which preserves and explains its history (for Halifax and Dartmouth) - IMHO it's a bit of a missing piece to not have one, and somewhat of a shame to not have a permanent home for all the artifacts that are now in storage. Yes, it's understood that public money would be involved, but you can't expect everything that provides some benefit to the public to be profit-generating.

That said, I think most of the city would agree with you, as there seems to be a general idea around here that using taxpayers money for anything is wasteful, and certainly there continues to be an attitude that we are still a small town and we don't deserve to have 'nice things' because they are 'frivolous'. If you read the comments at the bottom of that article, you will also see the typical attitude that it should be torn down because it's old still prevails (some things never change).

Regardless, I would hope that the building can be retained and used for something - anything - to avoid tearing down one of the few remaining decent stone buildings in Dartmouth. If this one can't be saved, I would offer the idea that nothing can, or will, be saved. And Dartmouth will continue to retain the 'Darkside' reputation that it has (unfairly IMHO) been given over the years.
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Old Posted Jan 13, 2020, 7:27 PM
Phalanx Phalanx is offline
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post

That said, I think most of the city would agree with you, as there seems to be a general idea around here that using taxpayers money for anything is wasteful, and certainly there continues to be an attitude that we are still a small town and we don't deserve to have 'nice things' because they are 'frivolous'. If you read the comments at the bottom of that article, you will also see the typical attitude that it should be torn down because it's old still prevails (some things never change).
...Considering half of those negative comments are from 2 or 3 people posting multiple comments (one of them being Keith), I would take that with a grain of salt.
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Old Posted Jan 13, 2020, 7:53 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by Phalanx View Post
...Considering half of those negative comments are from 2 or 3 people posting multiple comments (one of them being Keith), I would take that with a grain of salt.
Good point.
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2020, 1:50 AM
JET JET is offline
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I think of the Church Brewing in Wolfville, and just think that there are so many uses for a nice old building.
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2020, 1:11 PM
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It is not a matter of every nice thing equaling "frivolous" spending. But HRM in particular spends frivolously all the time. A few years ago the province did an inventory of museums around the province and the number was staggering. Most only had a handful of visitors a year and all were on the dole from the province and other levels of govt in addition to local fundraising trying to keep the lights on. Keeping that number of places open is clearly unsustainable and foolhardy. Supplying something for which there is little to no demand is simply wasteful when other needs are sorely lacking due to shortages of funding.

HRM's $50 million library would be no less of a library if they only spent $35 or $40 million to build it. The $15 million oval which closes on many winter days due to weather conditions would have perhaps been better realized with a more practical design. The entire bike lane and flyover debacle is another example. The list goes on and on. Frivolous spending is frivolous by definition, not just because I say so. Is there a need for municipal museum in a restored heritage building in a location that is less than ideal? I would hope that a full analysis of cost and demand for such a facility would occur first. Otherwise it is another $4 million gardener's cottage across from the Public Gardens, just on a much larger scale, a "nice thing" that soaked up a great many tax dollars despite having no defined use or need. Or an $80 million Forum project that costs nearly twice as much as the alternative, just to have a pair of replica walls constructed outside while delivering less space and poorer service to the community than the original.
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2020, 1:59 PM
IanWatson IanWatson is offline
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Most of the museums in NS must have been part of a rural economic development strategy, no? And to some degree it works. I'm sure Sherbrooke Village doesn't "make" money, but it does get people to go up the Eastern Shore who wouldn't otherwise.

Halifax and Dartmouth could definitely use a civic museum. There are thousands of documents and artefacts that are just mouldering away in a storage building in Burnside. It would be nice to actually see them.

That being said, I don't think a civic museum needs to be particularly large or extravagant, and it certainly wouldn't take up the whole post office lot. It's a pretty huge property. Maybe the post office building would work well for a museum and a modern development could be wrapped around it.
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2020, 2:35 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
Frivolous spending is frivolous by definition, not just because I say so.
Actually it's more subjective than objective. Everybody has a different idea of what they consider to be frivolous or not.

And some of it is just your 'say so', as there are benefits that aren't easily defined by simple data. For example, the skating oval that you are eager to criticize is a good way to get people out and active in the winter, when they would otherwise probably be sitting inside watching TV or participating in some other sedentary activity. Getting into the habit of skating outside can have spinoff effects of encouraging people to generally be more active in the winter, which has benefits to physical and mental health and thus takes some strain off of our healthcare system (which is translatable to tax dollars). We know intuitively that this is the case, but it is difficult to reflect by data, and nobody will likely ever conduct a thorough study of it. But regardless of whether it actually results in a financial advantage (which I imagine is your main measure of frivolity), if it provides an emotional benefit to Halifax's citizens, I would subjectively judge it as not being frivolous.

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I would hope that a full analysis of cost and demand for such a facility would occur first.
One should expect this with each and every project. Demand can be difficult to predict unless a precedent has been set. I would be interested in the inventory study you refer to, if you can provide a link to it.

Besides, in a brainstorming sense, a museum is just an idea that I had because I'm aware that the Dartmouth museum disappeared years ago when the old city hall/library/museum structure at Wyse and Windmill was deemed uninhabitable and then torn down. With this iconic (for Dartmouth) post office building now coming available, that appears to be in a good state of repair (haven't heard otherwise), I suspect it would be a good candidate for HRM to get a good deal from the feds (if HRM was on the ball) given that it would be used as a public benefit (speculation on my part). ...Of course HRM hasn't had the vision to figure out what to do with the old Halifax library main branch building yet, so I don't hold out much hope for my idea ever coming to fruition.

OK then... no musuem? Fine, but that doesn't mean there should be no other use for it other than tearing it down and building yet another nondescript residential apartment building there. That building adds interest and character to the neighborhood, and I would suggest keeping it and creating a new purpose for it would be a benefit to those who live in its vicinity and anybody else who cares about such things.
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2020, 2:38 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by JET View Post
I think of the Church Brewing in Wolfville, and just think that there are so many uses for a nice old building.
Agree. I have spoken to the owner of Church Brewing and he was very engaged with saving the building. In the end they did a great job of it, and business has been very good as I understand (and have witnessed).

Maybe North Brewing might consider moving around the block...
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2020, 2:42 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Most of the museums in NS must have been part of a rural economic development strategy, no? And to some degree it works. I'm sure Sherbrooke Village doesn't "make" money, but it does get people to go up the Eastern Shore who wouldn't otherwise.

Halifax and Dartmouth could definitely use a civic museum. There are thousands of documents and artefacts that are just mouldering away in a storage building in Burnside. It would be nice to actually see them.

That being said, I don't think a civic museum needs to be particularly large or extravagant, and it certainly wouldn't take up the whole post office lot. It's a pretty huge property. Maybe the post office building would work well for a museum and a modern development could be wrapped around it.
There are so many ways that this could be done while respecting the building. As Keith had mentioned in a post in another thread, even the addition was well integrated into the older building and would be an ideal way to transition from old to new - keep the facade of the addition while building up through it and maintain the old post office structure as original... the potential is outstanding.
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2020, 6:33 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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On the topic of a museum:

https://www.halifaxtoday.ca/remember...1104130http://

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During the ongoing debate over the commemoration of Edward Cornwallis, it is often suggested that his statue, currently removed from public display and held in storage, should be put on display in a museum.

Generally, the museum to potentially house the Cornwallis statue is never named, most likely due to the fact that there is no obvious, ready-built choice. HRM needs a civic museum of history and archaeology.
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Unfortunately, the majority of the artifact collection of the former City of Dartmouth is currently stored in a Burnside warehouse.

The collection represents local, regional and national history and consists primarily of donations from historically-inclined Dartmouthians over the decades. It should be on display in a proper museum facility and not hidden away from the public.

That being said, HRM staff and Dartmouth Heritage Museum employees and volunteers are currently working diligently to organize and preserve the artifacts.

At this time, the best chance for the collection of the former City of Dartmouth to be fully displayed to the public is as a fully integrated part of a museum complex that showcases the history, archaeology and culture of the entire region.
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2020, 7:29 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2020, 8:28 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
Agree. I have spoken to the owner of Church Brewing and he was very engaged with saving the building. In the end they did a great job of it, and business has been very good as I understand (and have witnessed).

Maybe North Brewing might consider moving around the block...
The best part of that project in Wolfville is that no tax dollars were involved, other than the cost of several public hearings to deal with the outraged locals who were clutching their pearls in horror that a former house of worship would be used for the demon booze.
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2020, 8:45 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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The best part of that project in Wolfville is that no tax dollars were involved, other than the cost of several public hearings to deal with the outraged locals who were clutching their pearls in horror that a former house of worship would be used for the demon booze.
No, the best part of that project is the wonderful food and beer that are produced there...
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2020, 8:46 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
Actually it's more subjective than objective. Everybody has a different idea of what they consider to be frivolous or not.

And some of it is just your 'say so', as there are benefits that aren't easily defined by simple data. For example, the skating oval that you are eager to criticize is a good way to get people out and active in the winter, when they would otherwise probably be sitting inside watching TV or participating in some other sedentary activity. Getting into the habit of skating outside can have spinoff effects of encouraging people to generally be more active in the winter, which has benefits to physical and mental health and thus takes some strain off of our healthcare system (which is translatable to tax dollars). We know intuitively that this is the case, but it is difficult to reflect by data, and nobody will likely ever conduct a thorough study of it. But regardless of whether it actually results in a financial advantage (which I imagine is your main measure of frivolity), if it provides an emotional benefit to Halifax's citizens, I would subjectively judge it as not being frivolous.
What I wrote to inspire this diatribe bears no relation to your comments. I said:

"The $15 million oval which closes on many winter days due to weather conditions would have perhaps been better realized with a more practical design."

A municipal public skating rink was talked about for years, with the Grand Parade often being suggested as a location a la Rockefeller Center in NYC. But many other locations were possible, and perhaps several could have been constructed around the municipality. But nooooooo. HRM had to yield to decision-making by social media noise and keep the Canada Games oval. It is massive and can only really accommodate speed skating training sessions and very long laps by the public. It is in a location that is challenging for those who do not live on the peninsula. Even more strangely for a facility designed for winter use it seems to close every time we get winter weather. And of course because of its specialized nature HRM spent a bundle essentially rebuilding the whole thing and then adding buildings around it, along with staff bureaucrats to run it and offer free equipment, etc.

More simple municipal rinks could have been built for far less, with needed but not lavish facilities. They could have been dispersed to places that would encourage more of that activity you note - I suspect few Tantallon, Cole Harbour or Lower Sackville residents use the Oval on a regular basis. They could have even hosted a hockey game or two when public skate sessions were not offered. But we ended up with none of that. In short, that money could have been spent far more wisely and for greater benefit and utility to those paying for it. That fits my definition of frivolous spending.

Museums are money pits, plain and simple. Few of the younger generation ever set foot inside them unless they are truly remarkable. Museums in old buildings that need significant renovation, remediation and maintenance are even bigger money pits. Even the Art Gallery of NS, despite god-knows how many 10s of millions spent on its buildings, now says that they are unsuitable for the storage and display of works of art and they need a new purpose-built facility.

I do not want the Post Office building torn down. But I do not want HRM to take it on either, especially when (as you say) they already have an apparently untouchable building in the old SGR library that nobody seems to want.
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2020, 10:40 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
What I wrote to inspire this diatribe bears no relation to your comments. I said:

"The $15 million oval which closes on many winter days due to weather conditions would have perhaps been better realized with a more practical design."

A municipal public skating rink was talked about for years, with the Grand Parade often being suggested as a location a la Rockefeller Center in NYC. But many other locations were possible, and perhaps several could have been constructed around the municipality. But nooooooo. HRM had to yield to decision-making by social media noise and keep the Canada Games oval. It is massive and can only really accommodate speed skating training sessions and very long laps by the public. It is in a location that is challenging for those who do not live on the peninsula. Even more strangely for a facility designed for winter use it seems to close every time we get winter weather. And of course because of its specialized nature HRM spent a bundle essentially rebuilding the whole thing and then adding buildings around it, along with staff bureaucrats to run it and offer free equipment, etc.

More simple municipal rinks could have been built for far less, with needed but not lavish facilities. They could have been dispersed to places that would encourage more of that activity you note - I suspect few Tantallon, Cole Harbour or Lower Sackville residents use the Oval on a regular basis. They could have even hosted a hockey game or two when public skate sessions were not offered. But we ended up with none of that. In short, that money could have been spent far more wisely and for greater benefit and utility to those paying for it. That fits my definition of frivolous spending.

Museums are money pits, plain and simple. Few of the younger generation ever set foot inside them unless they are truly remarkable. Museums in old buildings that need significant renovation, remediation and maintenance are even bigger money pits. Even the Art Gallery of NS, despite god-knows how many 10s of millions spent on its buildings, now says that they are unsuitable for the storage and display of works of art and they need a new purpose-built facility.

I do not want the Post Office building torn down. But I do not want HRM to take it on either, especially when (as you say) they already have an apparently untouchable building in the old SGR library that nobody seems to want.
I think it's a bit of a stretch to refer to my comments as a "diatribe"
Quote:
a forceful and bitter verbal attack against someone or something.
...but regardless you make some good points. This isn't the first time there has been a discussion on this board about the oval in which you've made your opposition to it quite clear, however, but let's leave it in the past.

I will make these points about your comments:
1) Any outdoor ice surface would be subject to be closed in unfavourable weather - the oval isn't unique in that respect.
2) The oval received much public support to be made permanent after the Canada Games, which as you know does wonders for political will in making it happen.
3) One advantage of the oval configuration is that everybody skates in the same direction, and the curves are not as tight as skating circles in an arena-sized ice surface (memories of public skates in the Bowles Arena many years ago). It is much more pleasurable to skate in a less-confined area such as the oval.
4) Its location is within the most populous area of the city, which is the most logical place to put a landmark skating surface. People living in the far reaches of Tantallon, Sackville, or Cole Harbour would probably just go to a local frozen lake to skate (a feature not contained within the developed peninsular area of Halifax).
5) IIRC, it's the only facility in the area suitable for speed skating training - which is a plus, actually, not a negative.

Your views on museums may or may not be true. I still haven't seen the information you referred to earlier. I will say that not having a museum of history is something Halifax is lacking that a "real" city typically has, not just towers (I only say this from reading comments in the past about Halifax not being a "real" city - and I write it partially, at least, in jest).

I will say that I completely enjoyed visiting several museums in my visit to Ottawa a couple of years ago - but I will say they were a little crowded (with many young people as well as adults), so it was sometimes difficult to get a good view of all the exhibits. So museums do work if they are done right. Yeah I know Ottawa has double our population, but we don't have half their museums either...

Is the post office building the best location for it? Not sure, but it sounds like we are talking whether we should even have a museum or not. I guess we could continue to follow the status quo and just let our kids sit home and play video games (sarcasm).

Good discussion regardless. Thanks for giving my writings careful thought.
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Old Posted Jan 15, 2020, 3:05 PM
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I would be happy just to see the building returned to this. The addition took away from the buildings natural beauty.
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