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  #1201  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2021, 3:24 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
The center notch is an oddity in that while it is not really apparent from inside the building (the area inside it is an elevator lobby on all floors) it has an effect on ventilation. It chokes down the movement of air between the two ends of the building and creates an internal venturi effect. I worked in an office there where the entry doors would not latch easily because of the movement of air keeping them from fully closing. The air quality in there was always an issue too when Suisha Gardens was operating downstairs with their teppanyaki cooking tables. The smell of Japanese food was found on every floor upstairs because the flow of fresh air into the ventilation system was choked down.

That sounds more like a poorly designed ventilation system than and effect of building shape.
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  #1202  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2021, 4:28 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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So, how do you do that with a building that size on that site while preserving the old building there and still get the square footage you need? You fit it by pinching the middle. That is what I was getting at.
Y'know? I think you may be right. Check out this aerial from the NS Archives from around the 1950s. The building to the south is much deeper than the one to the north and conceivably could have interfered with the footprint of the MC. I'd love to see some building plans to see if this really the case. Bizarre, eh?

https://archives.novascotia.ca/infor...hives/?ID=1209



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  #1203  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2021, 5:49 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
Y'know? I think you may be right. Check out this aerial from the NS Archives from around the 1950s. The building to the south is much deeper than the one to the north and conceivably could have interfered with the footprint of the MC. I'd love to see some building plans to see if this really the case. Bizarre, eh?
I never had a doubt.

That's actually a very good set of pics. Don't think I've ever seen either previously.

On the ventilation comment, I got that from the building manager back in the '80s. I think the problem was that with elevator shafts taking up much of the space in the notch, there just wasn't enough area left for properly-sized ducting. So it would be more of a building design problem rather than one of ventilation system design. I know if you went into the office in the evenings or on weekends, it would be an extremely stuffy atmosphere since they turned off some/all of the HVAC after hours. Not sure what it's like now.
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  #1204  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2021, 5:54 PM
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Regarding that second-to-last picture you posted, Mark, do you have any idea what the smaller building would be on Barrington at the foot of SGR between the Capitol Theater building and the church? It looks almost like an older residential building converted to a business of some sort, with a large sign on the roof. I have zero memory of it.
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  #1205  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2021, 12:06 AM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Hmmm... good question, Keith. I believe it was the location of the NSLP office at one time, I'm thinking ns_kid would have an idea.

This one looks earlier than that, though. You can see the lower front facade at the right of this pic from 1949. I can't make out any signage, but it almost looks like it's set up as a restaurant.



Source

In this shot from 1945, in the same article, you can see that it does look like it was a house turned into a business.



Another one from what looks like the 1930s:


Source

That's all I've got for now.
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  #1206  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2021, 3:21 AM
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I learned something interesting recently while researching the Maritime Centre for Wikipedia. Related to the "notch". From an article published in February 1975, while the foundation was under construction:

Quote:
There has been a slight change in the phasing of the project in the intervening months. Originally, the intention was to build the large tower, at the Barrington-Salter end of the site, first – for completion in 1976 – and build the second one later.

However, Novak says the plan is now to start both towers together and build them to about 12 storeys, with additional height to be added later on.

"We can be more flexible that way," he says, "and it also means we can complete the plaza in the first stage."

"Rock fault delays Maritime Centre project". The 4th Estate. 20 February 1975. p. 3.
The building was conceived as two "towers" linked by a shared service core.

Here's a 1982 aerial photo:



Apparently there are articles about the Maritime Centre in the June 1974 and May 1975 issues of Canadian Building. They might include a site plan. I'll try to track them down the next time I'm in Canada.

Last edited by alps; Jan 17, 2021 at 3:36 AM.
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  #1207  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2021, 1:08 PM
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That's an interesting find, @alps. It seems odd today to read about a developer talking about a project in such a laissez-faire way - "Oh, maybe we'll build it taller (or shorter) and maybe we'll build two or maybe just one". Today there would be hundreds of pages of city requirements, full of minutiae dictating what could and could not be done.

Mark, thank you for those pictures. That old building is a bit of a mystery. I do recall that the site at the foot of SGR later became a modern-looking MT&T office in the 1960s but it didn't last very long.



Looking at one of the pics you found, I blew this up a bit and while it isn't totally clear, the business on the left side of that building sure looks like the sign reads "The Book Room".


Last edited by Keith P.; Jan 17, 2021 at 1:23 PM.
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  #1208  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2021, 4:34 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alps View Post
I learned something interesting recently while researching the Maritime Centre for Wikipedia. Related to the "notch". From an article published in February 1975, while the foundation was under construction:



The building was conceived as two "towers" linked by a shared service core.

Here's a 1982 aerial photo:



Apparently there are articles about the Maritime Centre in the June 1974 and May 1975 issues of Canadian Building. They might include a site plan. I'll try to track them down the next time I'm in Canada.
Fascinating. It sounds like each tower was designed to function separately from the other, which means that the ventilation system for each tower should be independent from the other.

Also, I noticed in the article that council approved "a slight modification of the vews bylaw". It's interesting to see that they could do that back then, but they seem to be chiseled in stone today - maybe that's just my impression though.

Do you have a link to the 1982 aerial view? I'm wondering if it can be blown up to see how the footprint of the MT&T building impacted the MC.
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  #1209  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2021, 4:42 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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No new information, but the atlas from 1878 indicates that the lot of that odd little building occupied a military headquarters at the time. It's hard to say if it was the same building that was built onto for the store front, but the setback looks about the same.



Source
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  #1210  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2021, 6:55 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by someone123 View Post
Nice find. I don't think I've seen a good street-level shot of those buildings next to the Maritime Centre on Hollis. From afar they look a lot nicer than the hotel that's there now. Aside from the Cogswell area, Hollis seems worst-hit for architectural losses.
It also shows how much of the waterfront was wiped out in preparation for the Harbour Drive project that never happened. It literally took decades to rebound from that, and there are still some surface parking lots, soon to be developed, remaining from it.

As far as those buildings on Hollis, the best street-level pic I've seen so far is this one from the VE day riots, and it's not so great:



Source

You can see a bit of the back side in the distance on the right in this shot looking down Salter Street:



Source

And another view from Hollis Street, to the left:



Source
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  #1211  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2021, 5:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
That's an interesting find, @alps. It seems odd today to read about a developer talking about a project in such a laissez-faire way - "Oh, maybe we'll build it taller (or shorter) and maybe we'll build two or maybe just one". Today there would be hundreds of pages of city requirements, full of minutiae dictating what could and could not be done.
I thought that was odd too. Maybe in those days the approval conditions merely dictated the maximum parameters of the project, and they got approval for the whole thing at the outset. You would also expect there would be significant engineering implications.

Regarding the view plane amendment, city council minutes record that a public hearing was held on the matter on August 6, 1974:

Quote:
Amendment to Zoning By-law as it deals with View Plane No. 6
A Public Hearing was held at this time to consider the above-noted subject.

[...]

His Worship then called for those persons wishing to speak in favour of the application.

Mr. Gordon Archibald, General Manager, Maritime Telegraph & Telephone Co. Ltd. reviewed the chronology of events leading to the application for an amendment to View Plane No. 6. He requested that the view plane be varied by the requested 48 minutes, which would still give a full view of George Island framed by water. Mr. Archibald responded to questions from members of Council.

Mr. Michael Novack, Vice President, Trizec Corporation, reviewed briefly the requested amendment, and asked that they be allowed to create this very important landmark that would frame Barrington Street and reanimate it, and create a downtown that we would all enjoy. Mr. Novack replied to questions from members of Council.

There being no further persons wishing to speak in favour of the application. His Worship called for those persons wishing to speak against.

Mr. Terry McGrath, speaking on his own behalf. stated that Council left a great legacy to future Councils in the form of the Views By-law and this is the first challenge to that legislation. He stated that if this challenge is successful, it might set a precedent for future Councils that would destroy this great piece of legislation. He stated that if View Plane No. 6 is violated with Council's approval. the legislation re. view planes is violated. He felt that unless there are very strong arguments why the view plane legislation itself should be thrown out by this Council, it would not be warranted for this Council to create an exception and in effect now violate and make its own legislation no longer a propos. Mr. McGrath replied to questions from members of Council.

Mr. J. A. Belgrave, Area Superintendent, Historic Sites (Halifax), Parks Canada, read a brief dated August 6, 1974, copies of which were circulated to members of Council.

Mr. Roger Sarty, a history student, stated that for over two centuries the development of the City of Halifax has centered on the view from the Citadel and felt that this is a huge historical issue. He stated that only in the last ten years have there been encroachments on the view from the Citadel. He stated that Citadel Hill is a major tourist attraction and the natural beauty of the Province creates a tourist industry which is extremely labour intensive and provides far more jobs than capital intensive industry ever could. He stated that by destroying the view, as the proposed tower will, the tourist appeal will be destroyed and he submitted that tourism contributes a good deal more to the economics of the City than the short term construction employment and municipal taxes which will be derived from the proposed development. He referred to his letter to the MailStar on July 9 and two responses from residents of the United States published on July 23, 1974, supporting his position.

Mr. David Lachapelle, with the aid of diagrams, indicated how the floor space requested by the applicant can be accommodated entirely outside the view plane without an amendment. He felt that if Council stands fast by their decision in this case, the decision of adopting the views legislation, they will encourage development by the fact that developers will know from now on that Council will not make any amendments to the view plane legislation and the situation will be much more stable which will make it easier to develop.

Mrs. Elizabeth Pacey stated that in the beginning it was believed that the proposed building would provide a substantial green space and would be twelve to fifteen stories, now it appears to be two towers of some twenty stories which will be very high, not only from the Citadel but from Barrington Street. She stated that the best view of George Island was deleted mainly for the proposed building and she felt Council should retain View No. 6 in its entirety. She stated if Council continues at the rate of giving two degrees per month, it would only be ten years when all the degrees would be lost.

Mrs. Stewart stated the real decision to be made is whether views legislation passed by City Council will stand or be gradually whittled away by a flexibility amendment to the Views By-law. She felt the erosion of views are irretrievable and the worst predicament developers can find themselves in is uncertainty about governmental restrictions. She felt that if the legislation is subject to never-ending review, this will inflict an atmosphere of uncertainty among developers. which will almost certainly result in continued erosion of the views. She stated that knowledge of the rules results ultimately in their successful adaptation to the new situation. She urged Council not to depart from the recently decisive passage of the Views By-law.

Mr. Howard Salvers stated that Halifax has something very unique and as far as View Plane No. 6 is concerned, the uniqueness concerns a view of George Island.

Mr. George Rogers, President, Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia, read a brief dated August 6, 1974, copies of which were distributed to members of Council.

Mr. John Way, Chairman, Downtown Committee, stated he would like to speak to the motion and not particularly take sides. He read a brief, undated, copies of which were circulated to members of Council.

Mr. S. Langmaid, representing the Community Planning Association of Canada, stated he wished to speak to the motion, and read a letter dated August 6, 1974, copies of which were circulated to members of Council.

Mr. L. Collins, representing the Halifax Landmarks Commission, reiterated his former stated position that this should not become a precedent in respect to view plane legislation in the City.

Mr. Jeffrey Marshall referred to legislation recently passed in Montreal whereby a six-month freeze to 44 ft. in the downtown core has been placed on development, the same being in effect in Toronto with the exception that the height restriction is 45 ft. He suggested that Council should make no concession in the matter of the view planes which has only been adopted by Council.

Mr. Alan Ruffman reiterated comments made by him at a previous meeting and suggested that because of the interest generated in the community by the views legislation, if this amendment is passed by City Council it will be appealed to the Provincial Planning Appeal Board, commenting further on the period of time that might elapse before such an appeal would be heard and a decision made.

Mrs. M. Rozinski speaking on behalf of C.O.S.E.C., stated that they realized that it was the intention of Council to allow a building for Maritime Tel. & Tel. on the site of Barrington, Salter and Hollis Streets, when the Views By-law was passed, and the proposal was accommodated when the view from the ramparts was used. She commented on the height of the present proposal and stated that it is very important how the development will relate to the top of the Citadel. She urged Council to weigh the matter very carefully.

No further persons wished to speak against the proposed amendment.
Council subsequently approved the amendments to the view plane on August 15. It makes me wonder if there were any other view plane amendments since then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
Do you have a link to the 1982 aerial view? I'm wondering if it can be blown up to see how the footprint of the MT&T building impacted the MC.
I got the aerial photo from the province's "DataLocator" system:

https://nsgi.novascotia.ca/datalocator/indexing/

Unfortunately they only provide these thumbnails. I think to see the full sizes you need to purchase the photos.

Thanks for posting all these old pics!
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  #1212  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2021, 12:39 PM
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Keith P. Keith P. is offline
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The viewplanes were seen as a good thing back in the 1970s. Hard to believe. Surprising that a few of The Usual Suspects like Pacey and Ruffman were active even back then.
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  #1213  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2021, 2:54 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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alps: Thanks!

Keith:
It's not hard to imagine the positive aspects of the viewplanes as Halifax is one of the few cities with a Citadel. As an historic city, it was envisioned as an asset that would bolster tourism, and given that some significant restoration had happened around that time, made sense that they would try to support it by maintaining the viewplanes to the harbour. Unfortunately it came at the expense of tall development in some prime areas, but I still find myself questioning whether there was severe negative impact to Halifax from those viewplanes.

Of course one would expect a negative reaction on a skyscraper enthusiast forum, but really, other than the organic growth of the downtown as a business area I have to question whether that is the best location for growth of a business district, given that it's surrounded by water on one side, the Citadel on the other, and the south end is blocked off by the container pier, Point Pleasant and the south end residential district. To my way of thinking, the north end would be more suitable for a skyscraper/business growth area (like that area used up currently by car dealerships) as it is better situated for transportation potential.

It's just a thought process, because it is what it is, but it's interesting to imagine what the city would be like now if the downtown had been preserved more as an historical district (along the lines of Quebec City or Montreal, but of course at a much smaller scale), and other areas of the city had been targeted for business/high density residential growth with no limits on building height.

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  #1214  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2021, 5:54 AM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
...As far as those buildings on Hollis, the best street-level pic I've seen so far is this one from the VE day riots, and it's not so great...
One more, a little better:



Source
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  #1215  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2021, 12:02 PM
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They probably didn't look quite so good after the drunken mob finished hurling bricks at them.
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  #1216  
Old Posted Yesterday, 2:45 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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I found these pics on the Halifax Municipal Archives site, of Gottingen Street near Prince William Street from the early 1960s, when Gottingen was considered to be a shopping destination.







This 2019 view of the corner of Gottingen and Prince William from Google maps shows how that strip has suffered neglect: https://goo.gl/maps/fy6iDRMAYZhUbTuS7

It's good to see that Gottingen is getting some nice infill projects now.
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  #1217  
Old Posted Yesterday, 3:07 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Here's a neat shot at Duke and Grafton from the Halifax Municipal Archives, where the Scotiabank Centre now exists on the left and to the right, Scotia Square/Brunswick St. apartment buildings now reside. Timeline looks to be late 1950s/early 1960s.

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