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Old Posted Dec 10, 2008, 3:29 AM
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Post One of Canada's finest Victorian neighbourhoods (Durand Part I)

HAMILTON NEIGHBOURHOODS:
CorktownDurandCentralDundasLocke St. SouthBurlingtonStinsonWestdaleSt. ClairKeithLandsdale
The DeltaGibsonJamesvilleConcession StreetDurand NorthDurand SouthOld Dundas HousesHess VillageBarton Street
AncasterNorth KirkendallSouth KirkendallMcMaster UniversityDowntownThe BayfrontThe North EndKenilworth
Mountain BrowTextile DistrictStrathconaNorth StipleyFlamboroughBeasleyChedokeStoney CreekThe Beach Strip


HAMILTON FEATURES:
C I T Y _ L I G H T SStone HamiltonTwilight of the Industrial AgeTwilight of the Industrial Age II
Stone in Dundas and AncasterGoodbye, Hamilton (from 43 floors up)Dirty BrickDay for Night
This broken down old city still manages to wake up every morning...Everywhere, Ontario< R - E - T - R - O >
HAMILTON | Scenes from the cutting room floorS U B U R B I A !Everywhere, OntarioHamilton Rowhouses
< H E A V Y <> I N D U S T R Y > Old Man Winter vs. Hamilton





Durand
Part I
(north of Herkimer)

Hamilton, Ontario

Durand is one of the finest and most interesting Victorian neighbourhoods in Canada. Back in 2006, in one of my very first neighbourhood tours,
I showed some of Durand's many mansions. In that tour I focused only on the mansions, but I thought it was time for a proper tour, one that
shows what it's like to walk the streets of Durand. This tour shows a greater variety of architecture in the northern half of Durand, which is
a mixture of apartments and houses. Most of the mansions are in the southern half of Durand close to the escarpment--I will do a proper
tour of the southern half another time.

The Victorian architecture in the north section of Durand has been devastated by modern apartment and condominium complexes. The need
for higher density residential areas is part of the evolution of any growing city. Sadly, that need was satisfied by destroying blocks and blocks
of houses, some of which included unique stone rowhouses from the 1850s and large mansions from the later Victorian period. Still, there
remains a great stock of interesting architecture built from the 1850s onward in a variety of styles. Unlike many Hamilton neighbourhoods,
there is very little uniformity here.

Link to Part II: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=162269

Look:














































































Last edited by flar; May 16, 2009 at 12:53 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2008, 4:28 AM
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An impressive collection of Victorian architecture to say the least.
Well done, flar. Well done.
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Old Posted Dec 10, 2008, 10:27 AM
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Mmmm...all the orangey-browny-orange brick.
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Old Posted Dec 10, 2008, 11:34 AM
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Some of those townhouses are magnificent. Are there protected historic areas within Hamilton? And, if so, why wouldn't this be one of them? New York is full of landmarked neighborhoods where building or altering facades is practically impossible these days. Whether that's good or bad, I don't know, but it does protect some fantastic historic areas like Greenwich Village and Brooklyn Heights from the wrecking ball. Is Cabbagetown in Toronto landmark protected?

Were there more of these at one time? If so, it seems like a lot more has been lost than gained.
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Old Posted Dec 10, 2008, 11:38 AM
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Nice pics!
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Old Posted Dec 10, 2008, 1:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinChelseaNYC View Post
Some of those townhouses are magnificent. Are there protected historic areas within Hamilton? And, if so, why wouldn't this be one of them? New York is full of landmarked neighborhoods where building or altering facades is practically impossible these days. Whether that's good or bad, I don't know, but it does protect some fantastic historic areas like Greenwich Village and Brooklyn Heights from the wrecking ball. Is Cabbagetown in Toronto landmark protected?

Were there more of these at one time? If so, it seems like a lot more has been lost than gained.
The building in the picture you quoted narrowly escaped demolition in 1972. It's called Sandyford Place. It was built in 1858 and is now protected. There were many more stone townhouses. In addition to the others in the original post here, some, although less elegant, still exist such as this one (which is in Durand but I didn't include a photo because I've shown it many times before)



These photos show remnants of other stone rows that have been lost:



Alone in a sea of parking lots:



The City of Hamilton gets an F on heritage preservation. There is a series of books called "Vanished Hamilton" (yes, a series!) that shows many incredible mansions in Durand that were demolished over the years to make way for the apartment towers that are visible in about half the photos. The Durand Neighbourhood Association was formed to stop the rampant demolition of historic properties in the neighbourhood. The neighbourhood association proposed a heritage district in 1982. The city finally created the Heritage district in 1996. I don't know how strict it is, many of the homes have had bargeboarding, porches and other details ripped off. There are also a lot of bad renovation jobs, additions and unsightly stairs and fire escapes added to the many that have been converted to apartments. Just this past summer the city itself tried to buy two houses for demolition. Luckily they were outbid by private owners.
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Old Posted Dec 10, 2008, 2:48 PM
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Thanks for the post Flar....and highlighting what has been lost.
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Old Posted Dec 10, 2008, 4:50 PM
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I should also add that this beautiful Second Empire terrace was unceremoniously chopped off to make way for the apartment on the right of the picture.



This would have been a magnificent structure in its original length (it still looks good of course, at least it wasn't completely lost).
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Old Posted Dec 11, 2008, 6:51 AM
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There are some beautiful homes there. Too bad some were demolished for the communist looking apartment complexes but every city has horror stories of beautiful buildings and homes lost and replaced by horrendous structures or open air parking lots.
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Old Posted Dec 11, 2008, 11:57 AM
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Looking at these again--this neighborhood is so rich. I hope Hamilton can wake up and save what's left. I'm assuming that this is a middle-class area? Also, are historical buildings worth more up there or do people pay more for the modern stuff? The "market" seems to drive or discourage preservation these days. Take Brownstone Brooklyn, for instance. I wonder what would've happened to Brooklyn if the wealthy hadn't become enamored of the beautiful rows of 19th century blocks.
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Old Posted Dec 11, 2008, 2:32 PM
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I think the buildings in this area are fairly safe now, the damage was done in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Other areas of the city have many endangered buildings. That probably won't change unless Hamilton's economic situation improves.

As for the socioeconomic makeup of Durand, the north section shown above has a real mix of people, but overall there is a middle to upper middle class presence here. That said, many of the houses are divided into apartments, and combined with the high rise apartments, there are actually quite a lot of low income people. The south part of Durand becomes very upper class, as will be seen when I do part 2 showing the southern half of Durand.
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Old Posted Dec 11, 2008, 2:40 PM
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Wowza!

Some architectural charms in there! Great job as usual.
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Old Posted Dec 11, 2008, 4:29 PM
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Great tour once again. Durand is located just south of Downtown, right? I recognize that one school building or whatever.

I will have to look into that "Vanished Hamilton" series. That seems interesting.
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Old Posted Dec 11, 2008, 6:13 PM
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These are all beautiful. I wish we had more brick in California. Thank you!
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Old Posted Dec 12, 2008, 8:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xzmattzx View Post
Great tour once again. Durand is located just south of Downtown, right? I recognize that one school building or whatever.

I will have to look into that "Vanished Hamilton" series. That seems interesting.
Yes, this is just southwest of Downtown. The Vanished Hamilton series is interesting, but sad. Same story in a lot of cities though.
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Old Posted Dec 18, 2008, 3:05 AM
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This is a quality hood
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Old Posted Dec 21, 2008, 4:04 PM
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Many of the mansions in this part of Durand are gone, but at one time the elaborate towers of late Victorian houses were so common that C. H. Acton Bond, who would become president of the Ontario Association of Architects, complained that Hamilton's architecture "generally bristles with towers and turrets, calling loudly to every passerby to behold what wealth and power its owner must have...there is no reason for a tower but that of ostentation."
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Old Posted Dec 22, 2008, 12:56 AM
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Wonderful. Reminds me of some great old neighbourhoods in Winnipeg.
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Old Posted Dec 23, 2008, 12:51 PM
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Gorgeous photos. The houses are amazing, and your photos are rich in color and detail. Masonry makes a visually delightful neighborhood any time, and I think the bleakness of winter really sets off the warmth of brick homes.

Oh, Lord! Now I have to get some paper towels and mop up the drool before I go on to part II!
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Old Posted Dec 23, 2008, 1:26 PM
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What a neighborhood! Thanks for these, flar.
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