On December 2nd, I attended the second public meeting of the Downtown Built Heritage Inventory project at the Workers Art and Heritage Centre at 51 Stuart Street.
Prior to amalgamation, each region had complied its own listing of buildings that were considered architectural and or historical significant. Since amalgamation, no systematic review the list of approximately 8,000 buildings has been done.
As a first step, the City has directed staff to conduct a pilot project of the downtown core. An area covering the four original districts: Corktown, Durand, Beasley, and Kirkendall. This created a list of about 800 buildings of interest.
In July, the City staff asked for feedback on what qualities were remarkable about different areas within the original 1846 boundaries. For example, the significance of the Gore, the Civic Area, and major roadways like James, Main, and King. This feedback helped to shape the criteria for selection and evaluation of potential buildings.
The meeting on Monday reported that a methodology had been accepted and that staff are currently identifying and entering the buildings into a database. This process should be completed by January 2014 with a report going to City Council in the spring.
In the end, there should be a rationale in place for why each building is on the list. With this information in hand, the City will have a firm foundation for future discussions.
The City’s website for this project is: www.hamiltan.ca/downtownbuiltheritage. There is also the staff report on the project and the presentation documents. Finally, there is also the City’s video on the project.