Response from the City manager in charge of the development permit. Looks like a plaque will be put in place and the bricks will be re-purposed in the development. I don't understand why the City doesn't agree to some sort of cost share with the developer to re-locate these buildings and houses to an city owned empty lot in the inner city and re-purpose them?
"Thanks for your comments.
The City is focused on achieving the goals of the Calgary Heritage Strategy and Municipal Development Plan. Where sites of historical significance such as the Rossmore Apartment have been identified by Heritage Calgary and placed on the Inventory of Evaluated Historic Resources, the City works with property owners and applicants to provide information and policy support for conservation. The City also offers a variety of grant programs and other community-specific incentives (density bonusing, heritage preservation, heritage density transfer, etc.) to eligible owners willing to legally protect their sites under the Historical Resources Act of Alberta. Unfortunately, the Act does not allow municipalities to prevent the demolition of buildings that are not legally protected or to legally protect a property against the will of the property owner without monetary compensation.
Although listed on the Inventory of Evaluated Historic Resources, the Rossmore Apartment is not legally protected under the Historical Resources Act. The City has advised the applicant and land owner of the conservation incentives available to them should they choose to preserve and protect the historic resource on-site. The applicant undertook extensive research on alternatives to demolition including relocation, adaptive reuse and density bonusing incentives. Ultimately, the applicant has decided to proceed with the proposed application, which includes a commemorative plaque and re-use of the bricks from the Rossmore Apartments to clad the 2nd Street frontage of the new building as a tribute to the existing apartments and maintain a sympathetic relationship through materiality with the Alexandra Terrace to the north.
I would encourage you to continue your advocacy for preservation of historic resources by letting your elected representatives at the municipal and provincial levels know that heritage preservation is important to you and that additional tools are necessary to discourage future demolition and incentivize retention. Of note, you may also be interested in new financial incentives for heritage resource preservation that City Administration is working on and were brought to Council’s standing policy committee on Planning and Urban Development (see item 7.2) and Council this past Monday (see item 7.5)."
To the Developer: All you did was pick the cheapest available way you could of honoring the Rossmore Apartments without changing the design. Don't even bother reusing the bricks and putting up a plaque because it's obvious you don't care about heritage preservation. We don't need your sympathy.
I walk by that apartment building regularly. It’s a beauty. It also needs work. At some point the math doesn’t work to keep very old buildings as low cost residential rentals. It might be worth it converted to commercial, given the location. It’s also a very good spot for a higher density building, location wise. The houses around the apartment building are nothing special and in various stages of falling apart. No loss there.
The old apartment building IS significantly grander and more interesting than half the buildings I see touted as heritage. Mixed feelings on this one.
I like the proposal's design, too bad about having to tear down the apartment building. This city never ceases to amaze me, lots of empty lots everywhere and someone needs to build something on one of the lot of one of the few remaining cool old buildings.