adma

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And yes, it is built into the structure of HPS. But the problem is more with absence (of initiative) than presence (of hostility)--and unlike, say, Montreal, there's very little, or halting, interplay with an architectural-community brain trust. Most of the "community members" who've reported to it and defined its parameters have tended to be of the parochial local-activist sort. They're good for HCDish stuff, or faux versions thereof a la the batch listings--but generally speaking, they don't have the chops to really grasp what "expansive scope" is about. They're in a "blind, unless reminded" circumstance--it's what happens in a town where the matriarchal guru is Jane Jacobs rather than Phyllis Lambert. Things become more "pokey" than cosmopolitan in overreaching outlook. And in the case of the Simpson Tower, there's no real "community" to speak of, other than the generalized, "remote" one of architectural experts. The commissioned studies HPS does is dry reports to council. They're not assigned to be an "authoritative presence"; they're only mirrors of a broader problem out there.

And sadly, when it comes to modernism, the "parochial local activist" types tend to be followers, not leaders. Which is how they came to snooze on the Sun House, even as something worth singling out in HCD terms, until they were "reminded"--through evidence that wasn't even accounted for in the original HCD report--and by then, it was too late.
 
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UtakataNoAnnex

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In the end, while I can appreciate there may not have been much love for this building before the makeover, we'll now be staring at this new soul sucking clown suit for the ages in the name of "progress" after the fact. Somewhere down the decsison making line there was an epic /fail from preventing this sort of thing from happening. And that really should never be.
 

adma

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In the end, while I can appreciate there may not have been much love for this building before the makeover, we'll now be staring at this new soul sucking clown suit for the ages in the name of "progress" after the fact. Somewhere down the decsison making line there was an epic /fail from preventing this sort of thing from happening. And that really should never be.
Even the "not much love" took more the form of taking-for-granted or casual ignorance, as well as broader-reaching trickle-down anti-modernism. Whether "active" in the Prince Charles/Justin Shubow sense, or "passive" in the stereotypical sense of "if it looks pre-1950, it's heritage; if it looks post-1950, it's dated".

Plus the fact that we're dealing with a lot of later-gen thinking within the commercial real estate and development industry that really views built fabric--particularly modern-era built fabric--in terms of something that needs constant "refreshing" and "renewal", much like mall retail. A sort of aesthetic software/hardware upgrade. It parallels how these days, new home buyers in older neighbourhoods like Leaside are likelier to rebuild (and all too often w/similar regrettable aesthetic results, architecturally and contextually--and it doesn't matter whether it's McMansion or McModern), whereas some 40 years ago they were likelier to leave well enough alone. They're also less likely to be conversant with the cultural networks and coordinates and symbioses that informed past "heritage-conscious" infrastructure. Meanwhile, younger cohorts that *once* might have been fresh-perspectively up in arms over stuff like this happening are more concerned with fashionably woke/retribution-related issues, and conserving office-tower modernism of the relative recent past is the least of their concerns. So we're dealing with a concern that's fallen btw/ several stools. (Heck, I've read numbskull kill-the-rich opinionating along the lines of "if it takes the billionaire class to save our modern monuments, then we'd be better off demolishing them".)
 

adma

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Also, when it comes to "cultural networks and coordinates and symbioses": it seems to me that some 30-40 years ago, the dialogue over such matters tended to be more "professional"--and what that reflected raised the overall tenor of judgment. But since then, things have coarsened, whether through reality-show carbuncle-bashing or through the "democratizing" and fanboy-enabling effect of social media like, well, UT. That is, you don't have to be "informed" to voice your judgment anymore.

In fact, when I think of it, this renovation is a little bit like a young development LARPer's fantasy rendering of a "refreshed" version of a "tired and dated" Simpson Tower come horrifyingly to life. Like the architectural answer to this...

 

thecharioteer

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1964 (TPL)

tspa_0035407f.jpg


400-foot Simpson's Tower unveiled. E. G. Burton, chairman of the board of the Robert Simpson Co. Ltd., Controller Herbert Orliffe, Mayor Philip Givens and Allan Burton, president of Simpson's, look over a model of the 400-foot office tower the store plans to build on the southeast corner of Queen and Bay Streets. The tower was unveiled at a press conference in the Mayor's office today. Tower will top the New City Hall.​

Darrell, Dick
Picture, 1964, English
 

UtakataNoAnnex

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Even the "not much love" took more the form of taking-for-granted or casual ignorance, as well as broader-reaching trickle-down anti-modernism. Whether "active" in the Prince Charles/Justin Shubow sense, or "passive" in the stereotypical sense of "if it looks pre-1950, it's heritage; if it looks post-1950, it's dated".

Plus the fact that we're dealing with a lot of later-gen thinking within the commercial real estate and development industry that really views built fabric--particularly modern-era built fabric--in terms of something that needs constant "refreshing" and "renewal", much like mall retail. A sort of aesthetic software/hardware upgrade. It parallels how these days, new home buyers in older neighbourhoods like Leaside are likelier to rebuild (and all too often w/similar regrettable aesthetic results, architecturally and contextually--and it doesn't matter whether it's McMansion or McModern), whereas some 40 years ago they were likelier to leave well enough alone. They're also less likely to be conversant with the cultural networks and coordinates and symbioses that informed past "heritage-conscious" infrastructure. Meanwhile, younger cohorts that *once* might have been fresh-perspectively up in arms over stuff like this happening are more concerned with fashionably woke/retribution-related issues, and conserving office-tower modernism of the relative recent past is the least of their concerns. So we're dealing with a concern that's fallen btw/ several stools. (Heck, I've read numbskull kill-the-rich opinionating along the lines of "if it takes the billionaire class to save our modern monuments, then we'd be better off demolishing them".)
The upgrade still looks like shite, actually, fashionably woke or otherwise.
 

adma

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The upgrade still looks like shite, actually, fashionably woke or otherwise.
Of course, I'm not claiming said "fashionably woke" would defend said upgrade--it's more that fretting over such modern-architectural-preservation matters is off radar to them. More of a modern-day "crisis of the conscientious".

Almost like, in the case of the Simpson Tower, "let it burn".
 

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