adma

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It's retardataire because it reminds one of the Prudential Building that went up way back in ... 1955? Really I think you're just being grumpy. Together with The Shell Building, this is the fine city hall complex that Marani and Morris never got to build. Tear off the pomo addition, spruce up the awful lobby, and please save it!

"Retardataire" isn't meant to be a slur, simply a statement of stylistic fact (sort of like Renaissance/Baroque-era "Gothic Survival"). To call things like this, Shell, Bank of Canada, Imperial Oil, the TTC HQ, the Ryerson quad "retardataire" is perfectly fine, unless it smacks too much of "retard" for today's politically-correct-paranoia sensibility. And besides, the same PoMo 80s that imposed the present entrance also rehabilitated the reputation of such architecture; to the point where terms like "retardataire" or "reactionary" or "constipated" would have carried more of a knowing eye-wink than the tone of High Modernist condemnation; so we have nothing to worry about there--I suppose.

If anything, I was tilting against AlvinofDiaspar's so-called "grumpiness"--and augmenting the argument by taking the *entire* Maclean-Hunter block into account...
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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Well, the proposal as addressed didn't include the rest of the block, so I would be reluctant to call its' death knell for obvious reasons - and besides, it'd probably be "saved" by facadectomy in any case, which they may yet do to the Louis Temporale reliefs (or at least move them indoors as "centrepieces")

Personally, I would be a bit reluctant to compare 481 University to said list of examples, just by the way of "quality".

AoD
 
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isaidso

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I've always considered the buildings on University Avenue far too small for the scale of that street, so it's a promising development. More residential and office will do wonders for foot traffic and the feel of this boulevard. This is one street where you could put 400 m buildings and they wouldn't over power the street. I'll settle for 200m+ buildings though.

Hopefully this new proposal at 481 University won't be glass. One of the great things about this street is the 60s-70s architecture and use of heavy materials. It would be sad if that were lost in the name of looking current.
 

adma

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Personally, I would be a bit reluctant to compare 481 University to said list of examples, just by the way of "quality".

AoD


Actually, qualitywise, I don't find it to be *that* much the inferior to said list; I might even opt for it over some of that list. There's something about its scale and stance that seems supremely fitting for a major intersection on a "monumental" avenue--sure, there may be a touch of clunkiness to the massing; but in the end, the only thing really going against it is that it's astonishingly rearguard for something from the beginning of the JFK presidency. That is, the MaraniMorrissian nadir and end game for Toronto The Stodgy to those besotted by whatever Viljo Revell hath wrought. (Long before the term emerged as a byword for jerrybuilt towers-in-the-park, I suppose it's stuff like this that would have been popularly deemed "commie blocks", i.e. straight out of a tinpot Stalinist dictatorship.)

Then came the 1980s, and stuff like this was "appreciated" once again. (Which may explain why, at least IMO, even the unapologetically PoMo entrance isn't as obnoxiously uncomplimentary as some.) Though my sleeper favourite element is the office penthouse, which is like a Mussolini-era Italian Rationalist vila plopped atop an urban rooftop...
 

fedplanner

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I've always considered the buildings on University Avenue far too small for the scale of that street, so it's a promising development. More residential and office will do wonders for foot traffic and the feel of this boulevard. This is one street where you could put 400 m buildings and they wouldn't over power the street. I'll settle for 200m+ buildings though.

Hopefully this new proposal at 481 University won't be glass. One of the great things about this street is the 60s-70s architecture and use of heavy materials. It would be sad if that were lost in the name of looking current.

I have the exact same opinion about University. It's a grande Avenue with truncated buildings. Some sections have a institutional feel too it: sterile and cold. Residential intensification in some well designed buildings would work wonders for the area.
 

urban

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Hopefully that 4 story blue building on the south side of Dundas at the same intersection is next.
 

adHominem

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As long as the Centre Street building and those amazing reliefs stick around, I'm content.
 

adma

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Because it's all, in effect, one big building in the guise of (or even quasi-operating as) several smaller buildings, I wouldn't be surprised if it's a Hearst-type one-big-shaft-in-the-middle deal. (Though because much of it was built for printing presses and the like, I wonder how exorbitant the demolition costs would be.)
 

ProjectEnd

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Actually, qualitywise, I don't find it to be *that* much the inferior to said list; I might even opt for it over some of that list. There's something about its scale and stance that seems supremely fitting for a major intersection on a "monumental" avenue--sure, there may be a touch of clunkiness to the massing; but in the end, the only thing really going against it is that it's astonishingly rearguard for something from the beginning of the JFK presidency. That is, the MaraniMorrissian nadir and end game for Toronto The Stodgy to those besotted by whatever Viljo Revell hath wrought. (Long before the term emerged as a byword for jerrybuilt towers-in-the-park, I suppose it's stuff like this that would have been popularly deemed "commie blocks", i.e. straight out of a tinpot Stalinist dictatorship.)

Then came the 1980s, and stuff like this was "appreciated" once again. (Which may explain why, at least IMO, even the unapologetically PoMo entrance isn't as obnoxiously uncomplimentary as some.) Though my sleeper favourite element is the office penthouse, which is like a Mussolini-era Italian Rationalist vila plopped atop an urban rooftop...

Terragni tops Toronto tower?
 

Xray_Crystal_Junkie

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I would hate to see this demolished, or even re-skinned. Remove the terrible POMO addition and replace the windows (in-kind) but please don't ruin the overall aesthetic. The materials and massing of this building are what defines University Ave, at least in my eyes. It's almost monumental in a not-very-large sort of way.

I actually like the whole block, even though the street level presence is quite deadening. Hope the treatment here is respectful no matter which properties are involved.
 
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AlvinofDiaspar

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Thought about the materials and massing issue as well - I think they should have a guideline that specifies the material palatte/design language for new developments along University Ave. As to massing - given the changes that are already occurring, I am not sure if it should be a saving grace for this project on this basis alone - perhaps it would be more productive to formulate a new massing model for the district that would account for this new trend towards increased height and stick to it instead.

AoD
 

Automation Gallery

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Xray:

- I think they should have a guideline that specifies the material palatte/design language for new developments along University Ave.
AoD

I think they have already missed the boat on that with Shangri-La, RCMI, and in a way MaRS-2, the trend now-a-days is for more glass...shame cause i would have liked to see more stone/precast up University Ave.
 

adma

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I would hate to see this demolished, or even re-skinned. Remove the terrible POMO addition and replace the windows (in-kind) but please don't ruin the overall aesthetic. The materials and massing of this building are what defines University Ave, at least in my eyes. It's almost monumental in a not-very-large sort of way.

Funny thing is, I find that PoMo entrance to be among the better such alterations of its day, and one of the few that might actually have improved the building it belonged to (i.e. by relieving the stodge of the green-marble frontispiece, which was a little too tight-sphinctered back when it was continuous). Not to say it *must* remain...though who knows if someday we'll cherish select 80s/90s PoMo alterations the way we presently cherish 20s/30s Deco alterations...

I actually like the whole block, even though the street level presence is quite deadening. Hope the treatment here is respectful no matter which properties are involved.

The "deadening" street presence comes naturally, In effect, aside from the present University block, it used to be a factory, you know.
 

Xray_Crystal_Junkie

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... might actually have improved the building it belonged to (i.e. by relieving the stodge of the green-marble frontispiece, which was a little too tight-sphinctered back when it was continuous).

Admittedly I have no idea what it looked like before the alteration. Anyone have a photo?

Regardless, have you walked past this thing? It's not pleasant. Which might be more an indictment of the awkwardly and poorly kept trees/flower beds, but I think the removal of the addition would be fantastic if not just for a wider sidewalk.

The "deadening" street presence comes naturally, In effect, aside from the present University block, it used to be a factory, you know.

Yes I suspected as much. It wasn't so much complaining as an observation.
 

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