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Extra, Extra: Frank Gehry on Heritage, Rob Ford on Every Channel

Every weekday’s end, we collect just about everything you ought to care about or ought not miss.

Frank Gehry explains his proposed King Street West development at a press conference in 2012.

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CORRECTION: November 19, 2013, 4:45 PM This post originally described a video incorrectly. The footage is of an interview with Mayor Rob Ford for the Today Show, not Good Morning America.


  • vampchick21

    Sorry Frank, but I think there’s more than those two building to preserve in this town. What you did with the AGO was amazing and I love it, but come on, give our architectual past a little credit!

    • Josh Nelson

      The Princess of Wales Theatre is a monstrosity. Gut that building. I agree Frank Ghery could do more to integrate the other buildings but it will undoubtably disrupt the base for his plan, keeping a wall here and there is kinda pointless and seeings Tim Hortons doesn’t really do much with the current corner of King and John I almost welcome the change. I don’t see the issue with the scale; it is downtown and there is inevitable expansion. Lets add something to our skyline that isn’t a box. Developers have been allowed to pollute our waterfront with the absence of architecture. There is nearly not one building out of the 132 that are as interesting as Franks. 1/132. We are going to take that away from us?

      • vampchick21

        I wasn’t referring to this project in particular or the buildings affected by it, I was referring to his remarks that there are only two buildings in all of Toronto that are worth saving.

        • Josh Nelson

          Fair enough Vampchick21. I don’t want to make excuses for someone however I think he was generalizing that buildings like Osgoode Hall and Old City Hall should be protected, but some buildings like the ones he is looking at demolishing have very little architectural merit. Their value is age and age alone.

          Which I don’t agree with that myself. If those buildings were properly redeveloped by a team like Commercial Realty Group then they could look like something worth while and better King St West.

          On the other hand frank could lose the project and then some other developer will get it in a couple years and we would be stuck with something as boring as its neighbour the Bell TIFF Box.

          • vampchick21

            You should read the articles linked for sure. His words:

            “I don’t know whether we should be designating heritage buildings,” said Mr. Gehry, who was born in Toronto. “I think you should preserve [Old] City Hall because I used to go there when I was a kid.”

            Mr. Gehry, 84, also said we should save Osgoode Hall, home to the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Ontario Court of Appeal.

            Other than that, “the old General Hospital building I was born in should have been sacred. It was torn down.”

            So again, his remarks in that regard were not fully specific to the warehouses affected by this project. He’s saying there is very little worth saving in this city. And I’m referring to the fact that there are far, far more buildings in this city worth saving than just those two.

            So I’m actually not talking about the warehouses or this project. :) I’m talking about buildings city-wide and our architectual heritage being far more valuable and widespread than two buildings. There’s some beautiful art deco buildings, some stunning Victorian buildings, even a few Georgian buildings still around. There are buildings that house history in their walls that might look non-descript on the outside but are worth far more historically than their four walls can show.

          • Josh Nelson

            I said fair enough and followed by saying he MAY have been generalizing by the examples he provided. That is only my assumption, out of hope more than anything. I do believe he respects our heritage. When the AGO approached him he was offered a new site, however he choose to keep the original Victorian building instead, as well as reshingling the Grange Building around back. The design for the AGO was intended to be reflective of the old Dundas houses as well as the streetscape. I’m almost sure this is a media frenzy trying to attack him throw words, and as a creative myself, I know some of us are better with our art. Let his buildings talk. I do agree with you though, there are many buildings in this city that are valuable. I worked on 119 Spadina and created panels celebrating the Art Deco Design. WTF Group has preserved some great buildings. My Montréal art series is laser focused on their cities iconic historic buildings and neighbourhoods. Lastly my thesis worked to preserve the Toronto Hydro Building behind New City Hall as these brick structures are unique and wonderful features in our city.

          • vampchick21

            The AGO isn’t Victorian, I think it was built in the 50′s or 60′s, mid 20th century anyway. :) Victorians wouldn’t put up a big grey square box…lol.

            I agree that his work on the AGO is amazing, I personally love it and think it works beautifully. I’m still really on the fence regarding the buildings proposed for King Street, something about the design bugs me (don’t ask me to put a finger on it though).

            I hope either he was generalizing or just going slightly senile with regards to his remarks, but I can only take it as him throwing our history out with the bathwater. I have a love for old buildings, my dream is to one day own and restore one of the beautiful Victorian homes we have here in the city (dependent on lottery win).

          • Josh Nelson

            No doubt the massive the 1970′s expansion was just a grey TO brutalist concrete box. The original museums adjoined to OCAD are both Georgian/Victorian with the Beaux-Arts addition.

            I can only imagine what the buildings at King and John will look like if realized. If it is anything like the AGO facade turned vertical I would be happy. With swopping edges and cloud like reflections, timbre post and beam street scape and a tall stainless steel tower similar the New York Meat Market tower then I again I will be happy.

            Cross fingers for the lottery win. I too would love a Cabbage Town home.

          • vampchick21

            There’s a house in Parkdale on a side street that I’m in love with. :)

            I hadn’t realized that the big grey box was an expansion to the original gallery. I knew the Grange had become part of the gallery.

            I still can’t quite put my finger on what I dislike about the proposed design. Maybe it’s just me and my personal preference for Victorian design (which merges weirdly with my love of mid century furniture)

          • Josh Nelson

            I like the house near castle frank station when you come off the DVP. Looks amazing with its rounded balcony. If it wasn’t in such a busy area it would be lottery winning worth.

            Another thing I like about the John King Street project, is its potential to create a John Street Promenade. It is such an underrated view and walk. It connects Lakeshore to the Steamwhistle Roundhouse, up and past the CN Tower and Skydome, beyond the convention centre, CBC Building, King Street West food street, TIFF Building, Then Scotia Theatre, and Much Music building finally opening to Grange Park and the big blue AGO box and OCAD. Imagine from inside the box, Frank has a huge three floors connected with a spiralling staircase and multi floor windows that looks south onto all that! I bet you he is seeing those towers and they will be on permanent display. He’s a bit of a BOSS if he achieves this. ;)

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    First and last recap – Sun pulled the plug on Ford Nation after just one episode!

  • torontothegreat

    “oversaturated area”

    Growth and density, how do they work?

  • torontothegreat

    At the end of the day, Old Man Mirvish felt the need to revitalize these landmarks and create what is now the Theatre District. David Mirvish seems determined to trade his father’s legacy for money and it’s not like he even needs it.

  • TwinPeaks

    A chance to do something exceptional and stodgy old Toronto can’t take it. If one of the preeminent architects of our time proposes these fascinating building designs, which will set the city apart, you let him do it. End of story.

  • Josh Nelson

    Too short of a life for any building. That I agree.

    However if asked what theatres to put on the chopping block, both in terms of quality and in presence, how could this theatre be saved?It exceptionally dull.

    Again I agree that it is too short of a life, waste of material and energy LCA.