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St. John’s gets serious about design

Windsor Street could get a very different look at this corner. (Photo illustration created from three images)

Windsor Street could get a very different look at this corner. (Photo illustration created from three images)

St. John’s United Church is hunting for an architect to help with the redevelopment of its building at the corner of Willow and Windsor streets. The congregation wants proposals to provide “design services” for the building of a smaller church facility and senior housing complex.
The new complex will replace the existing church.
The public call for tenders is just the latest step in the project. “There’s nothing new or startling” about the tender, said Brian Jay, leader of the team charged with implementing the redevelopment.
Jay said designs produced could ultimately be part of a development application to Halifax regional council.
Architecture firms have until noon, July 10, to deliver their proposals.
Jay said a newsletter providing updates on the project has already been delivered to about 200 neighbouring homes. Another newsletter may be produced in the fall.
Meanwhile, the church’s website has some information on the project. The Coast ran a detailed story in November about some of the problems facing the current church building.

Someone tell the artist

Photocopy of a double-decker tour bus plastered on a garage door on Harris Street.

Photocopy of a double-decker tour bus plastered on a garage door on Harris Street.

The cinder-block warehouse won’t be the only casualty when it is dismantled. Three artsy urban photos are glued to the side of one of the building’s rotting plywood doors.

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Harris Street warehouse loses lid

Demolition begins on warehouse at corner of Harris and Maynard streets.

Demolition begins on warehouse at corner of Harris and Maynard streets.

Someone has started tearing apart the warehouse that used to be Maritime Demolition’s Halifax location. The blue cinder-block building, which has been shuttered for several years, has lost its top.

The wild grass jungle between the sidewalk and Harris Street has been chopped down. The ground around the building is littered with roof tiles.

The building is at the junction of Buddy Daye and Maynard. Anyone know what’s destined for this corner?

Latest draft of Bloomfield plan

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Doesn’t it look like it was built with Lego?

Here is what Option D might look like if the city’s latest draft plan for Bloomfield School comes to life. The full plan looks at other schemes, some with a taller building and others without. Option D seems to be the city’s preference.

Towers loom over Bloomfield makeover plan

Peter Bigelow, HRM manager of parks and recreation, explains the proposed Bloomfield Master Plan.

Peter Bigelow, HRM manager of parks and recreation, explains the proposed Bloomfield Master Plan on Thursday.

The proposed Bloomfield Master Plan suggests residential towers for the south side of Almon Street, where tennis courts and a parking lot now sit.

Consultants and city staff pitched the high-rises on Thursday as a way to pay for most of the $10.6 million required to demolish Bloomfield School, create a green space, and pay for four other buildings dedicated to arts and culture programming.

The biggest tower would be between 10 and 15 storeys high. The smaller tower would be about two-thirds the size. Both would be on the northern edge of the green space.

One speaker at Thursday’s open house meeting suggested the tall buildings, combined with proposed four-storey townhouses along Agricola and Robie streets, would make the green space in the middle an uncomfortable place to relax.

“Do you ever get the sense that they are watching you?” said Paul Hannon, describing the effect of being in a park close to people’s condos.

“You look around and see all these windows,” said Hannon.

Brian Mackay Lyons, an architect hired to produce the draft plan, said that all those eyes will actually help.

“Public spaces are safest when that happens,” said Mackay Lyons.

Without the towers, creating the green space, townhouses and public-use buildings would require $5 or $6 million in city funding. The towers reduce the public subsidy to $1.8 million – an option more in keeping with the city council’s directive that any development be pay for itself.


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