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Market Square
#1
Market Square

   

Pre-1986 expansion:
   

   
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#2
As the conversation developed elsewhere about the design of market square this seemed needed. Carry on.
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#3
The first article presented the new development as a welcome change from the heavy-handed, Kremlin-wall architecture of the original building
(05-30-2016, 08:16 PM)panamaniac Wrote: [quote pid='22234' dateline='1464652971']
I'd have no idea how to track it down, but I recall reading an urban planning article about Market Square and its history and that is where I saw the information that the architect had originally proposed the concrete exterior.  If I recall correctly, it was either community pressure or City Council members, feeling the pressure, who insisted that warmer materials be used.  It would be interesting to compare the project to other Oxlea developments of the period.

EDIT:  I found the article and it is excellent!   http://numerocinqmagazine.com/2011/11/22...-storring/

(turns out it was Council and the developer, anticipating negative public reaction, who hired an artist/designer who came up with the idea of using brick to soften the structure)

[/quote]

Thanks for the reference. The other example of brickalism that I posted was the Peterborough shopping mall. By the way did you see the footnote in the article:

Similar shopping centres to the Market Square have been built in Brantford, Chatham, Guelph, Hamilton, London, Peterborough, Sarnia and Waterloo, all with the hopes that they would bring new life to the downtown.

Edit. This is how that excellent article describes the brick brutalism style: the heavy-handed, Kremlin-wall architecture of the original building
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#4
I really enjoyed that article when I stumbled across it - it gives a lot more depth and context to what was going on at the time and the kind of thinking that justified the construction of Market Square. It adds a lot to the usual "stupid decision" that is the usual beginning and end of the local perspective on the demolition of the old City Hall. And, as you note, we were hardly alone at the time.
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#5
In that case, here's the Numéro Cinq magazine article to give the thread a context.

The article also touches on the 1986 renovation that left us with the green glass atrium and clock tower.

http://numerocinqmagazine.com/2011/11/22...-storring/
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#6
(05-30-2016, 08:16 PM)panamaniac Wrote: I'd have no idea how to track it down, but I recall reading an urban planning article about Market Square and its history...

EDIT:  I found the article and it is excellent!   http://numerocinqmagazine.com/2011/11/22...-storring/

Indeed that article was excellent. Thanks for the link. For me, it was an object lesson in the endless application of the zero-sum game - that to progress dramatically, we must obliterate what came before. The editor of the publication summarizes better than I just did (with the exception of a small geographical slip about Blackberry):


"This is the story of one city, but it’s every city. Struggling with the urban sprawl, de-industrialization, automobile culture, malls, and suburbs, cities all over North America have been fighting for decades against flight from the centre – often finding themselves astonished victims of the Law of Unintended Results. Nathan Storring does an amazing job in this essay of exemplifying the general trend with a particular case, in this instance, the redevelopment, destruction and rebirth of the downtown core in Kitchener, Ontario (yes, yes, the home of the Blackberry). He writes: “To me Kitchener’s history is the quintessential parable about the cost that these midsize cities paid to take part in Modernity because we tore down our bloody City Hall. We didn’t have a physical City Hall for 20 years, just a floor in a nondescript, inaccessible office building! It was the ultimate sacrifice in the name of ‘rationality’ – a complete disavowal of any historic or emotional connection to the city.” The beauty of this piece is Storring’s attention to the details – civic debate, architects, planners, theorists, trends, fads. An era comes clear. After reading this, you’ll walk around your town and see it in a different way."
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#7
(05-30-2016, 08:16 PM)panamaniac Wrote: EDIT:  I found the article and it is excellent!   http://numerocinqmagazine.com/2011/11/22...-storring/

Awesome article, well worth the read!
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#8
(05-31-2016, 09:07 AM)BuildingScout Wrote: Edit. This is how that excellent article describes the brick brutalism style: the heavy-handed, Kremlin-wall architecture of the original building

Well, not quite.  That quote is from Henry Koch (former editor of the Record), specifically referring to Market Square.  The article's author makes no such judgement on either Market Square or brick-clad brutalism (and that is an oxymoron!) in general.
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#9
(05-31-2016, 09:45 AM)panamaniac Wrote: I really enjoyed that article when I stumbled across it - it gives a lot more depth and context to what was going on at the time and the kind of thinking that justified the construction of Market Square.  It adds a lot to the usual "stupid decision" that is the usual beginning and end of the local perspective on the demolition of the old City Hall.  And, as you note, we were hardly alone at the time.

There was also a comment posted by someone whos father worked at the old city hall, and who described it as a "decrepit fire hazard", surrounded by alleys "Dickensian in their filth".  Apparently there was little sentiment attached to the old city hall at the time.
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#10
(05-31-2016, 03:50 PM)tomh009 Wrote:
(05-31-2016, 09:45 AM)panamaniac Wrote: I really enjoyed that article when I stumbled across it - it gives a lot more depth and context to what wasea going on at the time and the kind of thinking that justified the construction of Market Square.  It adds a lot to the usual "stupid decision" that is the usual beginning and end of the local perspective on althe demolition of the old City Hall.  And, as you note, we were hardly alone at the time.

There was also a comment posted by someone whos father worked at the old city hall, and who described it as a "decrepit fire hazard", surrounded by alleys "Dickensian in their filth".  Apparently there was little sentiment attached to the old city hall at the time.


That can definitely be called overstatement.  As I recall, the City Hall needed renovation, but it was nothing that couldn't have been tackled.  The old Market was definitely old school, down to the live pigeons, and tired but the area was not actually that bad and the Cenotaph Square was quite nice.  As for sentiment, time has made many folks recall the City Hall more fondly than what they felt at the time, imo, but the vocal minority who opposed the demolition (the heritage advocates of the day) were passionate about it.



It is hard now to separate nostalgia for the old City Hall from disappointment over the failure of Market Square as a shopping destination.
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#11
(05-31-2016, 05:34 PM)panamaniac Wrote: It is hard now to separate nostalgia for the old City Hall from disappointment over the failure of Market Square as a shopping destination.

Yeah, when you look at Toronto, there are several places where there were lamentable heritage demolitions, but what replaced them ultimately took hold in the public psyche, and have at least contributed to the city in their own ways. Notably Nathan Phillips Square and the Eatons Centre.
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#12
The Eatons Centre is at the very least porous thanks to urban advocacy at the time that allowed pedestrian walkways to be maintained from the deleted streets that it was plopped on top of.
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#13
I really like the original building. Architecturally, the "upgrade" with the glass and green steel isn't so attractive.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#14
Have just heard a rumour - the new owners have updated the lease agreement and the call centre is not happy. Could move out by the end of the year.

If the Record and TriOS follow suit, that doesn't leave much beyond Goodlife and Service Canada.
My Twitter: @KevinLMaps
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#15
New owners are probably updating lease agreement in order to get people to move out, so they can better market to target groups, or completely rework the internals.
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