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Clear Spirit
Cherry & Mill, Toronto
Developer: Cityscape, Dundee Realty
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Thread: Pure/Clear Spirit, Gooderham Condos (Distillery, Cityscape, 32 + 40 + 35s, aA)

  1. #781

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    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Shocker View Post
    Hydrogen claims that "many of the buildings could be easily judged as unredeeming" as Rack House 'M' - but he doesn't provide examples. Which buildings, Hydrogen, and why? The Cooperage? The Maltings? The Smoke House? The collection of low-rise matching buildings such as the two that house the Young Centre? The famous stone distillery complex built in 1870? Which of these buildings is it easy to judge as unredeeming, and why?

    He uses the claim that many of the buildings could be easily judged as unredeeming as a wedge issue to bluster, "So why not then just tear the whole District down ...?" as if doing so was a part of the development plan - which it isn't.
    I am being rhetorical, Shocker; I assumed you would have seen that. But then one could go on and suggest that your own position for removing certain buildings, and constructing large aA designed structures on the site, has been trumpeted on the basis of "good design," yet without any clear explanantion or context as to what this good design is, and without acknowledging that those qualities, once stated, are largely products of a subjective position, and not absolute objective facts of aesthetics or design. Some people can proclaim a "good design" all they want; it does not automatically mean that it is, or that everyone will like it.

    I think the buildings are of worth saving and reusing as they represent a unique collection of such structures in the city. With respect to your protest over my use of the word "unredeeming, have you now magically switched positions and wish to save all that is to be found in The Distillery District - regardless of how non-functional or unphotogenic you find the structures? I don't think so.


  2. #782

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hydrogen View Post
    I think the buildings are of worth saving and reusing as they represent a unique collection of such structures in the city. With respect to your protest over my use of the word "unredeeming, have you now magically switched positions and wish to save all that is to be found in The Distillery District - regardless of how non-functional or unphotogenic you find the structures? I don't think so.
    I think that's the key thing. Shocker himself has pointed out Rackhouse M is probably large enough to house a similar number of units as the new condo will - so why not adapt the building? It may be a lot of work, and there may be a lot of modifications necessary (windows, etc.) but I don't see why it can't be done. Not only would it be a unique residence, the built form of the Distillery would remain intact.

  3. #783

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    There's no way Rackhouse M is big enough to accommodate the number of units planned for the tower.

  4. #784

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    That, syn, is essentially what they're doing - if you check my post on page 39 you'll see that's what I indicated was happening about three weeks ago: Rack House 'M' will be reduced in height from eight to five storeys and the vertical pilasters kept as dividers between the added windows. the brick will be used elsewhere in the complex and the footprint of the building maintained

    Unlike Hydrogen - and his long, miscellaneous moan ( "I am being rhetorical" doesn't excuse it ) which doesn't focus on any built or proposed structures at the Distillery District - I've been quite specific throughout this thread ( more so than anyone ) concerning the steps that appear to have been taken by aA to improve the site through their design process. I have attempted to evaluate what they're doing, and the context that they're operating within. I am not privy to their discussions and how the design was arrived at, but I have attempted to "read" what they've done and draw logical conclusions. From others we've seeen factual distortions concerning what the podiums will contain, strong indications that people are taking aesthetic and design positions on buildings that they haven't actually seen, and opposition to height masquerading as concern over "scale" ( syn says "8-12 storeys would do it for me. 50 and 40 storey towers simply dropped in the middle of the District are unacceptable" but doesn't explain where his bolus of low-rise buildings would go, or how they would be better ) and goodness knows what else.

  5. #785

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    syn says "8-12 storeys would do it for me. 50 and 40 storey towers simply dropped in the middle of the District are unacceptable" but doesn't explain where his bolus of low-rise buildings would go, or how they would be better
    How about not allowing any development at the Distillery site proper? I don't think that's a radical idea. Leave it intact and develop the parking lots, strip malls and auto body shops that surround it.

  6. #786

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conrad Black View Post
    There's no way Rackhouse M is big enough to accommodate the number of units planned for the tower.
    Tell it to Mr. Shocker.

  7. #787

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    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Shocker View Post
    That, syn, is essentially what they're doing - if you check my post on page 39 you'll see that's what I indicated was happening about three weeks ago: Rack House 'M' will be reduced in height from eight to five storeys and the vertical pilasters kept as dividers between the added windows. the brick will be used elsewhere in the complex and the footprint of the building maintained
    How many posts per page do you have? I have mine set at 40, so we're only on page 20.

    I realize the footprint will be maintained, but based on the renderings thus far it doesn't seem as if any of the building will be kept. Even so, you've claimed in the past that Rackhouse M wasn't fit for re-use. If they plan to use 5 storeys, I'd say it's a pretty good candidate for rehabilitation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Shocker View Post
    Unlike Hydrogen - and his long, miscellaneous moan ( "I am being rhetorical" doesn't excuse it ) which doesn't focus on any built or proposed structures at the Distillery District - I've been quite specific throughout this thread ( more so than anyone ) concerning the steps that appear to have been taken by aA to improve the site through their design process. I have attempted to evaluate what they're doing, and the context that they're operating within. I am not privy to their discussions and how the design was arrived at, but I have attempted to "read" what they've done and draw logical conclusions. From others we've seeen factual distortions concerning what the podiums will contain, strong indications that people are taking aesthetic and design positions on buildings that they haven't actually seen, and opposition to height masquerading as concern over "scale" ( syn says "8-12 storeys would do it for me. 50 and 40 storey towers simply dropped in the middle of the District are unacceptable" but doesn't explain where his bolus of low-rise buildings would go, or how they would be better ) and goodness knows what else.
    Well, I've stated many times that a MOZO type addition would be much better than the behemoths they're erecting and planning to erect (I actually like the towers - just not at this location). I've also stated that the current Pure Spirit location would be a nice spot. The current base made a little taller would be a nice addition. Converting Rackhouse M into residences would also be a good idea.

    Now I realize this wouldn't give Cityscape as many units as they'd like, but it's not at all uncommon for the city to deny developers permission to build whatever they'd like on land they own. I think this should've been an instance where the city placed some restrictions.

  8. #788

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    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Shocker View Post
    I have attempted to evaluate what they're doing, and the context that they're operating within. I am not privy to their discussions and how the design was arrived at, but I have attempted to "read" what they've done and draw logical conclusions. From others we've seeen factual distortions concerning what the podiums will contain, strong indications that people are taking aesthetic and design positions on buildings that they haven't actually seen, and opposition to height masquerading as concern over "scale" ( syn says "8-12 storeys would do it for me. 50 and 40 storey towers simply dropped in the middle of the District are unacceptable" but doesn't explain where his bolus of low-rise buildings would go, or how they would be better ) and goodness knows what else.
    Yes, you've attempted to evaluate what aA is doing, but as you are admittedly not privy to their discussions, and can as such mount only a subjective "read," the conclusions that you draw are not "logical," but actually your own opinion about what is going on.

    Try to be careful about infecting your answers with some presumed authority when, in fact, you are just presenting your own subjective aesthetic points of view.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaborandi View Post
    The bottom line here is clearly the bottom line. If you can advance a business model which allows for financial sustainability without erecting a couple of point towers, I'm sure we would all like it if you would share it with us. Given the need for a revenue stream from residential usage in order to make the district viable, the loss of a very ugly structure is a small price to pay. The addition of Clewesian towers is a bonus. If they were something naff, say by Tridel, I would also be objecting - but to the design, not the scale. Clewes and the Distillery District is not only an agreeable compromise but also a brilliant match.
    The argument that the added residents are needed is very flimsy and has been successfully shot down already. These buildings won't sigh and collapse into dust the minute a coffee shop or gallery stops operating in them. Businesses come and go...the supposedly preserved distillery buildings only go, it seems. We're letting the developers decide what part of our history we get to keep based on $$$. I know it happens everywhere, but we're discussing it here. Could they have built lofts over the long rear parking lot or a larger condo behind the rack house to fill up the space like the first Spirit project at the western point? Could they have (perish the thought!) left the district alone and built 10 condos across the street? It's very easy to argue that this whole project/process is good and that it's the only/best option because it's a done deal, but even though it should be very easy, you guys are coming up with one flimsy justification after another (some oppose it for flimsy reasons, too, which has lead to 40 pages of silliness).

    I'd rather have the old brick box than the Clewes box...we're simply not getting great architecture here. A respectable but boring Clewes box injected into a national historic site is not equivalent to heavenly manna offering salvation from an "ugly, useless" rack house. Most people would agree with me, but, of course, you et al are inherently more right than they are...who cares what things actually look like or what they replace as long as they are "well designed"?

  10. #790

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaborandi View Post
    The bottom line here is clearly the bottom line. If you can advance a business model which allows for financial sustainability without erecting a couple of point towers, I'm sure we would all like it if you would share it with us. Given the need for a revenue stream from residential usage in order to make the district viable, the loss of a very ugly structure is a small price to pay. The addition of Clewesian towers is a bonus. If they were something naff, say by Tridel, I would also be objecting - but to the design, not the scale. Clewes and the Distillery District is not only an agreeable compromise but also a brilliant match.
    I'm sorry, but if profitability is the sole determinant of preservation, we wouldn't have much built heritage left. That is an argument that was used against Pennsylvania Station, against Union Station, against Grand Central Terminal, against countless other buildings that anyone with any desire to preserve our heritage would want to save. Someone who argues that a building should be preserved should absolutely not have to present some kind of business plan for saving it. Its intrinsic heritage value is reason enough for its preservation.

  11. Default

    Do we know for a fact that they own the land across the street?

  12. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by unimaginative2 View Post
    I'm sorry, but if profitability is the sole determinant of preservation, we wouldn't have much built heritage left. That is an argument that was used against Pennsylvania Station, against Union Station, against Grand Central Terminal, against countless other buildings that anyone with any desire to preserve our heritage would want to save. Someone who argues that a building should be preserved should absolutely not have to present some kind of business plan for saving it. Its intrinsic heritage value is reason enough for its preservation.
    I thought we were talking about tearing down one ugly warehouse, and preserving the rest of the Distillery District. Am I in error?

  13. #793

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    Quote Originally Posted by unimaginative2 View Post
    I'm sorry, but if profitability is the sole determinant of preservation, we wouldn't have much built heritage left. That is an argument that was used against Pennsylvania Station, against Union Station, against Grand Central Terminal, against countless other buildings that anyone with any desire to preserve our heritage would want to save. Someone who argues that a building should be preserved should absolutely not have to present some kind of business plan for saving it. Its intrinsic heritage value is reason enough for its preservation.
    Grand Central had a couple of towers built on top of it and it seems to be doing just fine.

  14. #794

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    jaborandi, that doesn't matter. What you said is that profitability and economic viability should determine preservation. That is a terrible slippery slope.

    Edward, there have been no towers built on the actual terminal building, and the one that was proposed was fortunately defeated after a long battle filled with arguments about profitability. I assure you that, had it been built, Grand Central would not be doing just fine.

  15. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by unimaginative2 View Post
    jaborandi, that doesn't matter. What you said is that profitability and economic viability should determine preservation. That is a terrible slippery slope.

    Edward, there have been no towers built on the actual terminal building, and the one that was proposed was fortunately defeated after a long battle filled with arguments about profitability. I assure you that, had it been built, Grand Central would not be doing just fine.
    No, what I said is that there is a trade-off between the goals of the community to preserve most of the Distillery District and the developer who is willing to sink cash into preserving most of the Distillery District in return for the right to build a residential community within that precinct. It would be lovely if all levels of government could finance the preservation but as we all know, that is not going to happen. I am not saying that I am in favour of private interests being given this responsibility. I truly wish it were otherwise but it ain't.

    By the way unimaginative2, I'm curious to know where you got the peculiar notion that Union Station was ever in danger due to economic viability?

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