Ryerson Student Learning Centre | 51m | 8s | Ryerson University | Zeidler

adma

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No one is clamouring for the preservation of the Sam building itself and that's pretty telling.

Though ironically, the "north" Sam address was a listed property--in its pre-Sam-signed form as Steele's Tavern, a mansarded Victorian thing--and the removal of the Sam signs revealed not only that the mansarded Victoriana was two-unit, but Sam's was heavier-handed in its treatment of the listed north unit. And all in all, the "Yonge preservationist" crowd *could* have had a reasonable (if futile) case for the Sam building, by insisting upon, at the very least, some kind of "Five condo" solution, or something... (But, what's done is done.)
 

jje1000

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And sorry, comparing the sign to Toronto Board of Trade building is somewhat off-based IMO - the former is an artifact as MS has already mentioned; the latter is a building. No one is clamouring for the preservation of the Sam building itself and that's pretty telling. The equivalent, if you should apply it to the TBT building would be selective preservation of architectural elements - and surely that's not what you are proposing.

Unfortunately, I have to disagree. It's not so much that one is a building and another is an artifact- it's more about the fact that they both, as you say, have qualities that make them worth keeping. Sam's Record shop may have not been worth keeping, but the sign (to some), is; much the same way how the entirety of Yonge Street may have not been worth keeping, but individual buildings like the Toronto Board of Trade Building are.

The significance of the Sam's sign is strictly sentimental. It's important to those for whom it evokes personal memories. For everyone else it's "what the hell is that thing?"

This statement made indicates that it's pretty much worthless other than the sentiment, and unfortunately, this is a blanket statement. It assumes one person's opinion and projects it onto everyone else. Like what I've been saying again and again, you can substitute anything into the place of Sam's sign- streetcars, the Board of Trade Building, your wife's wedding ring, etc. and some people may agree while others may not.
 
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MetroMan

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Alvin, I have to disagree also. That sign was designated heritage for a reason. That is not in dispute. It is important to Toronto and in particular to that stretch of Yonge. It was taken down on the condition that Ryerson would restore it and put it back up on the new building or one close by on Yonge.

That Ryerson didn't require from Snohetta to design something that would allow the sign to be put back up demonstrates that they acted in bad faith. Space for the sign should have been a significant factor to be taken into consideration when designing the building, not an after thought.

That Ryerson is now crying that the sign will cost too much, that it will not fit the building... well, they designed the building after knowing that they needed to put the sign there, and that the cost wasn't considered shows that Ryerson is either incompetent or conniving. Pick one.

I love the design myself, but Ryerson's trickery leaves a bad taste in my mouth of an institution that has previously only held positive and progressive connotations with me.
 

Tewder

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Alvin, I have to disagree also. That sign was designated heritage for a reason. That is not in dispute. It is important to Toronto and in particular to that stretch of Yonge. It was taken down on the condition that Ryerson would restore it and put it back up on the new building or one close by on Yonge.

That Ryerson didn't require from Snohetta to design something that would allow the sign to be put back up demonstrates that they acted in bad faith. Space for the sign should have been a significant factor to be taken into consideration when designing the building, not an after thought.

That Ryerson is now crying that the sign will cost too much, that it will not fit the building... well, they designed the building after knowing that they needed to put the sign there, and that the cost wasn't considered shows that Ryerson is either incompetent or conniving. Pick one.

I love the design myself, but Ryerson's trickery leaves a bad taste in my mouth of an institution that has previously only held positive and progressive connotations with me.

I agree that a dangerous precedent is set by letting Ryerson get away with this just because they are dangling a shiny bauble in front of us in the form of the SLC. In the absence of any 'Architecture' the Sam signs are important heritage signifiers for the area, whether populist or not, whether sentimental or not. Frankly, I'm a little less concerned they be tacked onto the SLC facade so long as they are adequately restored to their neon glory and mounted somewhere outdoors in the Yonge/Dundas area as heritage/art installation.
 

MetroMan

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Where would you put them in Dundas Square? On somebody else's building? In the middle of the square? Ryerson should have thought of this when they agreed to restoring the signs as a condition to developing the property.
 

Urban Shocker

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When they eventually build the Facade District down in the port lands, could they not just set aside a nice big blank wall for the Sam's sign and something from Honest Ed?
 

adma

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The perfect place for the Sam's sign would have been that former O'Keefe Brewery rooftop sign scaffold that stood until at least the early 80s...
 

Tewder

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Couldn't a fake 'media tower' be built in the area to house some of these old iconic signs? Sort of an art installation. Let Ryerson pay for it in exchange for not having to mount them on their molar?
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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Well, there is the north facade of the building, part of which will be a blank wall due to building to property lines. Maybe it can be left there until the sites north of the structure gets redeveloped?

Also thought about maybe breaking up the sign and reinterpret it in pieces on the Yonge facade above the retail levels. Hard preservationists probably won't like that idea.

Speaking of which, I wonder if the intent of any proposals will see the sign kept in neon - it's horribly inefficient, passe and difficult to maintain in the age of LED.

AoD
 

Tewder

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There is a cost to preserving heritage and so I think the sign should be preserved in neon... unless the qualities of neon could be adequately approximated with LED?
 

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