Special Report: Education

Joe Singer and the Education Centre

Currently, the School Board intends to sell 100 Main Street West, Joe Singer's signature work, to McMaster University, who plans to demolish the building for a new development.

By Matt Jelly
Published February 21, 2012

Joe Singer was born in Krakow, Poland. He served in the Polish Air Force at the onset of World War II, and was detained for a time in a Siberian work camp. Towards the end of the war, he was retrained as a pilot in Canada and flew 23 missions over Nazi Germany, and served as a navigator for food drops over Holland, until they were ultimately liberated by Canadian troops.

In 1954, Singer emigrated to Canada and designed several local schools, as well as the Board of Education building at 100 Main Street West, and Temple Anshe Sholom in Westdale.

Currently, the School Board intends to sell 100 Main Street West, Singer's signature work, to McMaster University, who plans to demolish the building for a new development.

Please contact your local school board trustee, city councillor, MPP and the Minister of Education Laurel Broten.

tim.simmons@hwdsb.on.ca, robert.barlow@hwdsb.on.ca, studenttrustee@hwdsb.on.ca, judith.bishop@hwdsb.on.ca, ray.mulholland@hwdsb.on.ca, todd.white@hwdsb.on.ca, laura.peddle@hwdsb.on.ca, lillian.orban@hwdsb.on.ca, wes.hicks@hwdsb.on.ca, alex.johnstone@hwdsb.on.ca, jessica.brennan@hwdsb.on.ca, karen.turkstra@hwdsb.on.ca, dlcouncil@hamilton.ca, lbroten.mpp@liberal.ola.org, ahorwath-co@ndp.on.ca, presdnt@mcmaster.ca, mattjelly@gmail.com

Jelly is a local artist, graphic designer and map maker living in Downtown Hamilton, Ontario in the Central Neighbourhood. Matt is an advocate for built heritage, toxic waste eradication and the revitalization of downtown Hamilton. www.mattjelly.com

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By DrAwesomesauce (registered) | Posted February 21, 2012 at 21:35:43

Interviewing Joseph Singer was a nice touch. If that doesn't move people a little, I'm not sure what will.

Thanks for your hard work. Let's stop the madness.

p.s. The interior of the building is fabulous. We couldn't re-created that if we tried.

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By Wow (anonymous) | Posted February 21, 2012 at 21:56:54

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted February 21, 2012 at 22:11:19 in reply to Comment 74599

Did you even watch the video, or are you wilfully ignorant?

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By Ted Mitchell (registered) | Posted February 21, 2012 at 21:59:37 in reply to Comment 74599

You haven't been inside? It's almost as cool as the GO station.

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By jacob (registered) | Posted February 21, 2012 at 22:14:07

incredible.

The BoE building was part of the dark ages of Hamilton where we tore half the city down and relocated thousands of people. Now our idea for remedying this is to follow the exact same method. They would have torn City Hall down too and look at it now. Let's learn from our mistakes!

The staircase, the interiors, the whole aesthetic - we're only just starting to appreciate it. Great job Matt, absolutely stunning video.

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By Spektor (anonymous) | Posted February 21, 2012 at 22:25:13

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By stretching (anonymous) | Posted February 21, 2012 at 23:03:58 in reply to Comment 74603

Is your house worth saving?

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By Razamatazz (anonymous) | Posted February 22, 2012 at 04:18:11

Solution: A pro-heritage private interest steps in and outbids McMaster, buying time as well as the building. Then the city buys an equivalent parcel of land to donate to McMaster, streamlining the construction process and preserving funding guarantees from senior government, without which McMaster would remain west of Dundurn.

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By Watching (anonymous) | Posted February 22, 2012 at 13:53:46 in reply to Comment 74606

I believe the Board can only sell to a pre-determined list of other institutions, which includes Mac, Mohawk, the Catholic Board, etc. 444 would require them to give these other institutions first right of refusal, before the property could be put out for private sale.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted February 22, 2012 at 09:17:56

While I am perhaps not as big a fan of the architecture as some. I can't help but think that a city with as many vacant lots and completely derelict buildings as Hamilton whose "leaders" believe the solution to anything is to demolish a perfectly good building must be run by people in the throes of some sort of deep psychosis.

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By rednic (registered) | Posted February 22, 2012 at 12:25:59 in reply to Comment 74616

Hamilton ... the only place where places to park are more important than places to work.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted February 22, 2012 at 10:31:22 in reply to Comment 74616

I can't help but think ... deep psychosis.

Yeah. And then some.

I wonder how anyone on Council would respond to these questions:

"How would you describe 'great leadership'? Can you provide three good examples from City Council from the past five years?"

I'd also be curious about how a) RTHers would answer...as well as b) Hamiltonians-at-large.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted May 11, 2012 at 12:43:17

Powerful.

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