Comment 53007

By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted December 13, 2010 at 10:11:31

Given the Board of Ed’s estimates of renovation costs for the Singer building – if memory serves, an $11m-$22m premium over a $33m suburban site – anyone care to estimate the amount of public money needed to revive 100 Main West? Better yet, can anyone forecast a hypothetical scenario whereby private sector forces can be emboldened to the point when they see our architectural history as having value? Or are we fated to reenact a Lister-style 15-year-turnaround strategy again and again?

Consider for a moment the 50-year economic history of the land mass from Bay to James, Hunter to York. DO a rough tally of public to private investment. Although I would agree that "part of Hamilton's identity is found in the collection of buildings downtown that make up 'Civic Square'", I would say the part of our civic identity is the unfortunate habit of thinking that the massive infusion of city dollars could jumpstart excitement about/private investment in the downtown – that and the legacy of consecutive watering down of utopian blueprints, both of which endure to the present day. You can see the limitations of this practice in the surviving artifacts of the Civic Square era, which produced more monotony than wonder.

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