Today's Toronto Star has a great piece by Christopher Hume on Modernist architecture.
Like many cities, Toronto has set about systemically to destroy its Modernist heritage. The list of victims is long; it includes everything from Terminal One at Pearson Airport ... and the Inn on the Park to the Shell Tower at Exhibition Place and the Union Carbide Building on Eglinton Ave.
Certainly, Modernism has its faults; worst of all, it lent itself much too easily to the cookie-cutter mentality of low-end highrise developers. Is it any wonder the cities of the world look the same?
Though the backlash may be understandable, it doesn't make it any less painful to see the city lose so many marvellous buildings. The saddest thing is that if these structures could just survive another two or three decades, they'd become obvious heritage sites, historical even, and much loved.
Of particular interest to Hamiltonians is Hume's desire to see these buildings survive another 20 years in order to help lend to their credibility as heritage sites.
Here in Hamilton we may be ahead of the curve. City Hall was built in the late '50s, yet many citizens and architects continue to fight for its reconstruction and preservation because we clearly see today, in 2007, that is undoubtedly a heritage site.
We don't need 20 more years to open our eyes.
Let's continue to show others how important and dazzling our City Hall is. Once it's gone, it's gone and we've got no other comparable building to hang our hats on as the showpiece for that time period and style.
City Hall is it. Let's preserve it.
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