Preserved Stories Blog


IMB’s hilltop fortress: Built Heritage News – Issue No. 256 | January 31, 2017 (click here)

Click here to access Built Heritage News – Issue No. 256 | January 31, 2017 >

Here are some excerpts [to access the active links (below), go to the above-noted link]:

1. Follow Built Heritage News on Twitter and Facebook

Catherine Nasmith writes:

Subscribers may notice that Built Heritage News has been published less frequently, but in between I regularly post to the ACO Facebook Page, as well as Built Heritage News Facebook and Twitter streams. Recently a Facebook Post reached 20,000 people, quite a reach. You may want to follow:

FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/pg/builtheritagenews/posts/

TWITTER https://twitter.com/BHN_cn

Here are instructions on how to follow a twitter feed – https://support.twitter.com/articles/162981

Opening article reads:

2. Modernist Architectural Heritage at Risk as a result of Decision not to Follow through on Preservation Board Recommendations

Geoff Kettel writes [I have broken longer paragraphs into shorter ones]:

A hilltop fortress for IBM

Toronto Preservation Board (TPB) advises Toronto City Council with recommendations for heritage listing and designation under the Ontario Heritage Act. But what if its recommendations get waylaid and don’t actually reach City Council?

This happened recently with recommendations adopted by the TPB for designation of 844 Don Mills Road (Celestica HQ), and listing and designation of 1150 Eglinton Ave. East (Celestica West).

At its October 13, 2016 meeting, North York Community Council referred the Heritage staff report back to City Planning to allow any recommendations with respect to cultural heritage to be made in tandem with recommendations on the comprehensive development framework and the final report on the planning application for the lands.

This had the effect of diverting the report from going to City Council, the regular trajectory for this type of report, so that there could be discussion on the floor of Council, and receiving City Council approval for legal protection of the properties.

Source: Built Heritage News, Issue No. 256, Jan. 31, 2017

Source: Built Heritage News, Issue No. 256, Jan. 31, 2017

844 Don Mills Road and 1150 Eglinton Ave. East are adjoining properties on the north west of the Don MiIls and Eglinton intersection in North York, but are physically separate and architecturally distinct from each other.

The property at 844 Don Mills Road contains the former IBM head office and factory, designed by Clare G. MacLean and completed in 1951 with an extension in 1954. The adjacent property to the west, 1150 Eglinton Avenue East contains the IBM headquarters building designed by John B. Parkin Associates in 1966-67.

Recognition of the heritage values of these properties is not new. Neither are failed efforts to protect them.

Both properties were included in the 1997 North York Inventory of Modernist Architecture. The IBM/Celestica property at 844 Don Mills Road was included in the Citys Inventory of Heritage Properties in 2006, but not 1150 Eglinton East.

The North York Community Preservation Panel (NYCPPP) submitted a heritage nomination for 1150 Eglinton Ave. East to the Toronto Preservation Board (Board) in 2010 and it was referred to staff for assessment.

In 2014 a development application was submitted to the City and on August 7, 2014 Planning and Growth Management Committee considered a Preliminary staff report and as a result:

1. Requested staff to evaluate the property at 1150 Eglinton Avenue East for potential listing on the City’s Inventory of Heritage Properties and report to the Toronto Preservation Board, North York Community Council and City Council in early 2015.

2. Requested staff to evaluate the heritage listed property at 844 Don Mills Road for potential designation under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act, and report to the Toronto Preservation Board, North York Community Council and City Council in early 2015.

These reports were not forthcoming.

Fast forward to 2016, plans for the properties have proceeded, and HPS prepared and brought forward a heritage assessment report for the properties. The staff report recommended designation of the 844 Don Mills Road property, and listing and designation of the 1150 Eglinton Ave. East property. Toronto Preservation Board adopted the HPS report (844 Don Mills Road and 1150 Eglinton Ave. East) on September 28, 2016. The as noted earlier North York Community Council at its Oct.13 meeting, referred the Heritage staff report back to City Planning.

On January 11, 2017 the North York Community Preservation Panel requested Planning and Growth Management Committee that the heritage assessment of the properties proceed to City Council as recommended by staff. .- This request went unaddressed however.

So today 1150 Eglinton Ave east is STILL not included in the Citys Inventory of Heritage Properties and neither properties are legally protected.

Spring 1972. Photo Credit The Mirror, Jubilee Edition June. The image is from the link at the bottom of the page you are now reading.

Spring 1972. Photo Credit The Mirror, Jubilee Edition June. The image is from the link at the bottom of the page you are now reading.

Finally a quote from A Hilltop Fortress for IBM, (Toronto Modern, 2009) gives a sense of the important landscape and built form values of 1150 Eglinton Ave. East:

From Eglinton Avenue, the IBM building reads as a sprawling, ground-hugging megastructure of Louis Kahn-ish cubic modules, overlapping and interlocking as they step down the hillside. The influences of Kahn and Alvar Aalto are also apparent in the walls of solid brick, a sharp divergence from Parkins glassy transparency of a few years earlier; the fortress-like impenetrability is only partially relieved by narrow vertical strips of bronze-toned glass in black anodized frames. Most interior spaces are oriented to the southern light, a benefit in Torontos often grey and wintry environment, and to views over the ravine&

Editor’s Note:

The situation is the same misguided strategy that kept the Davisville School from designation….Even though Toronto Preservation Board reports to Toronto City Council, the messages are being blocked by the Community Councils.

[End of excerpt]

IBM Building: Online document

Click here to access an online document with more details about the IBM Building at 844 Don Mills Road >

An excerpt reads:

844 Don Mills Road

The Wall Street Journal reported in March 1953 that IBM (now Celestica) after building Phase I (see photo pages) for $1.5 million two years ahead of the target, has followed up with Phase II (see photo pages) for $2.0 million, providing for 250 permanent jobs. This makes 844 Don Mills Road the first post-modern building to locate in the new business park and IBM the first employer in Don Mills.

IBM’s strong conviction of the future of the business park was emphasized through the planting of a large row of alternately spaced maple trees which will hopefully remain part of the public realm in the future.

[End]

 

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