Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Requiem to Historical Buildings

Today's blog is a requiem to the disciplined, proud,  exacting workmanship and craftsmanship skills of a past era. 
Notice the skill, craftsmanshp, design and fine detail of this mid 1800's Victorian.  The lovely quarry cut slate roof, the gables, the hand cut wood trim on the gables, the sophisticated chimney design.   Every piece placed to survive over one hundred years, to outlive the original  builders, to remain as a landmark for centuries to come.
Notice the lovely leaded glass windows

Most of the interior of this home was crafted with the same loving care and pride of workmanship.

Meet the lovely couple who owned this home and cherished it for over forty years.  They posed for me last April as I asked permission to paint a portrait of them.
Now say goodbye to the home and the couple as I no longer know where to find them and the home has been levelled.  Struck down I am certain by some developer's hammer.  Probably to be replaced by  a million dollar condomium bulding of concrete and glass.  I will confirm this in a later blog.

Hamilton Ontario Canada is a fairly young city, (by European standards).  Conceived by George Hamilton in 1812 when he purchased an area farm.  A strategic location in the 1812 war;  used by the British to fight the invading Americans.  But that is neither here or there.  Hamilton has some very fine architecture dating back to the early and mid 1800's.  Victorian, Gothic, Victorian Revival and Gothic Revival.  Some brick, some from handsome quarried limestone.  All wonderful examples of fine workmanship, skillfully hand crafted details....our heritage.  And yet in the past week I have driven by four such wonderful locations where the properties are no more.   All located in a much sought after area of  Hamilton....fine, well tended neighbourhoods,

Such fine neighbourhoods, it leaves me questioning the city fathers.  Why, oh why, do we allow developers to level something that is beautiful, proud and of historic importance.  Especially when we should be preserving the proud heritage of these buildings and neighbourhoods.  In this struggling economic time this steel city has many neighbourhoods that could use renewal and revival.  Why bulldoze a cherished and fine neighbourhood?  

One wonders how this lovely home on the corner avoided the bulldozer; and how long it will remain a loving landmark.

1 comment:

  1. I do depair as you do Ruby about such beauty being destroyed. There are skylines in Scotland that used to be skylines to behold that are now square and horrible with metal and concrete horrors. I feel privelaged to have worked on the rebuilding of Iona Abbey on the beautiful island of Iona. Under a circular staircase in this building there lies under the foundation of the first stair a sealed guiness bottle with a poem written by me and singed and dated by me my little nod in the direction of being part of a wonderful historic building.