Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Kelly House up next?

Word is, the owner of the 126-year-old Kelly House at 88 Adelaide Street has big plans for the historic house. Will it be a dentist's office, an upscale bistro, a residence for a member of the city's wealthy and fashionable set? Is there plans to renovate, or sell?

Actually--and who could have ever predicted this--the owner wants an expanded parking lot.

If this is true, the owner is on his way: whether under public or private ownership, sitting on a property for years without making any apparent attempts to restore it is the first step toward that happy day you find a demolition permit in your mailbox.

But you're not there yet. I know it sounds crazy, but diminishing the quality of a National Historic Site by removing one of its municipally-designated heritage structures is just not what it used to be.

What you're going to need to do next:

2) Convince the public that your vacant property suddenly and magically declined to the point of no return. "I showed up one day and it was just like that."

3) Hire an architect to make your parking lot look flashy. Make sure the architect puts a sports car in the drawing. Works like a charm. Lots of yuppie types standing on the sidewalks chatting to eachother ("Hey want to walk around this vacant wasteland and see if we can find a place we could actually get a coffee?") is also essential.

4) Make yourself an expert on history, architecture and urbanism to convince the equally untrained minds at the City that this is not going to be just another parking lot. Most people have begun to think large surface parking lots are bad for downtown Winnipeg, but only in theory. On a case by case basis, they're usually ok. But you need to convince them of this. Tell them that some shrubs and a fence will create an inviting street wall that fits the context of the neighborhood.

5) Heritage Winnipeg might normally be an issue. Fortunately for you, they appear to have exhausted all their resources saving the parking lot at Fort and Assiniboine Ave. earlier this year. Phew!

6) Threaten the public that if are not allowed to demolish the property in question, then you will move to another city and sit on historical properties there.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sure the new planning director will understand this issue and take action.

Ya right.

People in powerful positions in this city have no backbone.

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This city keeps fucking itself in the ass.

Ooops! I already said that.

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be fair I think this is quite different than the Albert Street Business block.

The Kelly House is not burried inside of a 1920's one story, the Kelly House is not being lost so a heritage hotel can be renovated next door etc.

Apples and Oranges.

9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The owner of this place operates across the street from it, Ricoh (sp) and has wanted the house torn down for about a decade now.

We have made repeated requests to Heritage Winnipeg about the property, its historic value and potential purchase/investment. We have never heard back from them.

Should this property fall to a fate of as the Gray's Auction building on King, and all other buildings who suffered prior, those in power at city hall will have made it crystal clear they choose not to support the heart of the city, but rather let that heart languish and die a slow death.

I would urge the readers here to do what is possible and contact the city, the owner and heritage Winnipeg to place an opposition before them all in order to keep Kelly House and begin a restoration with a new owner who has the ability to see potential, not parking in property.

9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the LAST example of the residential architecture which was prevalent in the area during the first Winnipeg boom of the 1880's. Once it's gone it can never be broght back. WE DON'T NEED ANY MORE PARKING LOTS, WE NEED TO BUILD ON THE ONES THAT ARE ALREADY IN EXISTENCE. If business-people threaten to leave the city then bid them good riddance, and ensure they are never welcomed back. The once beautiful Portage Avenue is ruined by two unsightly overpasses and the monolithic and anti-human Portage Place Mall, which merely serves as a day care centre for the city's worst characters. I would rather have beautiful old buildings even if empty than hideous modernist shoebox design structures or windy, derelict looking and scary parking lots. Even in the suburbs old early 20th century cottages and Craftsman Homes are now being razed to make place for hideously ugly grey stucco boxes. Come on people, THIS IS NOT PROGRESS! We are losing our history and this is about the only advantage Winnipeg has over other Western Canadian cities. CAN PEOPLE NOT UNDERSTAND THIS!

8:40 PM  

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