Checking in on the Connolly

My Saturday op-ed on the Connolly and James Street Baptist, the partially demolished former church in downtown Hamilton. Print: “Checking in on the Connolly,” February 13, 2021, A17 | online: “Hamilton’s infamous church facade: a check-in on the Connolly,” February 12, 2021 With thanks to Paul Wilson, Lucasz Wywrot, John Wilcox of Vitreous Glassworks, Samantha…

A labour of love in glass, brick, and stone

I interviewed local residents about the former St. Giles in east Hamilton. The city’s first United Church, it was designed by architects Stewart & Witton. The 1912 church is at risk of demolition by its owner, the United Church of Canada. Update: New team announced Feb. 11: KPMB Architects and Savira Cultural + Capital Projects…

Save the last dance: Hanrahan’s, a 2020 story worth remembering

Hanrahan’s made the Spectator’s year-end list of “True grit and other Hamilton headlines.” After working for many months to “make some noise” and save the former Hotel Hanrahan, it was an honour to see the Hanrahan’s story featured alongside other news of the year — including the Terry the Turtle saga. Delaney Caulfield highlighted Matthew…

Designation in the core, demolition in the east: whose history matters?

My Saturday op-ed on church conversions as affordable housing and community spaces, and the former St. Giles in east Hamilton. St. Giles is at risk of demolition by its owner, the United Church of Canada. Print: “Let’s not bulldoze the plague saint’s church,” December 12, 2020, A19. With thanks to Howard Elliott. Vonny Sweetland comments…

Good news for the Long & Bisby

A success story for heritage advocacy and adaptive reuse: the Long and Bisby, the at-risk Sanatorium building that I wrote about in August, will be restored by the owners. Developer Valery Homes plans to refurbish the 1920 nurses’ residence for use as its company headquarters. Update: City councillors have voted to give the Long and…

Going to bat for Old Cathedral

Old Cathedral is front-page news today in The Hamilton Spectator. I spoke with Teviah Moro for his story about the former Cathedral Boys’ School, which is owned by the Diocese of Hamilton. Designed in 1928 by local architects Hutton & Souter, the neo-Gothic high school building was expanded in 1951 with the addition of the…

Little Fires Everywhere

My op-ed about fires during quarantine, the Long and Bisby building on Hamilton’s west Mountain, and how city council’s delays threaten Hamilton’s built heritage. With thanks to James Charlton, Diane Dent, Hamilton Fire Department Assistant Deputy Chief Carla MacDonald, and Const. Lorraine Edwards. The Hamilton Spectator (est. 1846) is published by Metroland Media Group, a…

Gothic Revival Meets Urban Decay

My op-ed about Claremont Lodge, the Auchmar gatehouse. With thanks to Paul Wilson, Candy Venning, and Robin Gleadall. The Hamilton Spectator (est. 1846) is published by Metroland Media Group, a division of Torstar. Photos: Candy Venning (2020) and Scott Gardner (2015). The Hamilton Spectator | read online | read in print

Hanrahan’s in the News

Hanrahan’s owner Konrad Sit led a media tour for The Hamilton Spectator and CBC Hamilton last week. Cathie Coward and Samantha Craggs report. Spectator print edition: “Behind the curtain at Hanrahan’s” (Feb. 28, 2020, A6) | CBC Hamilton: “Take a look at the spooky underground vault of the former Hotel Hanrahan” (Feb. 29, 2020) Scot…

Historic Hanrahan’s Hotel Saved from Demolition

Hanrahan’s has a new lease on life — and it’s front page news this weekend. Read Matthew Van Dongen’s article in the long weekend edition of The Hamilton Spectator. Print: “Hamilton’s last strip club saved from demolition” (Feb. 15, 2020, A1–2) | online: “What a tease: Hamilton’s last strip club saved from the wrecking ball”…

Restored Hanrahan’s Part of Barton Renaissance

My opinion piece in The Hamilton Spectator: “Restored Hanrahan’s part of Barton renaissance.” With thanks to Konrad Sit, Bill Curran, Paul Wilson, Laura Hanrahan and Peter Duffus, Diane Gower Dent, Janice Brown, Carol Priamo, Tim Ritchie, Howard Elliott, Hamilton Public Library, and Local History & Archives. The Hamilton Spectator (est. 1846) is published by Metroland…

A New Life for the Old Hanrahan’s Hotel

My op-ed in the weekend edition of The Hamilton Spectator: “There should be a new life for the old Hanrahan’s Hotel.” With thanks to Diane Gower Dent, Bill Curran, Paul Wilson, Janice Brown, Carol Priamo, Laura Hanrahan, Peter Duffus, Jane Brennan Baker, Patrick Brode, Jason Schubert, Peter Mokrycke, Howard Elliott and Aviva Boxer of The…