Teviah Moro Hamilton Spectator Tuesday, November 17, 2020
The last remaining building of the Mountain Sanatorium and the Cross of Lorraine are to receive heritage protection.
But the status of landscape features of heritage interest, including a pedestrian bridge, concrete stairs and “curvilinear” streets of the brow lands eyed for a new subdivision, will be reviewed by staff with feedback from the community.
On Tuesday, councillors agreed to approve the designation of the Long and Bisby building, built in 1920 as a nurses’ residence at the hospital for tuberculosis patients.
The planning committee also backed protecting the Cross of Lorraine, erected nearby on the brow in 1953, under the provincial heritage act.
“Today is a good news story,” said Matt Johnston, an Urban Solutions planner representing developer Valery Homes.
Johnston said clients Ted and Paul Valeri support designating the old building, which they’d initially planned to demolish in pursuit of a subdivision.
Valery now plans to breathe new life into the Long and Bisby building at 828 Sanatorium Rd. by making it the firm’s new headquarters.
Coun. Maria Pearson said designation of the boarded-up brick building, a frequent target for vandals, would trigger “sighs of relief” for the municipal heritage committee.
In late May, a fire damaged a rear wood addition, which ultimately prompted council to have staff work with the developer to beef up security.
“The interior cleanup and abatement is now underway,” Johnston said Tuesday.
But plans to improve a tributary of Chedoke Creek may not allow for the preservation of some landscape features, including the bridge, he added.
Johnston said designation of those attributes was “just a tad early” with a new technical study recently submitted to city planning staff, who need to get up to speed.
Like Auchmar, a historical building at West 5th Street and Fennell Avenue, the Sanatorium landscape features are “very important to the overall situation of the site,” Coun. John-Paul Danko said.
Pearson noted Coun. Terry Whitehead, who represents Ward 14 but isn’t on the planning committee, has been working with staff and the developers on the file.
Coun. Judi Partridge said the Cross of Lorraine is “hugely important to our city” and to Whitehead, who has committed ward funds to restore it.