Her­itage Hal­i­fax

The Coast - - NEWS -

Elm­wood Ho­tel builder James Au­gus­tus Far­quhar was my great-great grand­fa­ther (“The fall of the house of Elm­wood,” cover story by Ja­cob Boon, Oc­to­ber 26). He wrote an in­cred­i­ble au­to­bi­og­ra­phy de­tail­ing his ad­ven­tures grow­ing up on Sable Is­land, wreck div­ing and in busi­ness. He was a man who took cal­cu­lated risks that of­ten paid off. I will be sad to see The Elm­wood go. When I was a child there used to be a plaque on the water­front mark­ing “Far­quhar’s wharf,” but it’s been re­moved so now I no longer know which wharf was ours.

I be­lieve Far­quhar also owned or op­er­ated a busi­ness out of 1558 Bar­ring­ton Street, but any plaque has since been cov­ered by a Mezza Le­banese Kitchen sign. It sad­dens me to see th­ese frag­ments of Hal­i­fax, and my own his­tory, cov­ered over and torn down. What an in­cred­i­ble time­less land­mark and valu­able as­set to Hal­i­fax The Elm­wood could be if some­one had the vi­sion to re­store it as a ho­tel, in­stead of turn­ing it into an­other apart­ment build­ing that will be out­dated by the time it is built.

—posted at the­coast.ca by Jil­lian Dem­mons

So sad to see this place meet its demise. The Elm­wood and Vic­to­ria Hall are among the last large Vic­to­rian-era wooden build­ings in the city. They come from a time when the “art” of build­ing was im­por­tant. Th­ese struc­tures are more than util­i­tar­ian. They are grace­ful and beau­ti­ful and dis­play el­e­ments of real crafts­man­ship. The lust for profit has trumped any of th­ese at­tributes in the con­struc­tion world. Thank you for shar­ing some of the build­ing’s his­tory. —posted by Sheila Fougere

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