The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - Com­piled by Matthew Van Don­gen, The Hamilton Spec­ta­tor

West­dale Theatre poised for her­itage des­ig­na­tion

The newly not-for-profit West­dale Theatre is poised to be des­ig­nated as a her­itage prop­erty. The city’s her­itage com­mit­tee rec­om­mended the des­ig­na­tion of 1014 King St. W. Thurs­day with the bless­ing of a new own­er­ship group and board that in­cludes film pro­ducer Fred Fuchs and com­mu­nity ac­tivist Gra­ham Craw­ford. On Twit­ter, Craw­ford called the de­ci­sion a “great day for her­itage in Hamilton.” Ward 1 Coun. Ai­dan John­son moved the mo­tion, adding it was “fun” to pur­sue a her­itage des­ig­na­tion with the full sup­port of the owner. Coun­cil could sign off on the recog­ni­tion next month. The movie house, which opened in 1935, is thought to have been de­signed by well-known lo­cal ar­chi­tects Wil­liam J. Walsh and Bruce Rid­dell. One of the city’s last small movie the­atres was put up for sale late last year for $1.79 mil­lion. The West­dale Cin­ema Group has been fundrais­ing for restora­tion and up­grades and hopes to re­open next spring.

Her­itage pro­tec­tion eyed for Dun­das build­ing

The city’s her­itage watch­dog com­mit­tee wants to fast-track a her­itage study for the old­est build­ing in Dun­das. The old stone build­ing at 2 Hatt St. dates back to 1804 and was re­put­edly used to shel­ter sol­diers dur­ing the War of 1812. It has also been a post of­fice, black­smith shop, lamp store and pri­vate res­i­dence. The build­ing was con­sid­ered va­cant in 2013 and in dan­ger of be­ing sold by the city to re­coup tax ar­rears un­til a re­cent own­er­ship change, her­itage com­mit­tee mem­bers were told Thurs­day. The com­mit­tee voted to start an im­me­di­ate her­itage des­ig­na­tion study.

Des­ig­na­tion com­ing for for­mer school­house

The Wood­burn Cen­ten­nial Hall is near­ing a her­itage des­ig­na­tion al­most a decade af­ter Glan­brook ad­vo­cates first lob­bied for the recog­ni­tion. The city-owned build­ing on Golf Club Road started out as a sin­gle­storey school­house in 1898 and was later ren­o­vated into a com­mu­nity hall. It has a dis­tinc­tive bell tower and an orig­i­nal black­board. The Glan­brook Her­itage So­ci­ety first rec­om­mended des­ig­na­tion in 2008. The city’s her­itage com­mit­tee rec­om­mended the move Thurs­day. Coun­cil could rat­ify that de­ci­sion next month.


West­dale Theatre, which opened in 1935, is thought to have been de­signed by well-known lo­cal ar­chi­tects Wil­liam J. Walsh and Bruce Rid­dell.

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