HERITAGE COMMITTEE NOTEBOOK
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.