Her­itage des­ig­na­tion gets ap­proved

Kenny-den­nis build­ing was first built in 1841, later served as home to Chron­i­cle Herald

StarMetro Halifax - - HALIFAX - ZANE WOOD­FORD

A provin­cially owned, his­tor­i­cally sig­nif­i­cant down­town build­ing is be­ing added to the mu­nic­i­pal her­itage registry.

Re­gional coun­cil voted unan­i­mously in favour of a mo­tion adding the Ken­ny­den­nis build­ing at the corner of Granville and George streets to the registry af­ter a her­itage hear­ing on Tues­day.

The build­ing was first con­structed in 1841 for the “dry goods” busi­ness of Thomas and Ed­ward Kenny, ac­cord­ing to a mu­nic­i­pal staff re­port. Wil­liam Den­nis, then owner of what is now the Chron­i­cle Herald, bought the build­ing in 1900 and made it the Herald’s head­quar­ters.

Den­nis added three new storeys to the build­ing af­ter a fire in 1912.

The provin­cial gov­ern­ment later bought the build­ing to use it for of­fice space, and the Nova Sco­tia Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion and In­fra­struc­ture Re­newal (NSDTIR) now con­trols it.

It’s been va­cant since mould was dis­cov­ered in 2013.

Paul Arm­strong, on be­half of the Mar­itime In­sti­tute for Civil So­ci­ety, an or­ga­ni­za­tion “ded­i­cated to the re­newal of civil so­ci­ety,” ap­plied to have the build­ing reg­is­tered a mu­nic­i­pal her­itage prop­erty. Such third-party her­itage reg­is­tra­tions, while rare, are per­mit­ted by provin­cial her­itage law.

Based on build­ing’s his­tor­i­cal and ar­chi­tec­tural sig­nif­i­cance, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s her­itage ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee

scored the build­ing at 77 out of 100 points. Only 50 points are needed for the com­mit­tee to rec­om­mend in favour of reg­is­tra­tion, and mu­nic­i­pal plan­ner Sea­mus Mc­greal told coun­cil on Tues­day that 77 was the high­est score he’d ever seen.

The prov­ince, which has had a re­quest for pro­pos­als open for a year to find a con­trac­tor to lead the build­ing’s re­de­vel­op­ment, orig­i­nally op­posed the reg­is­tra­tion.

In a let­ter in May, Shan­non Del­bridge, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of pub­lic works and strate­gic ini­tia­tives at the prov­ince, wrote that the gov­ern­ment op­posed the reg­is­tra­tion on the grounds that it would “do no more to en­sure the Den­nis Build­ing main­tains its her­itage char­ac­ter than what the Prov­ince is cur­rently do­ing, but in­stead will im­pede the de­vel­op­ment of a very im­por­tant piece of the down­town Hal­i­fax core.”

ZANE WOOD­FORD/STARMETRO HAL­I­FAX

Three new storeys were added to the Kenny-den­nis Build­ing af­ter a fire in 1912.

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