Heritage designation gets approved
Kenny-dennis building was first built in 1841, later served as home to Chronicle Herald
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.”
Three new storeys were added to the Kenny-dennis Building after a fire in 1912.