New Can Be Old...
NEW CAN BE OLD
Amherstburg has 47 beautiful Heritage Designated buildings like the Gibson Gallery, Freedom Museum, Gordon House, Park House Museum etc. Google amherstburg.ca Heritage Designations to see the entire list. It also has many more Heritage Properties of Interest. The Designated buildings are pretty well protected from harm. The Properties of Interest not so much. We know from research that the town’s history is the third thing residents like most about our town. Accordingly, one of THRIVE’s initiatives is to make sure that the town’s heritage is protected, restored and amplified.
NOTE: go to thriveamherstburg.com if you would like to be part of the team that authors the White Paper on Heritage that will be presented to Council.
Everyone talks about how Amherstburg’s heritage is important. But what are we really doing to protect it and maximize it?
“The truth about a town’s aspirations isn’t found in its vision. It’s found in its budget”
On a personal level Colleen and I continue to be very committed to improving the economic, cultural and social health of the town. We enthusiastically restored 67 Richmond to open a local independent bookshop. Recently we were delighted that the Heritage Committee voted unanimously to recognize (and protect) the building with a Heritage Designation. We also purchased next door at 63 Richmond and while it is not an historic building there is no reason why one can’t construct a building that recognizes the historic built form of the town and adds to the historic feel of our downtown heritage core.
So now we are doing just that !!
Construction at 63 has started on a building that will house two retail shops on the ground level and two residential rental units above. In working with our architects Jerry and Kim from Architectural Design Associates we asked them to study and be mindful of what historic Amherstburg once looked like.
"The primary architectural aim for this project was to celebrate Amherstburg’s authentic and historic sense of place. The downtown’s surrounding built context was studied to identify the features which enable its success as an inviting and walkable civic experience. To ensure our proposal would make a positive addition to Amherstburg’s downtown landscape, significant architectural heritage features in the downtown neighbourhood were also studied. Our hope is that the design for 63 Richmond not only displays reverence for, and reflects the town’s rich architectural heritage, but also promotes further mindful community development so that Amherstburg may perpetuate its status as an iconic example of a thriving Southwestern Ontarian waterfront locale”
As you can see our ground floor storefront facades have a definite historic feel to them - display windows with traditional frames, sills and mouldings. Our red brick will look similar to Amherstburg’s existing old buildings The elements of facade around the windows and cornice also reflect an historic design. And importantly the increased building height is what our town planners are pushing for in the town’s historic core. The open air balcony will allow the residents of the units to enjoy the downtown street vibe of Amherstburg.
So, yes, “new can be old”.
Our contractor Serg Bertucci has projected an early December finish 🤞Our first focus will be opening our Candy shop. Look for a newsletter from Colleen on her plans for that shop. Right now we are not firm on what will be in the second shop. We do know that it will be a retail concept that is new to Amherstburg. Our goal from the start was to create retail concepts (bookshop, bakery, candy shop) that were unique to the town and another reason to @visitamherstburg If you have an idea for our second shop let us know. But it has to be unique and very creative retail.
We are excited about our newest project and hope you are too. But we aren’t finished yet so stay tuned.
Richard and Colleen
Community Builders for an even better Amherstburg
P.S. Our two scheduled Heritage Walks on August 8th with tour guide Meg Reiner are filling up fast but we still have a few spots left in each time slot. Book your reservation today!