Award nominations, two Stewart & Witton buildings, and a video!

St. Giles (85 Holton Ave S) photographed by Kathy Renwald for the Bay Observer
Photo: Kathy Renwald / The Bay Observer, 2021.

Two Stewart & Witton properties nominated, plus a Friend of St. Giles’ video series

The Hamilton Municipal Heritage Committee’s nominations for the 2020–21 Heritage Recognition Awards are in! These awards recognize the contributions of property owners, educators, developers, and volunteers in the conservation of Hamilton’s heritage. This year, the Heritage Committee has added two new award categories: the Art of Heritage and Heritage Streetscape Revitalization.

Congratulations to all the nominees!

And in some exciting news, more than one nominee has a connection to iconic Hamilton architects Stewart & Witton, who designed St. Giles church.

1. Heritage Property Conservation Award: Presented to property owners who have demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the conservation, restoration and preservation of Hamilton’s built heritage.

Nominated: 174–178 Chedoke Avenue, designed by Stewart & Witton for William J. Southam.

Southam VP William J. Southam commissioned this west Hamilton residence — located near the base of the Niagara Escarpment and today’s Chedoke Civic Golf Club — from Stewart & Witton in 1909. (The 2014 photo below may not reflect the recent, award-nominated changes to the residence.)

Heritage Property Conservation Award nominee 174–178 Chedoke Ave (Stewart & Witton, 1909) was built for William J. Southam, the son of media magnate William Southam. Image: Google Maps.

Fun fact: Before William J. Southam’s new house was ready, he lived on West Avenue South, three doors up from Augustas Grossman — later a Stewart & Witton client for 662–664 King Street East.

A painted sign on the side of 664 King St. E. by Wentworth Avenue was revealed recently when the building that was hiding it was torn down. The torn down building was purchased for the LRT. The sign for Super Servis Shoe Rebuilders offered up shoes rebuilt like new while you waited and was painted by Fred T. Brooks Signs.
A painted sign on the side of 664 King St. E. (Stewart & Witton, 1911) revealed when the building beside it was torn down. Super Servis Shoe Rebuilders advertisement painted by Fred T. Brooks Signs. Photo: John Rennison / Hamilton Spectator.

2. Adaptive Reuse of a Heritage Property Award: Presented to property owners who have demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the conservation, restoration and preservation of Hamilton’s built heritage through adaptive reuse.

Nominated: Good Shepherd housing, 147 Mary Street

Originally the Thornton & Douglas Ltd. garment factory, this early Stewart & Witton commission was converted into 35 affordable apartments in 2019. Good Shepherd Non-Profit Homes partnered with Historia Building Restoration for the revitalization of the exterior. (See our post here.)

Adaptive Reuse of a Heritage Property Award nominee: Good Shepherd housing at 147 Mary St. / 120 Cannon St. E. (Stewart & Witton, 1905) Photo: Barry Gray / Hamilton Spectator.

3. Education in Heritage Award: Recognizing the efforts of local historians and educators who have played a significant role in educating people on the conservation of Hamilton’s tangible and intangible heritage.

Nominated: Lance Darren Cole, Patrick Douthart, and Nathan McCrory for their Digital Doors Open videos for ACO Hamilton.

In spring 2021, Lance Darren Cole made a video about Stewart & Witton’s Gothic Revival masterpiece, St. Giles church, with Patrick Douthart and Nathan McCrory who, like him, were fellow tenants at the Cotton Factory. (See Kathy Renwald’s story.) Cole is a founding member of the Friends of St. Giles, while Douthart and McCrory had just started their video production company InwardOut Productions.

Entitled “As It Stands Today,” the St. Giles video brought new opportunities in the form of work for an 88-year-old provincial organization: Architectural Conservancy Ontario.

Cole and InwardOut Productions’ pro-bono work on St. Giles brought them a contract for a series of videos for ACO Hamilton’s Digital Doors Open, a year-round initiative for 2021. The trio produced three videos, for Westfield Heritage Village, Chedoke Estate, and The Cotton Factory.

The Heritage Recognition Awards nominations were officially ratified by Hamilton City Council in January. Winners will be announced the week of February 21st during Heritage Week 2022.

Good luck to all of the nominees!

Based in Hamilton’s Ward 3, the Friends of St. Giles are a group of neighbours and residents leading the community-based effort to save Stewart & Witton’s masterpiece, St. Giles Church. | @StGilesFriends | #SaveStGiles #StewartWitton150

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