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Spolight on sore sight

It’s hard to deny it’s a really cool-looking building. Yet, to many eyes the Petrie Building is also an eyesore in its current state of disrepair. So the push to get the downtown structure on Heritage Canada’s Top Ten Endangered Places List for 2014 is an oddly hopeful development in a long, rather sad saga.
In 1990, the four-storey stone and timber building with an extremely rare feature – a stamped galvanized iron facade – was designated by city hall for its heritage  value under the Ontario Heritage Act. Almost a quarter-century later, the elaborately embellished facade near the roof of the 1882 landmark still attracts admiration. That is, if you can overlook the green boards covering the windows of the building’s vacant upper floors, above a restaurant.
Although designation protects the Petrie Building from demolition, the building is falling apart due to neglect, says Architectural Conservancy of Ontario local president Susan Ratcliffe.
It would be great if the inertia that plagues the building could be replaced by real interest – from somewhere – in getting it fixed up. If getting on the federal endangered list might help accomplish this, please bring it on.

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