PH26580 - Destroying local history

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Destroying local history


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Media Type : Newspaper Article
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Community : Bradford
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Description : To the Editor:
It seems the town of Bradford is establishing a reputation for rapid change and with it a wanton disregard for its valuable old buildings. I am referring to the old hotel demolished by Ingoglia Bros. and the old Wolfe farm home, more recently bulldozed on the west end of town. From previous inspection I can witness that these buildings were sound and could have continued to serve many more useful years. The building on the Ingoglia property was built about 1850 and is historically important since it was probably built as a hotel. It was a solid brick structure containing the original layout, staircase, doors, wood trim and some of the original window sash. This was a prime example of a fine early commercial building, typical of the old town of Bradford in 1850. The Wolfe farm house, c-1840, not originally located in the town, was a superb example of the early West Gwillimbury Regency style farm house. Built into the side of a hill, the single storey with living quarters in the walkout basement was a typical arrangement of the period. This gem was ceremoniously obliterated for a 'modern' subdivision. To my knowledge nothing was salvaged. The six-panel doors with original brass knobs, the panelled wainscotting, the doors and window trim, the 12 over 12 window sash, the elegantly simple front entrance with transom and rare nine panelled front door - all reduced to rubble in a matter of minutes! The panel molding on the doors was identical to that recorded on a Tecumseth township house that is now designated an historical house under the Ontario Heritage Act. Few people knew of its mud brick construction, a material commonly used in the mid nineteenth century. It had many interesting features. Is there a photograph remaining. There is no acceptable reason why both of these historically valuable buildings could not have been preserved. Some day effective legislation will prevent this shameful and thoughtless practice. In the meantime the people of Bradford and their council should do some serious soul-searching in an attempt to re-establish their priorities.

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