There are those who argue that preservation of a historic building’s facade is cause for celebration; that the building’s heritage is thereby preserved. I am not of that group. I believe that preserving a heritage building’s facade is preferable to destroying the entire structure. But let’s be frank: saving the facade is not saving the building; the very heart of the old structure is being destroyed so that a new structure may stand in its place. Sometimes this is unavoidable. But let’s call a spade a hammer.
What prompted such an uncharacteristic rhetorical outburst? The loss over the past few weeks of a building that I didn’t know existed in the heart of old Vancouver’s downtown: the Ormidale Block. This one was a beauty, and its loss to the wrecking ball in recent weeks is a real one.