Friday, August 27, 2010

Brantford demolition continues

Further to my previous post - as of Aug.19, 2010, the demolition had reached up to the building at #127 Colborne St. (lastly Annie's) seen still standing in the photo below.
The pile of debris at the right is the demolished building which had stood at #125 Colborne St., whose side door (which led upstairs) is still visible in the bottom centre. Sam the Record Man was located at #125 in the 1970's. #125 was demolished on Aug.18, 2010
Farther to the left of Annie's is the storefront of Arn Black at #129 Colborne St.
At the very far upper left is seen the taller west-side wall of #131-133 Colborne St.
above: on Aug.6, 2010, this is how #125 Colborne St. looked, standing at the right of Annie's. #125 was the building which had the large addition over the slope at the rear sitting on steel columns, seen in the fourth photo below.
below: Aug.19, 2010 - wider view of the same location as the top photo above, looking east along the south-side of Colborne St.; #125 Colborne has been demolished, and Annie's at #127 is the building still standing at the right.

above: same view as previous above, but as seen on Aug.26, 2010 - Annie's at #127 Colborne has by now been demolished, also Arn Black at #129 has been demolished, and also the building at #131-133 has been almost demolished. Part of the lower boarded-up storefront of #131-133 is still seen standing, and part of its three-storey brick wall is still standing at the rear. The center of the building is a pile of debris.
above: seen Aug.27, 2010 - the storefront and rear brick wall of #131-133 are still standing, while some of the debris has been cleared out from the center, exposing a large section of collapsed flooring.
The next building still standing, whose west-wall is now seen exposed, is #135 Colborne St.
below: Aug.26, 2010 - looking east from the Stanbridge walkway - #135 Colborne is seen standing at the upper-left, and the debris of what was once #131-133 Colborne lays beside it.
At the right of the photo, the steel frame which had supported an addition at the rear of #125 Colborne is still there, but the addition is gone; and the rear portions of both #127 Colborne St. (Annie's) and #129 Colborne St. (Arn Black) can still be seen partially standing.

above: Aug.27, 2010 - looking east from the walkway at the demolition site, details shown on photo (Click on any photo to enlarge)
below: Aug.26, 2010 - at the lower left is the boarded-up storefront of #131-133 Colborne St., in the distance is its still-standing rear brick wall.
In the upper left can be seen the taller wall of #135 Colborne St. which is the next-door building to the east.
In the centre-right distance is the rear-portion of # 129 Colborne St., not yet fully demolished; and further to the right is the partially-standing rear of #127 Colborne St.
(Between #131-133 and #129 there had once been an alley leading to the building down in the rear, facing Water St., the one with a tower, which looked like a fire hall, but was apparently a grocery warehouse. The alleyway was converted into a shoe-shine shop in 1926. The outline of this separation between the two buildings could still be seen here)

above: Aug.27, 2010 - looking from the rear at the boarded-up facade of #131-133 Colborne St. (same boarded-up facade seen previously above).
Letters from an old sign can clearly be seen from the back, hidden from street-view behind the old plywood covering the storefront.
The sign's letters are red with a black drop-shadow, on what looks like a yellow or cream background, with a green-trimmed edge surrounding the sign, and they are painted on glass that was above the front store windows, facing onto Colborne St.
The words are "billiards" in the right portion, and "tobacco cigars" on the left portion. (click photo to enlarge!) This painted glass sign could date back to 1937, when a George Gavares had a billiards hall here.
below: Aug.26, 2010 - looking west along the south-side of Colborne St. from in front of the entrance to the Art Stanbridge walkway. As crews continue to terrace the slope where the buildings had stood, heavy equipment is now filling in the basements of all the buildings which had faced onto Colborne St. Many basements were revealed to have had windows below sidewalk level, which had since been blocked over; at one time they must have accessed the street through a raised sidewalk grate, for the delivery of supplies or to chute coal into the basement.below: Aug.26, 2010 - wider view of the same area as previously above. The corner of the basement wall closest to the bottom right is where the north-east corner of the building at #113 Colborne St. had been. Window openings can be seen facing the street below grade. The old basement wall edges facing along Colborne St. are not actually being fully removed; they are being filled in with gravel, as the terracing continues. Large portions of old basement walls, footings, and floors remain, and are just being covered with brick rubble and gravel.

above: Aug.27, 2010, same view - the terracing and filling continues eastward, creeping closer to the walkway. The basement of #113 Colborne St. still sits exposed in the lower center.
below: Aug.27, 2010 - looking west from the walkway at the basement where #113 Colborne had stood; the stairs at the lower right had led to the building's lower-level side door, see earlier view here.

above: Aug.26, 2010 - looking up at the demolition site from Water St., west of the walkway. At the top of the slope, the newly-built terrace is seen running from left to the right along the sidewalk edge of Colborne St.; towards the right (as seen in the previous photos) the upper basements are in the process of being filled in. In the upper center a yellow roller compacts the fill. Along the lower slope several basement foundation walls (some built of stone, some block, some concrete) of many of the recently-demolished buildings are still visible.

At the top can be seen the entire block of buildings which stand on the north side of Colborne St., from King St. (the building at the far left stands on the north-east corner of Colborne and King) to Queen St. (the building at the far right stands on the north-west corner of Colborne and Queen)

Of course, until the buildings along the south side were demolished during June, July and August, this vista had never before been visible.

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