This post is the thirty-second in a series in which we reached out to municipal candidates to ask their heritage platform. Responses will be posted in the order received.
The thirty-second to respond was Kenneth Acton, Candidate for Windsor City Council – Ward 5. The responses are in the candidate’s own words only slightly edited in a way that doesn’t in any way change what they said.
Our built environment, and more specifically the value that we attach to it, can evoke emotion, drive culture and help to define us. Preserving the places and buildings that we value, creates a sense of pride and ownership by uniting us under a common theme, our history. The past, and our recognition of it, becomes the building blocks for our future. It ensures a sense of place, while recognizing diversity within our global market.
Pure forms of historic preservation are typically reserved for the buildings and places that we admire most. Places of worship, cultural institutions, and government buildings typically have the budgets to allow for that form of investment. However, it’s through our smaller buildings that we can continue to define our streets and neighbourhoods. By acknowledging those structures, and paying particular attention to their scale, relationship to the street, materials and the details used to complete their design, we can generate a positive impact on our public space.
Good development and or redevelopment principles not only help foster a holistic approach to city building, but they allow communities to become infused with character through the mix of materials and design. They assist in creating an economic stimulus by enhancing the public realm and increasing real estate values. Good design not only creates places worth caring about, but it closes a loop and promotes a renewed appreciation of our culture.
Within Ward 5, I have fond memories of the urban fabric and built form that existed along Drouillard Road when I was child. I recall visiting Morris Dry Goods with my mother, the smell of the hardwood floors, the hustle on the street and the gas station next to the Marigold Hotel. The Ward’s contributions to our history and culture are truly significant, but a prominent example of a historic landmark within its boundary is the Ford Powerhouse. A building that was designed by the American industrial architect, Albert Kahn and built in 1922. Its aesthetic and history continue to define a culture that still resonates within that community today.
As an executive within the Windsor Region Society of Architects, an honorary member of the OAA and a professor of architectural technology, I’ve had the privilege of working alongside the Windsor Chapter of the ACO and Doors Open Windsor as an advocate for architectural conservation and historic preservation, and I look forward to continuing to do so.
Picture provided by the candidate.