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Dundas, Ontario: Hatt Heritage Information

200-year-old building on shaky ground

 PHOTOS  BY CRAIG CAMPBELL

 Although it is believed to be the oldest building in town, 2 Hatt St. is not protected by a municipal designation under the Ontario Heritage Act, or by an easement from the province of Ontario

By Craig Campbell
Staff Writer, Dundas Star News, April 2, 2004

It's remarkable the 200-year-old former Dundas Mills store at 2 Hatt St. is still standing, according to the Ontario Heritage Foundation's administrator of easements.

 Sean Fraser, who negotiates agreements that preserve historic buildings across Ontario, said the former post office, blacksmith shop and residence,which is now home to R. Folkes Lighting, is an exception for buildings of its type. Built sometime before 1805, the stone and stucco structure has remained in the same spot for about 200 years.

 "That's a rare thing for a commercial building," Mr. Fraser said. "Because of business pressures, that's not very common."

 But with R. Folkes House of Lights and Shades planning to close its showroom in the structure built by Richard Hatt as part of his Dundas Mills operation, the future of the building is not on solid ground.

 Although it is believed to be the oldest building in Dundas, and one of the oldest buildings across the entire City of Hamilton, 2 Hatt St. is not protected by a municipal designation under the Ontario Heritage Act, or by an easement from the province of Ontario.

 David Cuming, senior project manager with the City of Hamilton's heritage and design section, said the historic building could be demolished at any time under the Ontario Building Code. At least in the past three years, no one has approached the city about an historical designation for 2 Hatt St.

 Richard Hatt's building is listed on the Hamilton heritage inventory, the inventory of buildings of architectural and historical interest and the Canadian Inventory of Historic Buildings. None of these lists offer any protection to the building.

 "Designation is up to the municipality," Mr. Fraser said. "It can be quite expensive. It's city council's call."

 A building owner or local heritage organization can ask the city to review the possibility of designating a particular building. The city can also impose a historical designation on a building without the owner's permission, but this is rarely done.

 Mr. Fraser said municipal designations are imposed when a particular building is considered threatened, perhaps when someone applies for a demolition permit. He said any time a particular building is listed in a municipalities inventory, as in the the case of 2 Hatt St., it has some protection even if it hasn't been designated under the Ontario Heritage Act.

 "A listing gives some protection because it means the municipality is tracking it. It's 'on-deck' for designation. If they see an application for something not respectful of what's there, they have the opportunity to designate," Mr. Fraser said.

 But that is still completely up to the municipality. There is no mechanism for the province to impose any protections on an historic site.

 Mr. Fraser said the Ontario Heritage Act gives municipalities the responsibility and jurisdiction for historical designations. The province can only be invited in to negotiate an easement. Easements can be very detailed and individualized to specific buildings. They usually prohibit demolition and certain alterations and can be made a condition for provincial funding.

Municipal designations are made by a vote of city council, and can be changed by a vote of city council.

Carl Lehman, a member of the Dundas Historical Association, said the group has intended to put a heritage plaque on the building for several years. He said the association believes 2 Hatt St. was built by 1803, which would make the structure at least 201 years old.

 According to the City of Hamilton's heritage inventory, the structure went up in 1805, pegging it at 199 years old. The Canadian Inventory of Historic Buildings also notes 1805 as the year of construction.

 Completed in 1994, the City of Hamilton's survey of the building also notes two alterations to the original building - a sunroom at the west end and display windows.

 Rick Hatt of Fonthill, Ont., is a great-great-great grandson of the building's original owner, the man credited as one of Dundas' founders.

 "This is a building that definitely should be preserved," Mr. Hatt said. "I would certainly do anything I can to protect heritage buildings - particularly those that are associated with my family."

 R. Folkes House of Lights and Shades took over the building in 1961, after it was used as a private residence. R. Folkes announced a week ago it plans to close the showroom this summer.

 

Hatt Heritage Building at 2 Hatt Street Dundas, ON

Joyce Hatt, great, great, great granddaughter of Richard Hatt in front of Hatt Heritage Building at 2 Hatt Street Dundas, ON

 

Richard Hatt descendants in front of 2 Hatt Street on occasion of Historical Walkabout of Dundas on ___________________

 

 

 

Conditional offer accepted for Hatt house

By Craig Campbell Staff Writer, Dundas Star News, July 9, 2004

 A conditional offer to buy the 200-year old house at 2 Hatt St. has been accepted by the building's owner, as a descendent of the original owner prepares to meet with city heritage department staff to discuss a historical designation for the building. Peter Woolcott, a real estate salesperson with Re/Max Escarpment Realty, said there were two showings of the building and two offers, within less than a week of it going on the market.

 "It's an exceptional building," Mr. Woolcott said. "I'm told, not by the owner, that it's the oldest building in Dundas." He could not release any details of the conditional offer, or what the possible purchaser intends to do with the building at the intersection of Governor's Road, Main Street and Dundas Street.

    But Mr. Woolcott did say that there has been interest from "professional people" in using the former blacksmith shop and post office as a doctor's office or art gallery.

"We are processing the conditions as we speak," Mr. Woolcott said Monday night.

 The deadline for the conditional offer is July 21.

 Rick Hatt, the great-great-great-grandson of Richard Hatt, who built the stone structure at 2 Hatt St. as a store to support his Dundas mill operation in 1803, e-mailed City of Hamilton cultural heritage planner Stephanie Barber on June 26.

 "I am writing to you out of concern for this heritage building," Mr. Hatt wrote. "My great-great-great grandfather was the founder of Dundas. The building at 2 Hatt St. was big part of the local culture and history of the Town of Dundas...I would be appreciative if we could meet in the hope that City Council, through the LACAC committee would designate this building under the Ontario Heritage Act."

 Ms. Barber set a meeting for Friday, July 9, at 10 a.m., at her office in the former Stoney Creek City Hall. She invited Mr. Hatt to bring any photos and written history about his family and any related buildings.

 Despite its age and historic significance, 2 Hatt St. has never had any historical designation, easement or protection of any sort. Since the early 1960s, the building has been well-maintained by current owner Robert Folkes, and his son Peter, who ran a lighting and electrical store there.

 Bob Folkes figured some alterations, including knocking out one wall and replacing it with windows, affected any historical value and left heritage organizations with no interest in protecting it.

 Great value

 But several local historians and groups still think the building is of great value.  Ann Gillespie, of Dundas Community Heritage Advisory Panel, said her group believes the building is worthy of designation under the heritage act.

 "They may have made alterations, but those are reversible," Ms. Gillespie said.

 And Mr. Hatt, the descendent of the building's original owner, agrees.

 "The building has very significant historical value whether a little alteration has been made or not," said Mr. Hatt, who lives in Fonthill, Ont. "It could be a museum or continue as a commercial establishment. It definitely needs a heritage designation."

The building is listed at a selling price of $229,800. It has remained in its original site since approximately 1803, when Richard Hatt built it as a store to accompany his mill on the site of the current A&P supermarket on Governor's Road.

 

Response to Dundas Star Article at left

Click Article to enlarge

 

 
   
   

    

200-year-old building on shaky ground

 PHOTOS  BY CRAIG CAMPBELL

 Although it is believed to be the oldest building in town, 2 Hatt St. is not protected by a municipal designation under the Ontario Heritage Act, or by an easement from the province of Ontario

By Craig Campbell
Staff Writer, Dundas Star News, April 2, 2004

It's remarkable the 200-year-old former Dundas Mills store at 2 Hatt St. is still standing, according to the Ontario Heritage Foundation's administrator of easements.

 Sean Fraser, who negotiates agreements that preserve historic buildings across Ontario, said the former post office, blacksmith shop and residence,which is now home to R. Folkes Lighting, is an exception for buildings of its type. Built sometime before 1805, the stone and stucco structure has remained in the same spot for about 200 years.

 "That's a rare thing for a commercial building," Mr. Fraser said. "Because of business pressures, that's not very common."

 But with R. Folkes House of Lights and Shades planning to close its showroom in the structure built by Richard Hatt as part of his Dundas Mills operation, the future of the building is not on solid ground.

 Although it is believed to be the oldest building in Dundas, and one of the oldest buildings across the entire City of Hamilton, 2 Hatt St. is not protected by a municipal designation under the Ontario Heritage Act, or by an easement from the province of Ontario.

 David Cuming, senior project manager with the City of Hamilton's heritage and design section, said the historic building could be demolished at any time under the Ontario Building Code. At least in the past three years, no one has approached the city about an historical designation for 2 Hatt St.

 Richard Hatt's building is listed on the Hamilton heritage inventory, the inventory of buildings of architectural and historical interest and the Canadian Inventory of Historic Buildings. None of these lists offer any protection to the building.

 "Designation is up to the municipality," Mr. Fraser said. "It can be quite expensive. It's city council's call."

 A building owner or local heritage organization can ask the city to review the possibility of designating a particular building. The city can also impose a historical designation on a building without the owner's permission, but this is rarely done.

 Mr. Fraser said municipal designations are imposed when a particular building is considered threatened, perhaps when someone applies for a demolition permit. He said any time a particular building is listed in a municipalities inventory, as in the the case of 2 Hatt St., it has some protection even if it hasn't been designated under the Ontario Heritage Act.

 "A listing gives some protection because it means the municipality is tracking it. It's 'on-deck' for designation. If they see an application for something not respectful of what's there, they have the opportunity to designate," Mr. Fraser said.

 But that is still completely up to the municipality. There is no mechanism for the province to impose any protections on an historic site.

 Mr. Fraser said the Ontario Heritage Act gives municipalities the responsibility and jurisdiction for historical designations. The province can only be invited in to negotiate an easement. Easements can be very detailed and individualized to specific buildings. They usually prohibit demolition and certain alterations and can be made a condition for provincial funding.

Municipal designations are made by a vote of city council, and can be changed by a vote of city council.

Carl Lehman, a member of the Dundas Historical Association, said the group has intended to put a heritage plaque on the building for several years. He said the association believes 2 Hatt St. was built by 1803, which would make the structure at least 201 years old.

 According to the City of Hamilton's heritage inventory, the structure went up in 1805, pegging it at 199 years old. The Canadian Inventory of Historic Buildings also notes 1805 as the year of construction.

 Completed in 1994, the City of Hamilton's survey of the building also notes two alterations to the original building - a sunroom at the west end and display windows.

 Rick Hatt of Fonthill, Ont., is a great-great-great grandson of the building's original owner, the man credited as one of Dundas' founders.

 "This is a building that definitely should be preserved," Mr. Hatt said. "I would certainly do anything I can to protect heritage buildings - particularly those that are associated with my family."

 R. Folkes House of Lights and Shades took over the building in 1961, after it was used as a private residence. R. Folkes announced a week ago it plans to close the showroom this summer.

 

Hatt Heritage Building at 2 Hatt Street Dundas, ON

Joyce Hatt, great, great, great granddaughter of Richard Hatt in front of Hatt Heritage Building at 2 Hatt Street Dundas, ON

 

Richard Hatt descendants in front of 2 Hatt Street on occasion of Historical Walkabout of Dundas on ___________________

 

 

 

 

 

Conditional offer accepted for Hatt house

By Craig Campbell Staff Writer, Dundas Star News, July 9, 2004

 A conditional offer to buy the 200-year old house at 2 Hatt St. has been accepted by the building's owner, as a descendent of the original owner prepares to meet with city heritage department staff to discuss a historical designation for the building. Peter Woolcott, a real estate salesperson with Re/Max Escarpment Realty, said there were two showings of the building and two offers, within less than a week of it going on the market.

 "It's an exceptional building," Mr. Woolcott said. "I'm told, not by the owner, that it's the oldest building in Dundas." He could not release any details of the conditional offer, or what the possible purchaser intends to do with the building at the intersection of Governor's Road, Main Street and Dundas Street.

    But Mr. Woolcott did say that there has been interest from "professional people" in using the former blacksmith shop and post office as a doctor's office or art gallery.

"We are processing the conditions as we speak," Mr. Woolcott said Monday night.

 The deadline for the conditional offer is July 21.

 Rick Hatt, the great-great-great-grandson of Richard Hatt, who built the stone structure at 2 Hatt St. as a store to support his Dundas mill operation in 1803, e-mailed City of Hamilton cultural heritage planner Stephanie Barber on June 26.

 "I am writing to you out of concern for this heritage building," Mr. Hatt wrote. "My great-great-great grandfather was the founder of Dundas. The building at 2 Hatt St. was big part of the local culture and history of the Town of Dundas...I would be appreciative if we could meet in the hope that City Council, through the LACAC committee would designate this building under the Ontario Heritage Act."

 Ms. Barber set a meeting for Friday, July 9, at 10 a.m., at her office in the former Stoney Creek City Hall. She invited Mr. Hatt to bring any photos and written history about his family and any related buildings.

 Despite its age and historic significance, 2 Hatt St. has never had any historical designation, easement or protection of any sort. Since the early 1960s, the building has been well-maintained by current owner Robert Folkes, and his son Peter, who ran a lighting and electrical store there.

 Bob Folkes figured some alterations, including knocking out one wall and replacing it with windows, affected any historical value and left heritage organizations with no interest in protecting it.

 Great value

 But several local historians and groups still think the building is of great value.  Ann Gillespie, of Dundas Community Heritage Advisory Panel, said her group believes the building is worthy of designation under the heritage act.

 "They may have made alterations, but those are reversible," Ms. Gillespie said.

 And Mr. Hatt, the descendent of the building's original owner, agrees.

 "The building has very significant historical value whether a little alteration has been made or not," said Mr. Hatt, who lives in Fonthill, Ont. "It could be a museum or continue as a commercial establishment. It definitely needs a heritage designation."

The building is listed at a selling price of $229,800. It has remained in its original site since approximately 1803, when Richard Hatt built it as a store to accompany his mill on the site of the current A&P supermarket on Governor's Road.

 

Response to Dundas Star Article at left

Click Article to enlarge