Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Happy 80th Birthday to ACO

Barnum House, Grafton, around which ACO was born
 The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario is a force for good. If you are visiting this site, you likely don't need to be reminded of that fact. But if you haven't popped by in a while, follow this link to see what battles they are currently fighting for heritage preservation.

Just about the biggest news at ACO these days has been the big birthday. This advocacy organization turned 80 in 2013. It's been eighty years since the ACO formed, around the urgent need to preserve for the future one of Ontario's finest neo-Classical structures, Barnum House in Grafton.
McIntosh-Ridley house (1817)
some sun and green leaves needed
So to celebrate that birthday, ACO decided to give us a present. In November 2012, in preparation for the anniversary, a book committee headed by Kayla Jonas Galvin put out a call for submissions, asking local ACO chapters to send in stories of buildings in their communities that are important to their organization. In doing so they salute the efforts of citizens committed to heritage preservation, who often find themselves at odds with developers and municipal politicians. The book is titled 80 for 80.

ACO Quinte's then-president (for life, as it likely seemed to David Bentley at that time) submitted the story of the McIntosh-Ridley home in Belleville.Like all of the 80 structures featured in this beautiful book, this early house was the almost-demolition around which our local ACO formed.

80 for 80  features (not surprisingly) eighty historically and architecturally significant houses, public buildings, bridges and commercial buildings and a few industrial installations and tells their story - and the story of the local groups which ensured their salvation. It is absolutely a must for old house nuts, and a great historical record (and a pretty good planning guide for visiting Ontario communities!) It's a mere $30.00 thanks to all the volunteer effort that went into its production. You can print out an order form at the very bottom of this item on the ACO website main page.

The book committee must have worked so hard. I noticed that most of the photos were taken by Ms. Galvin. And they're a classy bunch. I supplied the photo above, and tracked down an archival image .And for our relatively minuscule contributions, both David and I received credit. Light work indeed in comparison to the huge effort which produced this excellent book.

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