Bel-Con's Bill White Recognized in OAA Landmark Designation Award
On March 26th, Belleville City Hall was formally recognized as this year’s recipient of the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) Landmark Designation Award. In presenting the award, OAA president Toon Dreessen reminded those present that “architecture impacts every one of us, every day, in a uniquely personal way".
Originally built in 1873, Belleville city hall appeared to be at the end of its useful life in 1988 in terms of meeting the City’s current and future needs. That is until Bill White, President of W.R. White Architect Limited took it upon himself to find a solution and ultimately create the vision that transformed the magnificent, but crowded building into a marriage of classical and modern design. At the time, Bill undertook a great deal of research, studying the building as well as other community city halls before determining that it would be possible to convert the existing two stories into four. The renovations resulted in the creation of more office space which allowed for the future growth of city staff within the facility. All of this was accomplished while still maintaining the character and integrity of the building's original design by architect John Evans.
Mr. Dreessen, who was on the OAA jury said of the building, “the jury, in particular, was pleased to hear how Bellleville city hall continues to play a vital role in the downtown revitalization project.” Mayor Taso Christopher said of the award, “This designation is a huge honour for our city, for city hall, and it’s something that we should be profoundly proud of.”
Bel-Con was fortunate enough to be involved with the project by completing the construction that created this transformation and we take pride in having been part of such an important project 25 years ago, and we're thrilled and delighted to see the city and Bill's vision recognized with this landmark designation. For more of the story of how it all came about, please watch the short documentary below.