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Notice of Intention to Designate 231 Ferguson Avenue South, Hamilton (Ferguson Avenue Pumping Station)

In the matter of the Ontario Heritage Act and the property in the City of Hamilton known municipally as 231 Ferguson Avenue South, Hamilton, notice is hereby given that the City of Hamilton intends to designate this property as being a property of cultural heritage value.

Why? Initially built from 1912 to 1913 and expanded in 1929-30 and 1955, the Ferguson Avenue Pumping Station is of cultural heritage value as a representative example of an early 20th century waterworks modified over a century of continued use, and occupies a site selected for municipal waterworks since 1878.

The Ferguson Avenue Pumping Station at 231 Ferguson Avenue South is located on the northwest portion of a 0.8 ha lot at the southern end and east side of Ferguson Avenue South in Ward 2 in the City of Hamilton. A short distance to the south is the foot of the Niagara Escarpment, while to the west is the intersection with Foster Street. Immediately east of the Ferguson Avenue Pumping Station is a new waterworks facility known as the New Ferguson Avenue Water Booster Pumping Station.

Initially built from 1912 to 1913 and expanded in 1929-30 and 1955, the Ferguson Avenue Pumping Station is of cultural heritage value as a representative example of an early 20th century waterworks modified over a century of continued use, and occupies a site selected for municipal waterworks since 1878.

Design/Physical Value

The Ferguson Avenue Pumping Station demonstrates design and physical value in its scale and combination of cast-in-place concrete, brick, glass, and structural steel I-beams. This construction method and material is typical of the ‘Electric Era’ waterworks that replaced earlier steam facilities in the latter part of the 19th century. Its Romanesque Revival architecture is rendered in red brick, stone, and architectural sheet-metal and represents the classical styles favoured for public works, yet one reflecting the Edwardian taste for modest decoration. This style was also compatibly applied in its 1929-30 extension despite the popularity of other contemporary styles.

Historical/Associative Value

The Ferguson Avenue Pumping Station’s historical value lies in its association with City Engineer Andrew F. Macallum, who designed the 1912-13 building. He was also responsible for construction of the 1913 Pumping Station at 900 Woodward Avenue, Hamilton and went on to serve as Commissioner of Works for the City of Ottawa. The later additions to the Ferguson Avenue Pumping Station are associated with City Engineer William Lawrence McFaul, who constructed the Art Deco style Water Purification Plant at 900 Woodward Avenue, and oversaw a number of other important infrastructure developments in the City over his long career. The Pumping Station is also associated with the City’s Water Department, who built the original and subsequent sections, and maintained the building and its water supply infrastructure over the past century.

Contextual Value

Contextually, the Ferguson Avenue Pumping Station contributes to the local character of the area through its massing, setback, and red-brick construction, as well as its semi-circular headed window openings, which match those of adjacent designated and inventoried heritage structures. It is recognized as a valued community asset and keenly explored by local residents when presented with the opportunity to visit the building.

Description of Heritage Attributes

Three-bay, two-storey height original block constructed in 1912 to 1913 with a Romanesque Revival temple front composed of:

  • Cast-in-place concrete foundation with large semi-circular arches in basement to accommodate large piping;
  • Red brick load bearing walls capped by concrete slab coping;
  • Pilasters terminating at a denticulated string course;
  • Double-leaf central entrance with semi-circular arch head formed with two orders of brick voussoirs, a prominent keystone, and framed with pilasters;
  • Window openings with semi-circular heads formed with stretcher brick voussoirs, concrete imposts and lug sills;
  • Entablature and sheet-metal clad cornice;
  • Open pediment with datestone;
  • North and south side walls with water table and belt-course with cogging;
  • Surviving bay on the west portion of the south wall with tall segmental arch head window formed with gauged brick voussoirs and with a plain stone lug sill;
  • Interior engaged brick and stone columns supporting a longitudinal I-beam; and,
  • Flat roof formed with transverse I-beams with ‘Northern Engineering Works, Detroit, Mich. U.S.A.’ plaques and chain hoists on beam trolleys and ceiling of wood strips running longitudinally.

Two-bay, storey-and-a-half height 1929-30 extension with:

  • Cast-in-place concrete foundation;
  • Red brick load bearing walls matching the original block;
  • Large semi-circular headed, multi-paned windows with single order of soldier brick voussoirs, small stone or concrete imposts and plain concrete lugsills;
  • Corner pilasters;
  • Entablature and sheet-metal clad cornice;
  • Internal chamfered free-standing columns supporting a longitudinal I-beam;
  • 20-pane fixed sash window on the south side wall; and,
  • Flat roof formed with transverse I-beams with ‘Herbert Morris Chain and Hoist Company Ltd’ plaques and chain hoists on beam trolleys and ceiling of wood strips running longitudinally.

Attributes that reflect the property’s contextual attributes include its:

  • Moderate setback from the street;
  • Overall height and red brick construction mirroring adjacent built heritage resources; and,
  • Visual connection with the numerous maintenance covers on the adjacent streets and sidewalks.

The Statement of Cultural Heritage Value or Interest, Description of Heritage Attributes may also be viewed in person during regular business hours at the Office of the City Clerk, 71 Main Street West,1st Floor, Hamilton, Ontario.

Written Notice of Objection

Any person may, within 30 days after the date of the publication of the Notice, serve written notice of their objections to the proposed designation, together with a statement for the objection and relevant facts.

Dated at Hamilton, this 11th day of October 2019.

A. Holland
City Clerk
Hamilton, Ontario