Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday March 28, 2009
City Hall’s marble: A short history
* There are 3,000 marble slabs totalling 30,000 square feet covering City Hall. They measure approximately 60 centimetres by 120 cm.
* The gold-veined Cherokee marble used at City Hall was quarried in Pickens County, Georgia, the same county that produced the marble for the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial.
* In 1958, architect Stanley Roscoe caused an uproar when he chose Georgia marble instead of stone from Ontario or Quebec. He said the design at City Hall was predicated on the use of the white marble. After much debate about whether local stone should be used, city council approved the use of Georgia marble by a 13-6 vote.
* The first shipment of the Georgia marble was deemed “unsatisfactory” because it was the wrong colour. Roscoe paid a visit to the quarry in late 1958 to ensure the rest of the marble was up to standard.
* On May 16, 1960, the day City Hall opened to the public, two marble slabs fell from the building. One, which weighed 275 kilograms, crashed onto the roof of the second floor. The other landed on the second-floor canopy. The problem was blamed on “faulty craftsmanship.”
* On Feb. 6, 1963, two more slabs fell after water seeped behind the marble and rusted the metal hooks supporting the slabs.
* In 1969, when council allotted $136,000 for repairs to the marble, city architect Alex German suggested taking down each marble slab, “making them into coffee tables and selling them. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)
Letters to the editor:
I’ve said in past blog entries that often the only feedback I ever get on any of my cartoons is whenever somebody has taken great offense to whatever I’ve drawn and feel the need to convey their anger to me.
My most recent cartoon focusing on the sad saga of Hamilton’s City Hall reno drew the ire of a close relative to the architect of the building, Stanley Roscoe, who phoned to ask what gives me “the nerve to be an architectural critique”.
What gives anyone the right to be an architectual critic? Are only learned experts of the field entitled to pass judgement on architecture in high brow periodicals? Can’t the unwashed masses who can’t tell a cupola from a corbel air their own feelings about the concrete monsters they have to share this planet with?
Anyway, I’ve posted the original sketch I was going to go with and tempered the farting base ass imagery with a giant toilet. My apologies for the loooong gap between blog entries. I’ll keep trying to keep this thing up to date.