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Creepy Old Building Will Transform Into U of T's School of Architecture

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[Photo via Alana Charles]

That creepy old building at the roundabout at College and Spadina is under construction, in the process of transforming the aged ninetieth century structure into University of Toronto's new John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture. It's a $50 million revitalization to the 138 year old building at One Spadina Crescent, designed by Boston firm NADAAA Architecture. The revitalization includes a 100,000 square foot glass addition, along with collaborative studio spaces, an advanced fabrication lab, a principal hall for major public events, and a public gallery. There are proposed plans for a new streetcar stop at the building. "We don't think of the building as a series of floors or terraces," says the architect when describing the project. "They are commingled, the additions onto the building are a meditation between urban design, landscape design and architecture." "This major revitalization of One Spadina will be the catalyst for a much needed transformation of the University's western edge between College and Bloor, still recovering from the threat of plans to turn the street into an expressway, which was blocked over a generation ago." said Professor Richard Sommer, Dean of the Daniels Faculty. The current school of architecture is on College Street.

The gothic revival building was built by the Presbyterian Church as Knox College, a theological college in 1875. It later became the Spadina Military Hospital (American aviator Amelia Earhart worked there as a nurse's aide treating wounded soldiers), before later becoming an academic building in the 1970s. Strangely, a female professor died on site in 2009 after searching for ghosts, jumping from one part of the building to another and falling three-storeys. The new building is expected to be completed in 2015. Here's a look at the historic site from past to present.

· Silver Dollar Room up for Heritage Protection [Curbed Toronto]
· NADAAA, Renderings for John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture [NADAAA]
· Inside 1 Spadina Crescent [Toronto Star]
· Toronto Public Library Archives, Photos [TPL]