Essex County

Suburbs Hate Heritage Too!

Glad to see it’s not only Windsor who rips down heritage buildings. The Town of Tecumseh, the sleepy bedroom community to the east, proved that they could make short sighted decisions too. The historic Lakewood Golf Course Club House bit the dust late last week…

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Lakewood clubhouse to be demolished
BY GARY RENNIE, THE WINDSOR STAR APRIL 15, 2009

The battle to save one of the last prohibition-era clubhouses in the region from demolition is over.

With one councillor dissenting, Tecumseh council agreed Tuesday to tear down the almost century-old Lakewood golf course clubhouse after recent consultants’ reports found little historical value in preservation.

Along with approving a $26,500 tender for demolition, council also formally removed the old clubhouse property on Riverside Drive and the 91-acre Lakewood Golf Course from the town’s preliminary list of heritage sites.

The town owns the clubhouse, but after an appeal from the Keep Tecumseh Green committee two years ago had postponed a decision to award a demolition tender while the heritage issues were studied.

Coun. Rita Ossington, a past chair of the town’s heritage committee, said she was “totally disappointed” with council’s decision. She cast the only votes against each of the motions.

“It’s time to put this to bed,” said Mayor Gary McNamara. He said the town has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal and consulting fees on battles to preserve the golf course properties.

Despite the decisions on heritage issues, Ossington pointed out the town still faces an Ontario Municipal Board hearing on the proposal for residential development of the golf course.

The golf course owners and several nearby homeowners are also opposing plans by the Reichmann Corp. for a $25-million luxury seniors’ residence on the former golf course property on the waterfront that’s now owned by the town.

An OMB pre-hearing resumes April 30 on the development issues. In the meantime, the Lakewood course at the foot of Manning Road is open for the 2009 season.

© Copyright (c) The Windsor Star

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Clubhouse promptly demolished
APRIL 17, 2009

Only two days after Tecumseh council awarded the tender, Windsor Disposal began the demolition Thursday of the old Lakewood Golf Course clubhouse on Riverside Drive East.

The demolition drew many curious spectators, who took photos and shared memories of parties and weddings. One, Harold Rindlisbacher, a former St. Clair Beach deputy reeve, recalled the decades he and others spent trying to save the golf course from residential development. The town’s heritage committee successfully urged council to preserve the building or significant parts of it as reminders of its role as a coummunity meeting place going back to Prohibition days.

The town bought the clubhouse as part of its $8-million acquisition of land north of Riverside Drive in 2006.

© Copyright (c) The Windsor Star

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Only one dissenting voice? Sounds like Tecumseh council has taken a page from Windsor’s book…

Good luck to Councilor Rita Ossington. Sounds like she’s the only one out there trying to protect heritage.

However I’m sure in 40 years they can designate the corner of Manning Road and E.C. Row. It will be a great example of turn of the century stucco strip mall construction…

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