Associate Professor of Architecture Jeff Balmer is leading an effort to save the McLaughlin Planetarium in Toronto, Canada, from destruction. The planetarium opened in 1968 and closed in 1995. Since 2009 the Mid-century Modernist building has belonged to the University of Toronto, which has announced plans to demolish it and build a Centre for Civilizations and Cultures.
Balmer, who is from Toronto, began the effort to preserve the building in September 2014 with a petition that now has nearly 6,000 signatures. His work has garnered widespread media attention, with multiple television, radio, and press interviews.
Balmer has had success with a previous restoration campaign. In 2013, he began a quest to save an historic sign from a record store that had been demolished. The Sam the Record Man sign is slated to be hung soon on top of a City of Toronto-owned building in Toronto’s Dundas Square.
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