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Historic Properties

This tag is associated with 7 posts

Dorchester Square shows off its new look

The Eastern Edge of the Park

Dorchester Square in downtown Montreal has spent most of the past two years behind a fence getting a make over. The square was originally inaugurated in 1878 and has four statues and a kiosk that are arranged to form a five point cross. Originally the Catholic Sainte-Antoine Cemetery for victims of the 1851 Cholera Epidemic, the majority of the bodies were later exhumed and moved to the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery on the Northwestern side of Mont Royal.

The square was long one of the cities preeminent park spaces due to its location adjacent to a number of high profile projects that were built in the late 1800s, the construction of the Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral (started 1875 and consecrated in 1894) and the Windsor Hotel (completed in 1878) The construction of the Sun Life Building (completed 1931), Windsor Station (completed 1889), and the Dominion Square building; solidified its status. For many years it has been the centre of the central business district in downtown montreal. In later years the park suffered from a lack of maintenance and the city of Montreal undertook a major renovation to bring the square back to its former glory.

Since I work in the previously mentioned Sun Life Building I stepped out the other day to take some pictures. Of particular interest to note are the cross patterns randomly scattered through the paving stones. According to the city of Montreal spokesperson Philippe Sabourin, they were included as a reference to the park’s past as a cemetery and are only found in parts of the park that made up that parcel of land, which is why you wont find any up in the Northern end. The city has further renovation plans next year for the Northern parcel where the loading and unloading area known as Rue Dorchester Square and the kiosk sit.  Rue Dorchester Square is the main loading and unloading stage for the majority of the Tourist buses dropping off shoppers and tourists who visit nearby Rue Saint Catherine.


A Tour Through Steve Jobs Abandoned Mansion

Photographer Jonathan Haeber has a great blog over at: Bearings that chronicals abandonments and other historic forgotten properties.

One of the entries that he accessed is the Jackling house a historic mansion in Woodside, California, designed and built for copper mining magnate Daniel Cowan Jackling and his family by the noted California architect George Washington Smith in 1925. Johnathan was able to access the Jacking House which is currently owned by apple big boss Steve Jobs. He takes a  series of rare, photos of the slowly decaying mansion, which has now been abandoned for over a decade.  Jobs has been trying to get permission to knock the building down so that he can put up his own ihouse (or something like that) while local preservationists have been trying to preserve the structure.  The battle is ongoing. But for now take a look at some of the great photos!

To see more prictures of the structure take a look at Jonathan`s blog.

Summer Over Downtown Montreal

With spring upon us its nice to remember what Montreal is like in the summer some times. Place Ville Marie, the Sun Life Building, the Cathedrale Marie Reine Du Monde, the Queen Elizabeth hotel, Gare Centrale and the Canadian National Railways building make up the view.

Insula do vaso fálico / virtual roman insula

3d virtual reconstruction of the roman insula in the roman city of Conimbriga (Portugal). Más información: http://italicaromana.blogspot.com

Propping Up the Past

Retaining bars hold up the facade of a historic property in Halifax NS at 1576 Barrington St. in Halifax NS.

The Tote

by Serie Architects

The Tote is a series of renovated pavilions at the Mumbai Race Course that have been converted to a wine bar, restaurant, pre-function and banquet facilities. The goal of the project was to maintain the shell of the pavilions themselves but to give them a new interior. The Tote is a heritage structure and in its past hosted bookies and hopefulls trying their luck on the races.  The project sought to maintain the roof profile for three quarters of the pavilion structures and preserved the full roof for the other quarter. From the outside the Tote pavilion maintains its colonial facade, but when you pass through the doors it is like passing into an enchanted forest, its almost like you fell  into Narnia. Up in the ‘branches’ there are strategically placed skylights in abstract shapes that mimic the effect of sunlight breaking through foliage.

One of the most striking aspects of the site isn’t so much the buildings themselves but the Rain Trees that surround it. The Rain trees cover the open spaces around the pavilions and providing shade and extensive outdoor space that can be utilized for events and programming. These mature Rain Trees influenced the design of the steel support trusses which echo their shape. This, combined with the expansive glass creates a transparency between the indoor and outdoor spaces and and meets the firm’s goal of a ‘continuously differentiated space’ with no clear boundary into the conservation building. The branches af the support trusses are also differentiated depending on their location within the pavilions.

“Therefore each dining program (wine bar, restaurant, pre-function, and banquet facilities) is captured within a different spatial volume, defined by the variable degree of the branching structure, the structure branches into finer structural members as it approaches the ceiling.  When the branches touch the ceiling, the ceiling plan is punctured with a series of opening corresponding to the intersection of the branches with the purlins and rafters. These openings become light coves and slits. “

Juxtiposing the lightness downstairs the 40ft long bar upstairs has dark chocolate wood pannels that give the impression of looking at a folded orgami figure or kaleidoscope.  The original cubbyhole betting windows, were left.

Seen In The City: Edifice Du Parc


Historic building on Avenue du Parc in Montreal QC.