Welcome to the first Canadian Architecture blog brought to you by the Malcolmites! We hope this blog will encourage those interested in Canadian architecture to talk (or more specifically, type) about architecture in Canada.
The Malcolmites are a group of current and former students that received their Canadian architectural history education(s) from Dr. Malcolm Thurlby. The core members are Peter, Barry, Candace, and Jess.
My apologies for the delay in posts, however in an effort to avoid Toronto during the craziness of the G20, I have retreated to the cottage for the week. Yesterday the weather was awesome, so I decided to mutitask - I read Pugin's new bio while floating on an inflatable recliner on the lake, while also sipping wine and getting a tan - I sometimes even amaze myself at my ability to do so many things at once! Today - rain (boo), so I think I will write the history of Anglican architecture in Ontario and work on a co-authored article or two. Tomorrow I'll be off to Madoc for churches; so stay tuned for pics and posts!
Today marked the start of the Ontario Heritage Conference in Ridgetown, Ontario. En Route Malcolm and I decided to take in a couple of churches. First on the list was Highgate United Church. Amazingly we were able to get inside the church...and what a doozie! The sanctuary boasts a beautiful stained glass dome, arced seating and a huge pulpit platform. The real gem of the church is in the basement though - an immaculately preserved Akron Plan - complete with original folding doors!
In our opinion this is without a doubt the best preserved Akron Plan in Ontario (and perhaps in Canada)!
Next we stopped off at Morpeth United Church, 1877, which is a most unusual building with a very unexpected massing - quite a nice stop! Unfortunately we could not get inside this one, but we haven't given up yet - I am in the C-K area for the next 5 days and will keep trying - I bet it has an amazing open-timber ceiling in there...stay tuned for an update on that bet!
After taking in a few papers we felt a craving for a good church hop. Soon we were off to Dover where we came across St. Thomas Anglican Church, 1875, perhaps one of the cutest Anglican churches I've come across in Ontario! (Really I'm biased; I grew up down the street from the church...nostalgia, what a wonderful thing!)
Tomorrow I present and am scheduled to have approx. 50 people attend my session - hopefully all will go well and everyone will enjoy learning about Henry Langley and T.J. Rutley. Once the papers are over we'll be out searching for more C-K churches...check back in later for my Chatham-Kent posts...until then, enjoy the new building of the week!
Throughout the trip, we've been updating you on all of the nineteenth-century buildings that we've been visiting, but yesterday, we were lucky enough to visit three eighteenth-century buildings AND even more fortunately, we were able to get inside two of them! First was St Mary's Anglican, Auburn of 1790 which is what we might expect of a small eighteenth-century church; a James Gibbs-inspired preaching box complete with a Gibbsian spire and classical details.
Above: St Mary's Anglican, Auburn 1790
The interior is still in excellent shape and still retains its lovely gallery and lath and plaster barrel vault. More on this spectacular building next week in one of our building profiles. Thanks again to Roseann who kindly let us into the church and who gave us some wonderful background information.
Above: the interior of St Mary's Auburn, looking west
After this, we went to Middleton to check out Old Holy Trinity Church of 1789. We were intrigued by the authenticity of the Gothic details as its date would put it at one of the earliest (if not the earliest) examples of the Gothic style in Canada.
Above: Old Holy Trinity, Middleton 1789
Thanks to Brian, we were able to enter the church to check it out and to look for proof about the authenticity of the pointed windows on the facade. The interior has been well kept and we were able to determine that the Gothic windows were, in fact, original! Quite a find! The nave has been nicely restored as seen below. We will also feature this building in a more detailed building profile some time in the near future.
Above: the nave of Old Holy Trinity looking east
As icing on the cake, we were also able to see Old St Edwards Church in Clementsport of 1797. This classically-inspired church was a real beauty including a south-side pedimented entrance and Palladian eastern window, though sadly we couldn't get in.
Above: Old St Edwards Church, Clementsport 1797
It was a great day for very old buildings and also an excellent way to wrap up our visit to Nova Scotia. All in all we visited just over 50 buildings in seven days, so we will be filling you in on the rest of our finds in the next little while.