Wednesday, 25 March 2015

La Maison Gabrielle-Roy House at 375 Rue Deschambault

Written by Laura McKay, on behalf of Heritage Winnipeg Corp.
To follow up on this or any other article on the blog, contact Heritage Winnipeg's Executive Director.

Photo from a brochure for the historic home.
  "This historical museum allows one to enter Gabrielle Roy's childhood home and get a glimpse at life at the beginning of the twentieth century. Exhibitions pertinent to the famed author's life and works allow visitors to learn more about one of Canada's greatest literary voice. We invite you to visit the home of the writer who has made Western Canada known to millions of readers worldwide." 
~ text from brochure

Brief Timeline

March 22, 1909 - Gabrielle Roy is born in St. Boniface, Manitoba, the youngest of Leon and Melina Roy's eleven children. 

1910 photo of the Roy home - the child on the front veranda is likely one of Gabrielle's sisters, as she would've been much younger at the time. Photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report
1913 - Six months before he was to retire and receive his pension, Leon Roy is laid off from his job resettling immigrants in Western Canada. The family decides to take in boarders as a source of income and continues to have financial difficulties for much of Gabrielle's childhood.

1915-1928 - Gabrielle is a student at St. Joseph's Academy in St. Boniface before attending the Winnipeg Normal School.

1929 - Gabrielle's father, Leon Roy, passes away the same year she finishes her education and begins teaching near the home of an uncle, with whom she was able to board.

1911 photo of the Roy family, the year Gabrielle was born. Photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.

1930-37 - Gabrielle is a first grade teacher at the Provencher School in St. Boniface, as well as being very active with Le Cercle Molière, a French theatre group with historic roots. 

1937 - She decides to go to England to pursue her interest in acting and theatre. She quickly tires of the theatre but travels France, occasionally writing for a well-known Parisian weekly.

1939 - With the impending war, Gabrielle returns to Canada and decides to take up writing. 

1943 - Melina Roy passes away, two years before the publication of Gabrielle's first novel.

1945 - Gabrielle's first novel, Bonheur d'occasion (The Tin Flute), is published and Gabrielle marries Dr. Marcel Carbotte after only three months of courtship. They move back to Europe so Marcel can finish his medical studies. 

Undated photo of the author, courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.

1947 - Gabrielle Roy is the first woman to become a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

1967 - Gabrielle Roy is awarded the Companion of the Order of Canada.

1978 - Roy wins her third and final Governor General's award for her book Ces enfants de ma vie (Children of My Heart).

June 7, 1982 - La Maison Gabrielle-Roy receives historical designation from the City of Winnipeg. 

Another postcard featuring a later photo of the author.

July 13, 1983 - Gabrielle Roy dies of heart failure at the Hôtel-Dieu Hospital in Quebec.

1984 - Her autobiography, La Détresse et l'Enchantement, is published. 


1982 Article proposing the adaptation of Gabrielle's childhood home.


2001 News article about the future of La Maison Gabrielle-Roy - click to view as PDF!

2003 - Heritage Winnipeg awards an Annual Preservation Award to La Maison Gabrielle-Roy for their work in conserving the home.

2005 - Gabrielle Roy is inducted into the Winnipeg Citizens Hall of Fame.

For a complete bibliography of Gabrielly Roy's work, much of which was republished multiple times, click here to go to the website of La Maison Gabrielle-Roy (don't worry - there's an English version as well as French!).

From Adréanne Caux, Directrice of La Maison Gabrielle-Roy, Inc.

 
Image from brochure for the historic home.

The preservation of the original home where Gabrielle Roy spent her childhood and youth is not Maison Gabrielle-Roy's only project. A number of activities are held throughout the year at the Maison that do double-duty: making the life and work of Gabrielle Roy known (exhibitions, conferences, movie screenings, etc.) as well as promoting French writing in Manitoba (writing workshops, contests, etc.).

Winter photo of the home, courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
Over the past few years, Maison Gabrielle-Roy has also hosted a writer-in-residence. The current incumbent, Bertrand Nayet, leads a group of haiku poets (the Kukaï Rouge) and a workshop on how to write a tale. In April 2015, he will be co-hosting a series of four workshops on self-publishing. He is also active in the selection and delivery of the programming.

Postcard with an earlier photo of the author.
Maison Gabrielle-Roy plays an important role in ensuring the vitality of the Francophone identity within Manitoba's cultural landscape. In order to accomplish its ambitious mission, it relies on the commitment of a handful of volunteers, some of whom have been on hand since the museum opened in 2003! The renewal and reinforcement of the team of volunteers is presently one of our biggest challenges.

Sources & Links

Canadian Encyclopedia Article on Gabrielle Roy
City of Winnipeg Historical Report - Long
City of Winnipeg Historical Report - Short
La Maison Gabrielle-Roy Website
Manitoba Historical Society Article on Gabrielle Roy
Manitoba Historical Society Article on La Maison Gabrielle Roy

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Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The Marymound School Complex at 442 Scotia Street - New to Doors Open This Year!

Article by Laura McKay, on behalf of Heritage Winnipeg Corp.
To follow up on this or any other article on the blog, contact Heritage Winnipeg's Executive Director.

A view of the complex looking northwest from the riverbank. Photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.

Character Defining Elements:

Exterior:
1) large rectangular west-facing Italianate style building with buff brick superstructure;
2) west façade with a projecting central tower featuring a recessed-arch entrance;

South facade of the St. Agnes (Priory) School ca. 2011. Photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
3) south façade with raised, projecting brick entrance flanked by stairs to the east and west, and accented with smooth-cut stone columns, brick drip mould, stone coping on the gable roof, with a stone cross at the peak; other façade detailing including a stone statue set within a niche;
4) window openings throughout including square-headed main floor windows, paired and arched second floor windows under a decorative brick arch, flanking an engaged stone column with stone sills, simple arched windows on the third floor; and
5) details throughout including patterned brickwork at the cornice, brick buttresses with stone heads and bases, stone belt courses, etc. 

Photo of the detailed mosaic on the chimney of Leacock House, ca. 2011. Photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
Interior:
1) entire front stairwell and wood finishes; and
2) ornamental finishes and stained glass of the second storey chapel area


History:

1878 or 1882 - Leacock House, a 2 1/2 storey brick building, is constructed along the bank of the Red River for politician and con artist E.P. Leacock, uncle of famous Canadian writer, Stephen Leacock. It is now one of the oldest Queen Anne Revival homes in the city - another example, and the oldest designated Queen Anne Revival dwelling, is Kelly House at 88 Adelaide Street. 


Caricature of E.P. Leacock, courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
January 22, 1909 - The province of Manitoba passes legislation to create Winnipeg's first juvenile court. The Attorney General appoints Winnipeg police magistrate Thomas Mayne Daly, who had been championing the court's creation since the early 1900s, as the first judge.

The court was first held in a home on 226 Simcoe Street that was owned by the Salvation Army but moved within a year to a new site in Wolseley at 189 Evanson Street. The new building contained a court room, schoolroom, and living accommodations for 22 children and staff.

Photo of Thomas Mayne Daly ca. 1902, courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
April 1911 - At the request of Daly, five Sisters of Our Lady Charity of the Good Shepherd (Soeurs du Bon Pasteur), a Montreal-based religious order come to Winnipeg to care for young girls who had gone through the City's new juvenile court system. They move into a house at 373 William Avenue but rapidly outgrow the space.

Leacock House - south and east facade ca. 2011, courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
September 29, 1911 The new home for the Sisters and their charges at the old Leacock estate (442 Scotia Street) is blessed by Father Cherrier. The Leacock mansion is a prominent feature of the grounds, now known as Leacock House and pictured above. The new grounds are deliberately distant and isolated from the rest of the city, which is seen as the source of the misdemeanour of the girls under the Sisters' care. 

Sisters farming the school grounds, ca. 1920s. Photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
Donations of food and livestock allowed the Good Shepherd Home to continue in the early years, when money was frequently in short supply. Among their early benefactors are the Parish of St. Boniface, St. Mary's Cathedral, the Knights of Columbus, and hundreds of individuals across Canada. The Fort Garry Hotel was among them, donating bread every day.

1912 photo of some of the first girls sent to the Sisters. Photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
1912 - The Province of Manitoba donates $10 000 to the institution, with the City of Winnipeg adding $1000 to the contribution. Detailed records are kept by the Sisters, and their wards came from all over the province for a variety of crimes, with sentences anywhere from a few months to a few years. Some of the crimes listed include vagrancy, theft, fraud, prostitution, and even for being 'incorrigible'.

1916 - A temporary frame building is constructed at the north end of the building to allow for more space.

Undated photo of a sewing class. Photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
1920s - An increasing number of girls, especially younger children (referred to as the "Priory Lambs"), are sent to the Sisters as Winnipeg orphanages close and try to alleviate overcrowding.

Some of the aforementioned "Priory Lambs". Undated photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
1924-5 - Designed by local architect George W. Northwood, St. Agnes Priory is built to accommodate the influx of residents, along with a separate powerhouse and industrial laundry. The new building is three storeys tall and features elements of the Italianate Style popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

1924 photo of the construction of St. Agnes Priory, courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
1940s - With the rise in the use of foster homes, the Priory is converted into a treatment centre for emotionally disturbed girls and renamed St. Agnes School.

1948 -  447 Scotia Street is purchased as a halfway house for girls from St. Agnes.

Marymound School, east facade ca. 2011. Photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
1956-8 - The Marymound school is added to the complex, a one-storey example of the International style of architecture, and is a sign of the separation of the educational and social elements of the institution.  The Leacock House became the residence of the Sisters, and was still such when the City's report was completed in 2011.

The "White House" ca. 2011, photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.

1960s - Originally a private residence built in 1907, the White House is purchased and added to the Marymound complex by the Sisters to be used as a group home for older girls.

The "White House" ca. 2011, photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
1972 - The "temporary" building from 1916 is demolished.

1974-5 - The ground floor - which originally contained a one-bedroom suite, four classrooms, and a parlour - is renovated into meeting rooms and offices to meet the changing needs of the institution.

St. Agnes (Priory) School ca. 2011, photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
1975 - The institution is incorporated as Marymound, Inc.

1981 - The first boys arrive at the group home and three support families open their doors in The Pas.

Labeled photo of the complex - courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.


2008 - The Sisters hand over sponsorship of the institution to the Catholic Health Corporation of Manitoba.

July 9, 2012 - The City of Winnipeg gives municipal heritage designation to the buildings at 442 Scotia Street.

Screenshot of the current Marymound website.

For more detailed information on the recent happenings at Marymound, they have their own timeline here.

Sources/Links:

City of Winnipeg Historical Report - Long
City of Winnipeg Historical Report - Short
Marymound on Facebook
Marymound Website
Marymound Historical Timeline 
MHS - E.P. Leacock
Manitoba Historical Society - Leacock House
Manitoba Historical Society - St. Agnes Priory
Quebec Chapter of the Sisters of the Our Lady Charity of the Good Shepherd

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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

The Allman Block at 594 Main Street

Article by Laura McKay, on behalf of Heritage Winnipeg Corp.
To follow up on this or any other articles on the blog, contact Heritage Winnipeg's Executive Director.

The Allman Block - photo circa 2007, courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report
Date Listed as a Municipally-Designated Heritage Building:
November 27, 2014

Character Defining Elements:

Exterior:
1) the east-facing building located mid-block on Main Street and part of an historic streetscape; and
2) ornate roof with metal pediment, carved keystone and signage reading "Allman Block"

Interior:
1) ornamental tin ceiling on the ground and second floors;
2) entrance foyer in the southeast corner;
3) main staircase including wood and tin accenting;
4) original wood accenting in the hallways and offices on the second and third floors;
5) period doors with original hardware and glass; and
6) Skylight on the third floor


For more information about character-defining elements and other changes to Winnipeg's heritage by-laws, click here.

History:

Daniel F. Allman moved to Winnipeg in 1899 and set up a clothing store at 580 Main Street, in the building known as the Cheapside Block. He mainly carried "Gents' Furnishings, Men's, Youth's, and Children's Clothing, Hats, Caps, and Furs" and his store included the special feature of dust-proof wardrobes to keep the articles of clothing clean.

Second floor staircase ca 2007. Photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
 In 1904, clothing retailer Daniel F. Allman decided to build himself a new store on Main Street, expanding his business and investing in rental space in the floors above. His store was on the main floor of the building, with the top two storeys as office and residential space to meet the increasing demand for such space downtown.

Interior shot of the first floor ca. 2007 - note the tin ceilings from the CDEs listed above. Photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg historical report.
Original tenants of the upper floors included the Shamrock Pool Rooms, Bently Portrait Company, and the offices of solicitor Max Steinkopf and real estate agent S.C. Wilson, the latter of whom also lived in the building. Another early tenant was the Swedish Canadian Colonization Company. The upper floors had a separate entrance and were thus given the address 592 Main, to differentiate from the business in the front.

Allman continued to own and live in the building until his retirement in 1924. It was then purchased by the Royal Trust Company but sold again in 1930 to merchant A.F. Higgins before being repurchased by the Royal Trust in 1939. From 1949 on, the building was owned by a variety of tenants including everyone from doctors and dentists to unions and jewellery stores. After 1950, the top two floors became almost exclusively residential until 1980, after which no residential tenants are listed.

Winnipeg Architect John H.G. Russell ca. 1902. Photo courtesy of the Manitoba Historical Society website.
The building was designed by popular Winnipeg architect John Hamilton Gordon Russell, who was also responsible for a great number of Winnipeg buildings including the Hammond Building (which currently houses the office for Heritage Winnipeg, among others), the Wesley Hall Annex, and McArthur House (current home of Macdonald Youth Services).

Caricature of the influential architect from 1908/1909. Image courtesy of the MHS website.

This is only a small sample of his buildings, which were built not only all over Winnipeg but Manitoba. Find a complete list of his buildings on the MHS Memorable Manitobans site here. He was widely influential, serving as the First Vice-President (1906) and President (1910) of the Manitoba Association of Architects and was a member or served with numerous other boards and community organizations. He died in 1946 and is buried in the Elmwood Cemetery.

North facade ca 2007 - note the difference from the front facade pictured above. Photo courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
The Allman block represents a good example of a two-part retail building, a style dating back as far as Roman times, but more recently becoming quite popular in North America from the 1850s to 1950s. Essentially two structures under one roof, these buildings often have very different facades, reflecting their different purposes.

 

Sources & Links:

City of Winnipeg Historical Report - Long
City of Winnipeg Historical Report - Short
Memorable Manitobans: John H.G. Russell  

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Wednesday, 4 March 2015

A Widower's Tribute: The Waddell Fountain in Central Park

Article by Laura McKay, on behalf of Heritage Winnipeg Corp.
To follow up on this or any other articles on the blog, contact Heritage Winnipeg's Executive Director.


Drawing of the Waddell Fountain

The Story

The Waddell Fountain in Winnipeg's Central park is named after Emily Margaret Waddell. Emily and her husband Thomas, a local temperance leader, moved to Winnipeg in the early 1880s.

The couple was childless, and lived on Sargent Avenue near Central Park prior to her death. On January 23, 1909, Emily passed away in Rochester, Minnesota, after a serious operation.

A "before" photo from the 2010 restoration.
In 1911, Thomas and the City of Winnipeg were informed of Emily's 1904, which stated that if he planned to remarry, he must donate $10,000 to the City for the construction of a fountain in Central Park in her memory.

Thomas already had plans to remarry, but did not have the funds for the fountain. Finally, in 1914, he succeeded in saving up the money, and the fountain was built.

The Fountain

Built in 1914, at a cost of $9,722.19, the Waddell Fountain was designed by Winnipeg Architect John Manuel, who was later also responsible for the University of Manitoba Science Laboratory (1919-1920) and a two storey expansion of the Science Building at the Fort Garry Campus (1923).

Architect's drawing of the Waddell Fountain, circa 1914, courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
The Fountain was modelled after the Scott Monument in Edinburgh, Scotland, which was built in 1844 as a tribute to Sir Walter Scott, a writer known for popularizing Gothic styles of architecture and literature. As such, the monument reflects the trend towards excessive ornamentation of the Gothic era.

The Fountain is a rare example of High Victorian Gothic Revival Architecture and was considered very elaborately ornamented by the standards of 1914 Winnipeg.

Note the missing piece from the top - photo circa 1988, courtesy of the City of Winnipeg Historical Report.
The structure consists of white stone on a granite base, with a concrete basement to house the water pump - the four water spouts are housed within lions' heads, one on each side of the fountain. The William Penn Stone Company of Minneapolis did the stonework, with all of the stone cutting and dressing done within the city of Winnipeg.

Close-up of one of the lion's heads, after the 2010 restoration.
Vandalism damaged parts of the original structure over the years, including the removal of the delicate star finial from the top.

Recent Developments

Councillor Harvey Smith accepting on behalf of the City of Winnipeg.
In 2010, the Waddell Fountain was restored by the City of Winnipeg, and received a preservation award from Heritage Winnipeg as a result of their efforts, along with Cohlmeyer Architecture Ltd. and Alpha Masonry.Below are some of the photos from the restoration process:





The fountain was dismantled from its location and moved to the stone mason’s shop where the pieces were worked on.  Indiana limestone was used with colours matching the original limestone.  New pieces were carved to replace the missing and damaged pieces in order to restore the detailed design.



 

A coating on the lower basin was applied in the 1980s and it was determined that it required removal.  In order to preserve the basin a minimal amount of coating will be applied to the areas that come into contact with water.





No chemicals or mechanical interventions took place in order to complete the restoration.  All processes were done by hand and where possible pieces were re-used.





  
The cabling and piping for the lighting and the water have been re-built. The stonework and foundation have also been completed. The bronze finial has been redrawn using photos and once it is fabricated it will be installed.









The finished product!



Sources & Links

City of Winnipeg Historical Report - Long 
City of Winnipeg Historical Report - Short
Provincial Heritage Designation Listing of Waddell Fountain
Heritage Winnipeg Presents a Preservation Award for Work on Waddell Fountain
Historicplaces.ca on the Waddell Fountain
Manitoba Historical Society Website
Postcard Including the Waddell Fountain from the University of Alberta Libraries
Scott Monument Virtual Tour
Waddell Fountain used as a stage for Shakespeare in the Ruins production

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