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Showing posts from April, 2017

Mansard Mansions

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Mansard Mansions
Mansard roofs on second empire and Italianate buildings were all the rage in the high to late Victorian period.Peterborough was thriving during this era, and the town was lush with gorgeous architecture.The north side of Brock Street from George to Aylmer Streets was almost a full stretch of these elegant buildings.While some of those mansions survive, none are in their original form, and the mansard roofs have long disappeared.In Peterborough today, there are maybe half dozen scattered mansard mansions remaining intact. One of Peterborough’s best preserved, the Richard and Robert Hall house, was built in 1877.The iron cresting over the front entrance originally also graced the roof line.The house survived as law offices for many decades, and now houses the John Howard Society.
The Judge G. M Rogers house, 1877, built for his fiancĂ©e, who tragically drowned.The house was instead rented out, and later used as a girls’ school.





William Lech’s duplex mansion, 1885.


John J. Ha…
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The Courthouse and Victoria Park
Law and order overlooks the town from atop the hill.The original building was erected from 1838 to 1842, with renovations to the facade made during the 1880s and again following damage caused by the adjacent Quaker Oats fire of 1916.
Victoria park covers three acres, and at one time had to be completely fenced off to prevent the town livestock from grazing.


I always thought the “Fishing Boy” fountain was from the Victorian era.It's a mid-century modern prefab installed in 1952.


When I was a child, the fountain was entirely black and the details were obscured.  The patina today is rather nice, and looks as though it is a quite recent faux finish.
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Cox Terrace

This Second Empire, seven unit terrace was built in 1884 by Peterborough business magnate George A. Cox, who also built the Morrow Building. A conservation triumph, Cox Terrace survived a plan by its owner in the in late 1980s to turn it into a parking lot.The building was saved by PACAC (Peterborough’s local heritage movement, founded in the mid 1970s), and City Council, which voted 10 to 1 in favour of heritage designation.
Allen McGrath purchased the building in 1989, and remodelled it into apartments, office, and retail space.
Cox Terrace may well be the finest example of a residential, multi unit, Second Empire style building in North America.
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The Morrow Building (1880), showing the 1882 addition on the left, and the Pig’s Ear building to the right.
The Morrow Building
This iconic Peterborough Second Empire commercial building stands, literally and figuratively, in the midst of an architectural conservation controversy.A real estate development company has received demolition permits for both the 1882 addition to the Morrow Building and the (1865) Pig’s Ear tavern around the corner.The developer wants to raze the two buildings and erect high end apartments.They do not want to compromise by including the historic structures in the new construction. The northern addition to the original building never had a mansard roof like the original. Both were designed by John E. Belcher, renowned Peterborough architect of the Victorian era.
The Pig’s Ear structure is two years older than Canada; it served as a pub since 1865.


Only the original Morrow Building is protected by a Heritage Designation, and it is not owned by the developer.Why …
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The Roy Studio “Attic”
Part III

For several years the space was the home to Gallery in the Attic, but the space now houses the artist studio of Daniel Crawford and others.
Spaces and their use are ever changing, but it's so awesome to see this space will not be altered but will continue to be loved for its funky old charm. This old photographer's light window can be seen on the exterior photo in my first post.



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The Roy Studio “Attic”

Part II
The entrance to the studio space opens onto an enchanting staircase of crafted woodwork.
























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The Roy Studio “Attic”

Part I
One of the coolest interior spots in Peterborough that still retains many original Victorian features.  The Roys operated in Peterborough for decades, and left behind a legacy of historic photographs,  (click for link)
The Balsillie Collection of Roy Studio Images

Entrance tile.  From the Victorian era through the mid 20th century, entranceway flooring often had signage.  This is a charming example of mosaic.

A steep and narrow stairway leads up to a foyer full of 19th century charm.  There is a tin ceiling and this thickly moulded doorway has a transom.  Transoms were a great way to disperse interior light through Victorian floorplans, which were split up into multiple rooms.