Friday, April 4, 2014

Old Buildings And New Uses

St. Paul's University is the third university in the city, and unlike Carleton and the University of Ottawa, it's relatively small. Alongside it on the property is a long driveway framed by trees, heading towards a stone building in the distance. This is the Deschatelets Building, originally founded as a Catholic seminary in the 19th Century.


As I understand it, it's presently used as an archive for a Catholic order.


A fifteen or twenty minute walk away is a building I've shown you at more of a distance. This was once a cloistered convent. It is now the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, overlooking the Rideau Canal. You can see it in the header image above.


The building dates back to 1921, and the college bought it in the early nineties. The college is an administrative centre, overseeing evaluations and certifications for doctors moving into specialties across the country. The college has taken great effort to preserve the architectural features of the building, even with modifications inside.


With luck, the place will be included again in this year's Doors Open event in June. I'll have to drop in.






29 comments:

  1. I like to see old building repurposed. So much better than letting them deteriorate.

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  2. You are showing us lovely old buildings. I like the windows in front.

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  3. Very functional looking first building. Love the windows in the second. Will have to wait for the Doors Open event. MB

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  4. Great campus. They must have wonderful views of the canal in there!

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  5. Wonderful old buildings, it would be nice to have a look inside.

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  6. Linda: I agree.

    Denise: thanks!

    MB: it's a big weekend here.

    Halcyon: definitely.

    Jan: I will get in there for that weekend. The college has done this for the last two or three Doors Open.

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  7. I hope you do attend the Doors Open event so we can see the inside.

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  8. that is your june assignment haha!

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  9. There are more of these types of building in the northeastern part of our country. I rather miss them. Here it's newer, more modern structures and they're not built to last. When a school gets to be 20-30 years old, we tear it down and build a new one! :)

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  10. They do look very 'institutional'...I wonder if inside has more character.
    Jane x

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  11. neat BIG buildings! glad they're still utilized well!

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  12. @EG: if it's part of the whole thing again, I'm definitely going in. If not, I'll still be doing Doors Open. It's a terrific way to spend a weekend.

    @Tanya: I'll have to look at the provincial website. The first of those weekends starts later this month, and it runs in various cities and towns through October.

    @Lowell: I prefer made to last. Many modern buildings seem to be of the "we'll just tear it down in fifty years" variety.

    @Jane and Chris: the college particularly has a good deal of character inside.

    @Luis: I think so!

    @Tex: they're quite big, for their purposes.

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  13. It is a huge building, but not without elegance. It seems in a quite good shape and I hope it is preserved as it is and used for whatever may be useful.

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  14. I had never heard of St Paul's before!

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  15. Beautiful old buildings, and with still so much snow...!

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  16. It looks slightly forbidding to me. Des châtelets: little castles. Maybe castlelets?

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  17. The architecture of this building is similar to many up north, but red brick or stone would be more common. It has a certain simple dignity, doesn't it?

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  18. It's a really nice building!

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  19. @VP: it strikes me that by European standards, both these buildings are brand new.

    @RedPat: I'd been here a couple of years before I knew about it!

    @Karl: well, the snow's going down now.

    @Ciel: actually, it's named after a priest by that name!

    @Jack: it does, yes.

    @Linda: both are!

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  20. I'll bet that approach is gorgeous when the trees have leaves. The second one is quite a lovely building - and you're right: it's new by European standards! "Doors Open" sounds like a great idea: open house at significant buildings? Hope you can explore these.

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  21. The old buildings have character!

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  22. Building re-use has proven to be not only environmentally friendly, but economical. I like seeing this.

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  23. The former convent has some truly beautiful windows.

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  24. It is good to see stately older buildings like these put to new uses while preserving their architectural integrity.

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