Monday, June 30, 2014

Within The Archives Of The Library Of Parliament

You might remember back during my tour of the Centre Block on Parliament Hill that I took you into the Library of Parliament. The posts can be found here and here. Below we have another building on the Doors Open list, a former bank that is now used as one of the satellite archives for the Library, located on Sparks Street a block south of the Hill. The building was designed in a Beaux-Arts style in the early twentieth century, and the government took it on after the bank had moved into more modern quarters across the street.

Access to the public is restricted only to Doors Open weekends. Stepping into this antechamber just inside, the place still feels like the old bank. 

In what was once the main area of the bank, there's an interesting contrast between the old space and what's in there now. Modern desks, work stations, and platforms to access the storage of archived materials are a contrast to the architecture. And yet the modern infrastructure has been built in such a way that it doesn't actually impact on the facade of the original structure. If the government ever decides to move the archives placed here into another location, everything can be removed without a mark on the floors and walls.

I will be returning to Doors Open soon to finish up a few remaining posts, but with tomorrow being the CDP Theme Day, I'll be doing that plus a few other things for some days.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Home Congregation Of A Prime Minister

First Baptist Church is downtown in Ottawa, set diagonally across from Confederation Park, and across from the Lord Elgin Hotel. It's a Gothic Revival church that has been designated a civic historic building.

The building dates back to 1877; the cornerstone was laid by Alexander MacKenzie, who was the Prime Minister at the time and frequently worshiped here. At the time the church was named after the street it's on, before being renamed Laurier Avenue.

As is the case with so many churches here, plaques are inside, bearing the names of congregation members who served or died in military service. This one is the plaque naming those who died and those who served in World War Two.

The sanctuary is light inside, and the ceiling is wood, a nice contrast. It replaces the original ceiling, which was plaster.

The organ can be found on the balcony at the back, with a stained glass window bearing symbols of the Ottawa Valley, like a lumberjack and riverman. I should have gone up and had a closer look.

The wood theme extends to the front of the church and the altar.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Two Sanctuaries Within Knox Presbyterian

Knox Presbyterian Church was featured this year in Doors Open. I have shown you the exterior before here and here. 

The current church is the third for the congregation at this site. It was finished in 1932, combining Gothic and Norman styles in the architecture.

Most of the church is unadorned, but stained glass windows can be found here.

Plaques commemorating members who fought and died in military service can be found here.

I rather liked the pulpit.

The balcony gives you another perspective on the sanctuary.

What surprised me up here was finding this sitting area just off the balcony. Something a bit different for a church, but it gives the same sense of sanctuary as the main sanctuary- a place of peace and quiet.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Armenia Immortal On The Rideau Canal

The Armenian embassy can be found close to the Rideau Canal. These first three shots were from May, when I was in the area taking pictures of tulips.

The sculpture out front bears this plaque beside it.

The sculpture itself has real character.

On my way in for Doors Open, this flowerbed on the terrace caught my eye.

The interior of the house was beautiful, warm, and inviting. It was first built in 1907, and renovations were later overseen by the architect W.E. Noffke.

Stepping back outside, this view of the Rideau Canal can be seen beyond the sculpture.

A reminder to City Daily Photo bloggers: the theme for the first of July is Celebrating Summer.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Home Of The Timber Baron

Booth House is a few blocks down from Parliament Hill in downtown Ottawa. It is designed in the Queen Anne Revival Style, and serves today as residence and classes for the Laurentian Leadership Centre, a satellite campus of Trinity Western University. The students spend a year here, taking some classes on site while doing internships with political offices or non-governmental agencies.

The house dates back to 1906, first owned by the tycoon J.R. Booth, who made his fortune in lumber and railways, and had a formidable financial empire of his own. Booth had the place built according to his own specifications, with the wood inside including each type his timber operations cut. He lived an exceedingly long life, from 1827-1925, leaving behind a huge legacy. That includes Algonquin Park, where he had timber rights. Visitors to the Park today can find traces of his own railroad, now a pathway for hikers. They can find his name on Booth Lake and on a glorious hiking trail named in homage for him.

Much of the interior details in the house today are as Booth would have seen them. The main floor has a series of rooms with an old fashioned sensibility to them. Classrooms are up on the second floor, while the residence is on the third floor, where the servants quarters used to be.

This stained glass window caught my eye.

As did this detail of woodcarving.

For a time the private Laurentian Club owned the house. The university came in later with their program.

A portait of the great man still hangs here in the house. Perhaps along with a ghost or two? 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Christening Of A Princess

I start today with a view of the main entrance at St. Andrew's; this also features the flag of Canada and St. Andrew's cross.

This takes in the length of the sanctuary, culminating in the organ on the balcony. It's light inside, and there were people going in and about, with members of the congregation on hand to answer questions. One woman was of particular help with a wealth of information.

I mentioned yesterday that Queen Juliana worshiped here when she lived in the city as an exiled princess during the War. She gave birth to her third daughter Margriet, and the baby was baptized in the church. The service was recorded and aired to the Netherlands, still under German occupation at the time. Much of the service, therefore, was in Dutch. It was hoped that the baby might make a sound, but the infant was quiet throughout the service.

This photograph was taken by the portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh, during the service. Queen Wilhelmina can be seen at the center, with the Prime Minister of the time, William Lyon Mackenzie King behind her. The princesses Irene and Beatrix are between Wilhelmina and their mother Juliana, holding the baby Beatrix, with her husband Prince Bernhard to her left. 

Karsh also took this photograph outside on the front steps, and it was given to the church. It's much less formal than his usual photographs, and features the major players of the occasion all looking in other directions but at the camera. Queen Wilhelmina can be seen looking back as if trying to get things organized- this was a Queen, after all, used to giving orders- while the baby seems contentedly asleep. Margriet has returned to Canada on numerous occasions in the decades since, as have other members of the Dutch Royal Family. St. Andrew's always welcomes them back.

This wooden lectern was given to the congregation by Juliana at the war's end in thanks for their hospitality. It features the four Apostles below, and the coat of arms of the Dutch Royal Family along its side.

I leave you with a closeup of the coat of arms.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

At The Crossroads Of History

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church is one of our more prominent churches in the city, directly across the street from the Supreme Court and Parliament Hill's west flank. Prime Ministers, cabinet ministers, members of Parliament, and other high profile citizens have attended here. Crown Princess Juliana and her daughters worshiped here during their time in Ottawa during the Second World War. 

It is routinely part of Doors Open, and often has open hours during the week for those passing by. It's filled with stained glass, including this one, a recent window that incorporates birds.

One of the windows inside incorporates the Galahad theme often used in memorial windows, a knight in armour.

This theme of commemoration certainly reflects itself in this plaque commemorating the Second World War, both members who served in various branches of the military, as well as those who died.

The dead of the First World War are also commemorated on a plaque, as well as in this stained glass window flanked by the flags of St. Andrew and of Canada.

The congregation dates back to 1828, and the current church, a Gothic Revival building, was erected in the 1870s.

It is arranged in an unconventional style, a semi-circle around the pulpit area, halfway down the length of the sanctuary, and feels light and airy inside.

I have more from inside St. Andrew's tomorrow.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Stained Glass Masterpieces

I'm back in Christ Church Cathedral today, which had a wide variety of stained glass windows.

It seems rare to me to see this shade of red outside these kind of windows.

The front of the church has a massive stained glass window added in 1982 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the congregation. This view was from the balcony, taking in most of it. Any further back and I would have gone over the side, and, well, that would have just been messy.

I wanted some closeup details of the window, which not only incorporates Biblical figures and symbols of the faith, but also Canadian figures of history, symbols of the country, and elements of nature. There's a rich contrast between the figures in the foreground below and some just behind them, who have more of a 19th century bearing about them.

The Canadian elements of the window really manifest themselves here, with our first Prime Minister, Sir John  A. Macdonald, at the heart of the flags of our founding peoples and below Parliament Hill. Canadian symbols and animals can be made out close by.

Again, a mixture of Canadiana and of the faith itself goes into this window. This stained glass is a marvelous design, rich with detail. And as I've been here before, there's always something new to be found in it.

Yet more to come from Doors Open.