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.




33 comments:

  1. Fun walking about such monuments. . . .


    ALOHA from Honolulu
    ComfortSpiral
    =^..^= <3

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  2. Well it's a nice enough place for storage... :-)

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  3. I really like the carvings on the doorway.

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  4. The little potted tree in front, reminds me of an ice cream cone.

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  5. I have really enjoyed seeing all these places. This one is especially nice. I also like it when modern and old come together successfully!

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  6. Quite a view of contrasts: old and new.

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  7. Good to see such a beautiful old building has a new destiny.

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  8. @Cloudia: it certainly is.

    @Ciel: a very nice place.

    @Linda: so did I.

    @Whisk: oh yes. The street has decorations like that up and down the length of the street.

    @Bieb: it seems to be.

    @Halcyon: I get drawn into the contrast.

    @Linda: definitely!

    @Jan: it's put to good use.

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  9. wow, that's neat! i like their openness and lighting!

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  10. Another interesting site you take us to.

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  11. So this is your equivalent of our Library of Congress?

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  12. Doors Open is such a good idea!
    Thanks, William, for sharing these beautiful photos with us!

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  13. An interesting combination of old and new.

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  14. Having been a banker most of my life, I love to see how old bank buildings are put to new use. In my home town Quincy Illinois, there is one that has turned into an art gallery and shop and in Minneapolis I had lunch at one that had been turned into a restaurant.

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  15. Glad to hear they found a creative way to preserve the old architecture. It looks like a really interesting place.

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  16. @Tex: it does let in a lot of light.

    @Birdman: a pleasure to do so.

    @Norma: that would be a few blocks away at Library and Archives Canada.

    @Luis: thank you!

    @Karl: you're welcome.

    @Judy: it seems to fit the building.

    @Sharon: there's a project underway with another old bank close by- I hope to get in there sometime.

    @Stuart: it really is.

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  17. Except., I never saw a fireplace in any bank in the Midwest. Phoenix doesn't count. The Pacific Northwest probably doesn't either as its temperature is usually moderate.

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  18. It's always great when old buildings can be saved and used!

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  19. I am glad that they could incorporate the old with the new and when removed it will not destroy the old. Does that make sense?? We have an old bank in town that is now a dress shop and yet has somehow remained the same. MB

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  20. A great re-use of this space!

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  21. the front of the building is beautiful...ahhh yes, theme day...not sure what i'm using yet!

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  22. Open Door is a great initiative, this building seems like a dream library: functional and beautiful at the same time.

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  23. Guess everything is on a computer these days. Nice pictures, William.

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  24. How interesting! Great use of the building.

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  25. I like the idea of getting to see something you cannot normally get to. Looks like a secure place for the archives.

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  26. @Mari: in these climates, a fireplace is a good idea!

    @Cheryl: and this is a good use.

    @MB: that's an entirely different use for a bank.

    @RedPat: apparently the old vault is still in there- it's a break room now.

    @Tanya: think quickly!

    @VP: it's very much both.

    @Eve: thank you!

    @Beth: it'll be a busy week!

    @Marleen: I definitely like this use for the place.

    @EG: quite secure indeed.

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  27. They did a great job here! The working spaces look clean and functional and fit into the architecture surprisingly well. I love it when good thought goes into this sort of "marriage."

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  28. Can't think of a better place for keeping things safe than a bank. It still looks like a financial institution, though.

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  29. The modern interiors look absolutely great!

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  30. If it was only described to me without photos, I probably wouldn't like the sound of it. Seeing your photos and reading your description, I really like this place. Great post!

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