Sunday, May 10, 2015

Once A Church

This is something of a curiousity in Centretown. Logic says this must be the remnant of a church; the windows and structure suggest a side chapel off what was once a sanctuary. The structure runs most of the length of a city block, with row houses on the north and east sides. What would have been the basement is a parking garage for the homes, and there is a private playground on what would have been the sanctuary floor, now open to the elements. I imagine at some point the church that stood here may have been in a fire, much of it destroyed, and the developer who built what came after found this part of the structure to still be sound and worked with it in mind. The row houses appear to date back to the eighties, while other homes in the neighbourhood date back much further.


34 comments:

  1. What an interesting building.
    And good for the builder to keep some of the older structure.
    In some cities there is an " envelope" clause that means you can not build outside of the lines of the older structure. Or if you use as much as you can, your are given some tax relief.

    cheers, parsnip

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  2. Interesting indeed. Architectural sleuthing work needed to deduce what happened here.
    We have a lot of churches converted to residential use in Scotland - much smaller than this, and so they're usually single-family homes.

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  3. The question: And that what would be ...? It is very common when you see certain buildings.

    Tomás.

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  4. The best part was saved thankgoodness William, the arched windows :)

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  5. A strange story for a curious building...

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  6. I appreciate it very much when architects are able to combine the old with the new.

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  7. Made of brick... it WILL be back.

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  8. definitely an interesting thing.

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  9. So they made the best of a bad situation. This is still a very attractive site with the brick walls. Fancy!

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  10. Now that would be a great book title, "Once a Church."

    Janis
    GDP

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  11. It's nice to see this part saved, William.

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  12. @Parsnip: I think using it in this way has made for a very good use for the property.

    @Linda: I think I would have to go through fire insurance maps some decades.

    @Tomas: I've been so used to passing this area and being curious about it.

    @Grace: it's the one touch that really signals what it was, otherwise it could have once been a school.

    @VP: indeed.

    @Marianne: but well used.

    @Revrunner: in this case, it works well. The materials of the row houses blend well with the brick of the old church, and the neighbourhood in general.

    @Birdman: brick is very common here.

    @Tex: there's a place near here I should photograph sometime that's always drawn my eye- though the colour I would change! Mustard yellow does not work on a house.

    @Red: it is a pleasant sight to my eyes.

    @Janis: well, not the kind of writing I would do, but it seems fitting for this post!

    @RedPat: it certainly is. Not every developer is a buffoon.

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  13. I like the reflection in those windows too!

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  14. The sky and clouds are the perfect frame for this building!

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  15. Curious! Like many of us it appears to have had at least a couple of different careers.

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  16. How imaginative to keep what was left! Good for the developer! I like it!

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  17. Bet you can't throw a rock in Ottawa without hitting a church!

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  18. @Shelly: thanks!

    @Marleen: actually there's no glass- just fresh air going through what would have once been stained glass windows, but it makes for a lovely effect!

    @Linda: I certainly think so.

    @Tammie: thanks, me too.

    @Kay: this is much better than putting up a strip mall.

    @Cheryl: it was well thought out.

    @Norma: it sometimes seems that way!

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  19. Nice reflection in the windows.

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  20. I would agree. It was once a church. Strange.

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  21. I have to agree with you, it does look like a chapel at one time.

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  22. I can see it was once a church. Love those windows!

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  23. You think it is a church? I have seen buildings of that age that were things like powerhouses or waterworks. More sleuthing is needed . . . . . . !

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  24. Interesting. It would be fun to learn the story.

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  25. @Randy: thanks!

    @Gill: they didn't put up a Wal-Mart, which would be worse.

    @Mari: the architecture pretty much has to point to a church.

    @Sharon: I imagine it might have held a baptismal font.

    @Tamago: they're the real giveaway.

    @Jack: the windows are what seal the deal, in that configuration, and in a set of three, mimicking the Holy Trinity. I have seen similar structures in old mills, but there's no stream or river here.

    @Linda: I think I'll have to look through some old fire insurance maps. The location's very easy for me to look up. It could just take time.

    @EG: as would I!

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  26. This is fascinating! You sure get around!!!
    There are so many churches for sale! Sad, but predictable.

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  27. I think this is a great re-purpose of an old structure. The builder/designer of the project has great vision.

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  28. I would never have known, if you didn't tell me.

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