Another stop for Doors Open was Mercury Court in the Byward Market. The building was a department store back in the 1920s, and converted into new uses from 1989-1993. Retail and restaurants occupy the ground floor, while offices are on the upper floors. A statue of the Roman god Mercury (adapted from the Greek Hermes) stands up above it all. The Swedish embassy is inside, hence the flags and crest, but the place that was open for the occasion was an architecture firm, Barry Padolsky & Associates.
The firm is prestigious here in the city, well respected and well known, specializing in heritage preservation work. They've been in the news as of late; theirs has been one of the leading voices in opposition to a bone headed and garish monument the Tory government seems hellbent on erecting near the Supreme Court. Obviously I am in complete agreement with them.
I spoke extensively with one of the partners in the firm. She's been working as of late on a project not that far away from Mercury Court. The Rideau Centre's expansion meant the old Ogilvie Building was torn down, but part of that allowed for elements of the old facade to be incorporated into the new building. The brickwork and other details are presently being placed into the structure. Some of these pieces were on display here in the office space.
This is a scale model of Mercury Court, which the firm worked on in restoring and adapting before moving in. The partner I spoke with talked about some of her previous work, which included the major work done on the Museum of Nature, as well as the complete restoration of a Victorian home gutted by fire east of the downtown core. This sort of work requires contacts with stonemasons and heritage carpenters who specialize in salvaging and saving heritage buildings. It's a very different take on architecture to me, and a welcome one.
One last view of the Court before going on to other things; it was an enlightening visit.
And there's Mercury himself!ReplyDelete
The statue seems happy to be there.ReplyDelete
Pretty neat stuff.ReplyDelete
That is all very fascinating. And the Swedish embassy, too? And Mexican beer! Verrrrrrry interrrresting!ReplyDelete
And thanks for your comment on CC: Perfect upside the head to the Conf. flag goofballs.
I like the look of this building, It has an old but new feel.ReplyDelete
I like #1 and of course the rest is interesting.ReplyDelete
I find it an attractive building and tower.ReplyDelete
That building is quite attractive. They did a good job of restoring it to new use.ReplyDelete
Very interesting and well-preserved.ReplyDelete
Gosh there's a lot going on in Mercury Court William, good to see a lovely old building being well used in modern times.ReplyDelete
@Linda: he's looking quite in place.ReplyDelete
@Tomas: he stands out nicely against that blue sky.
@Lowell: I expect the embassy occupies that third floor area behind the flags- I didn't look at the directory.
@EG: it certainly does.
@Birdman: it's a terrific conversion of the building.
@Sharon: they really did. I was very impressed with the work the firm does.
@Linda: quite so!
@Grace: it certainly is.
Good for for publicizing an architecture firm that specializing maintaining heritage buildings. They need the publicity.ReplyDelete
I can visualize what it looked like when it was a department store. Nice old building. I am happy to hear that there is a firm of architects that appreciate the past.ReplyDelete
love the hermes topper!ReplyDelete
Really interesting 'change of use' for this building.ReplyDelete
Not only is the building really beautiful, in part thanks to Mercury but that must have been an absolutely fascinating talk.ReplyDelete
Nice looking building!ReplyDelete
Very nice building. I'm glad they are restoring it.ReplyDelete
@Carolann: thank you! I wanted a couple of versions of the building, both horizontal and vertical.ReplyDelete
@Red: they've done a lot of good work around the city. Unlike developers who seem to build monstrosities, this firm I can respect. All the more so because of their stance on the communism victims memorial, which has taken on an air of the ridiculous in the way the government is behaving.
@Judy: it's good to know there are people out there eager to preserve places that deserve it.
@Tex: as he's properly called, yes! The Romans just gave new names to Greek gods!
@Norma: it is quite a distinctive statue. As I understand it, it used to be elsewhere in the city.
@Lauren: this has been an ideal new use for the building, and a good location.
@Ciel: it certainly was.
@Pamela: I will have to do some photographing of the expansion at the Rideau Centre. The facade work involving the old Ogilvie Building's bits and pieces is presently underway.
That's a very elegant building!ReplyDelete
I like the vision of that architecture firm. It's good to hear heritage preservation work is taken seriously.ReplyDelete
always a fan of anything with a clock/ clock face. ( :ReplyDelete
I like that they are restoring and adapting. A lovely building!ReplyDelete
Good for them specialising in heritage restoration work, preservation need all the help it can get...ReplyDelete
So nice when old buildings can be restored or salvaged!ReplyDelete
@Marleen: I quite agree!ReplyDelete
@Jan: it really is.
@Beth: so am I.
@Denise: they did great work with this one.
@Geoff: it certainly does.
@Cheryl: yes, even in subtle ways like the Ogilvie.
Looks like Corona is popular there.ReplyDelete
Lovely to see beautiful buildings preserved WilliamReplyDelete
Love that repurposed old building and the work that firm is doing.ReplyDelete
Look at Merc!ReplyDelete
This sounds like it was one of the more interesting stops for you, though this sounds like an interesting event throughout.ReplyDelete
@Randy: so I would assume!ReplyDelete
@Dianne: it is, yes.
@Mari: so do I.
@Cloudia: a fitting top for the place.
@Kay: and now that I'm finishing off comments ten months later (bad habit on my part!), I'm looking forward to more Doors Open!