ERA Architects

The Donald Standard Chemical Building

Rural architectural heritage extends beyond farm houses and small towns. Last summer, ERA helped the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario in support of the Green Step Project, an initiative to rehabilitate an abandoned industrial site east of Bancroft as showcase for environmental stewardship, heritage, and building technologies. Continue reading…

Culture of Outports: Burlington Freelab

ERA’s Culture of Outports project, through the Centre for Urban Growth + Renewal, and sponsored by TD Canada Trust, is now taking shape in Newfoundland.

The team includes Principals-in-charge Michael McClelland and Philip Evans, Project Architect Will MacIvor, and Assistant Laila MacDougall-Milne, as well as six students from Dalhousie University’s School of Architecture in their design build project in the outport of Burlington, on the Baie Verte peninsula. Continue reading…

Picton Main Street

Meandering this morning through the Archives of the Ontario  I came across these  great pictures of Picton’s Main Street at the turn of the century.

Parade (1905)

H. B. Wright & Co. storefront (between 1898-1920)

Picton Methodist Church and tourist office (between 1898 and 1920)

Hidden Architectural Gems

As part of our exploration of the County and surrounding areas, we recently had the opportunity to visit a few true architectural gems – Otto Roger’s artist studio by architect Siamak Hariri and the Bata Residence (in Batawa) by architect John B. Parkin.

The Bata residence (currently being documented by Carleton University students) is a remarkable and well preserved example of Parkin’s residential work.  Located up on the hill, the residence boats an incredible view overlooking the Town of Batawa.  And though it is modest in size, it is clear that every detail was considered.  A few memorable attributes include the family shoe closet (but of course), the bathroom colours, and the custom designed dining table.

The artist studio by Hariri was another fantastic discovery.  Here we found a building, again modest and finely articulated, quietly nestled into the woods.  But what was breath-taking was how the intimacy with nature extended into the studio with the light and the glow of the autumn coloured leaves.

Both these visits, unique and inspiring in their own ways, confirmed to me there is indeed a special ‘sense of place’ here.  And that it is exemplified not just in our loyalist building stock, but also in our more recent architectural contributions.

 

Our First Stop: 2335 County Road 10

2335 County Rd. 10 circa 1898

Circa 1898

Summer 2010

Summer 2010

Before we dive into the Settler’s Dream, however, it seems that we should begin by “writing what we know”: our own house on County Road 10, located almost exactly between Cherry Valley and Milford.

 

The eastern portion of our house (currently the office) is thought to be some 150 years old, and the central and western portions thought to have been added about 50 years later. Kitchen and dining functions occupied the centre, while the west was used as a wood shed (ground floor) and a chicken coop (second storey). The western third was fully incorporated as an interior space in 2004, when its then new owners renovated inside and out. The first photo shows the house c.1898, “on occasion of new drive shed” (demolished 2004) in the foreground, and if one squints, one can see some young locust trees that eventually come to their modern prominence.

The Settler’s Dream

The ERA Prince Edward County office is up and running (and running and running). And running.

ERA PEC is a whole new adventure, and everywhere we look there is something new (or old) and beautiful and unique. We can’t turn around without seeing something we haven’t seen before. This blog will be a record of our discoveries, our projects, and provide a snapshot of local life through an architectural lens.

But first – a little background how it all began.

Ontario’s only island county, “The County” (as it is locally referred to) would first have been occupied by indigenous peoples as soon as retreating glaciers allowed, and evidence of these early occupiers dates back some 11,000 years. The County was originally a peninsula, only gaining island status with the construction of the Murray Canal in the late 1880s, fully 100 years after settlement by United Empire Loyalists, mercenaries, and other immigrants from (predominantly) the United States, Germany, and the Netherlands.

The information above was taken from The Settler’s Dream, the local authority on the built heritage of the County. To help us explore our new home (and all its wonders), we will use this as our guide — visiting the places described in the Settler’s Dream to see how (or if) they have changed.