During the 1920’s & 1930’s one of Windsor’s pre-eminent local Architects was Albert James Lothian.
Lothian was born in Scotland in 1895, and moved to Canada early on. He came to Windsor after returning from WWI.
Albert Lothian c. 1920 – Photo courtesy of his daughter Jean Kalich
He was one of Windsor’s more unique residential architects as seen in the following houses. According to his daughter he also designed some houses in the Grosse Pointe area from his Detroit office.
This house was built around 1928, and was home to an executive at Hobbs Plate Glass
This house dates to 1927, built for local Dentist Dr. Brick. The house is still in the family and is owned by Frank Brick, the son of Dr. Brick. Frank is visible on the porch in this one. A very nice man, he gave me a tour of the inside a few years ago.
This house was built for G.G. Kew in 1927. Kew was an executive for the Ford Motor Co. of Canada.
In 1926, he built this house for himself and his family along Riverside Drive.
He also designed some apartment buildings around Windsor, some of which have been demolished.
This one built in 1927 still stands. It is slightly altered as the retail shops on the ground floor have been bricked in and converted to residential.
This vacant warehouse on Riverside Dr. is also a Lothian.
It was once home to the Monarch Liquor Co. I can only assume that they went under during Prohibition, as I have never been able to locate any information on them.
Where Lothian really seemed to find his nice thought was with the Roman Catholic Church.
He designed this building at Assumption College in 1927, now part of the University Of Windsor. Dillon Hall as the building is now known, is kind of the central stately old building on campus.
He also designed this School Building for the East Windsor School Board in 1930. St. Bernard’s is now threatened with demolition, it is Windsor’s only Art Deco school building.
The crown jewel of his remaining Windsor work has to be the Former St. Claire’s R.C. church on Tecumseh Rd.
Built in 1930, it is Canada’s only known Art Deco Church.
Lothian designed ever facet of the church, right down to the Art Deco Pews
While the interior is quite plain, the Art Deco styling is remarkable.
Shortly after St. Claire’s was completed, with the area suffering from the effects of the Depression, Lothian loaded his family up on his yacht and planned to kick off and sail around the world. They got as far as Nassau, Bahamas, where he decided to settle with his family.
He immediately fell back in with the church and designed many of their structures in the Bahamas. He also designed the local market building, and helped develop early resorts on Paradise Island (now home to Atlantis).
He split his time in later years between Nassau and Cuernayaca, Mexico. According to his obituary, he was in the middle of two large development projects in Cuernayaca, Mexico at the time of his passing in 1952.