2007 – The Year In Review

Every year, with the last post of the year, I look back, and recap some of the demolition that has occured in the last year.

The victim of arson in late 2006, this was one of the first victims of 2007, and another vacant lot in the core. this house was on Janette.

Lasalle, our neighbours to the west, knocked down one of the few old building they had with the demolition of the former Bishop Cody School.

The former home of Home Watkins on Peter St. in Windsor’s west end went up in flames to the arsonist on February 1st.

The old CAA building at Gilles and Ouellette came down to make way for the new Rexall Pharmacy.

These two tidy homes on Elsmere made way for a parking lot. At least at last check the tree was saved.

These five houses on Crawford fell to make way for a future No Frills Grocery Store.

The Albert Kahn designed Ford Foudry was closed, and as of the end of December, demolition work had begun.

This oldie on Karl St. which was in poor condition and structurally unsound, fell in April.

The same weekend the house on Karl was demolished the Grad House on Sunset at the University of Windsor was demolished as well.

The 1957 Cleary Guest house was demolished to the delight of Gord Henderson, and replaced with the over-priced and un-inspired Peace Beacon.

Huron Lodge, designed by John Crouchman of J.P. Thomson Associtates in 1961 was demolished in November.

Longtime local landmarks, the smokestacks on the paint shop at Winsdor Assembly were removed during the summer shutdown.

The two houses above on Riverside Dr. just east of Pilette were demolished by the Chuck Mady Corporation after his plans to demolished the former convent at Riverside and George were thwarted by the desingation of the historic structure. In the end a house form the 1950’s and one from 1928 fell to make way for more highrises.

Much to the delight of neighbours the Cat House on Windermere Rd. came down in September, and is today a vacant lot.

The historic Ojibway Tin Mill, that was last in use as Windsor Cermaic Tile, was demolished in October.

Across the river in September one of Detroit’s most famous ruins, the Livingston house (a.k.a. Ol’ Slumpy) was finally put out of its misery. A little peice of local architectural history was lost with that demolition as it was the first structure designed by a young architect by the name of Albert Kahn.


Another year gone, and another recap that’s far too long.

Hopefully the year in review for 2008 will be shorter.

Third Concession

In the days before E.C. Row ran though the middle of the city, the Third Concession was the east-west road located along the present route. Parts of the old Third Concession still survive today as the North Service Road.

I have always wondered what the story was with the dead end section near Howard Ave. As you can see in the map above this part of the Third ended at Howard Ave.

When the Expressway was put in, the street was closed off and relegated to service road duty.

In the days prior to Union Gas, the Windsor Gas Co. occupied a huge chunk of the land north of the Third Concession. To this day Union Gas still has some pipelines on the property.

The map above makes reference to a “Concrete Bridge”. There is still a bridge over the creek, although I’m not sure if it is the same one or not. Although the bridge on the map is shown as being smaller, than the road is wide, the maps weren’t always 100% accurate. It also shows an electric rail siding going into the Gas Company. Any rail fans know anything about an electric railroad servicing the Gas Co. in the 1930s?

The main building of the Windsor Gas Co. is still standing, and is today used by Woodall Construction.

Happy Holidays!

I just want to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a very happy holidays.

It is because of all of you, that this site is what it is. Thank you all.

I’m going to take a few days off, so be sure to check back in on Friday December 28th for the next post.

Then, Then and Now

The former Tepperman’s Building on Ottawa St. has had a long and interesting history.

First built in 1939, the building was originally only one story tall. It was designed by J.P. Thomson, who was at the time working for Sheppard & Masson.

(Photo from the collection of Windsor’s Community Museum – P09974)

The post war boom saw the second and third floors added in 1946, also designed by JP Thomson. Thomson eventually left and founded his own firm, which still exists to this day as J.P. Thomson Associates Ltd.

For many years the building was a CAW Hall and was clad in a corrugated metal siding. The photo above was taken in 2005, after the siding was removed.

Rosatti Contruction, “prettied” it up for us by puting in frosted glass windows, and covering it in stucco in 2006.

I also noticed that the “Great Satan” of stucco has struck again, this time this red brick building on the north side of Ottawa St., between Parent and Langlois has been covered over.

I guess I am still in shock that there are people out there that actually think this looks good, and is an improvement over the orignal brick.

Crescent Manor

Well stop the presses! After years of looking at what I thought was Ottawa’s Street’s version of the Docherty Hole, work has finally commenced on the Condos apartments that are replacing Crescent Lanes Bowling Alley.

While I’m sure the shitty Windsor housing market, and the locally held belief that McMansions are a dream come true, are major factors in the delays and the switch from sales to rental units.

None the less, it is nice to see new residential construction in the core of the city. Best of all the designs make it look like it will be a very urban project.

Superior Piston Ring

When looking over the old maps, occasionally there are names on some of the shops, and they just jump out at you. This map here shows Superior Piston Ring on Lincoln Rd just north of Wyandotte. From the old days of zoning, when small industrial buildings ended up in residential neighbourhoods.

I wondered if this place was still around. So I grabbed my camera and jumped in the car to check it out.

Sure enough the building is still standing.

If Superior Piston Ring was an old Automotive Supplier or just a “garage” I’m not sure. But you never know what history lies in those non-descript buildings.

Home Bank Building

The former Home Bank building at Wyandotte and Windermere is one of my favourite buildings in Walkerville, and the western anchor of what is perhaps our best looking and most intact historic commercial block.

This postcard view is from Walkerville Publishing’s Postcards From The Past. A great book, if you don’t have a copy, it really is a must have for history fans.

This view above is from 1913. The building was built in 1907-08 and designed by noted Toronto architects Henry Sproat and Ernest Rolph. It is as far as I know their only Windsor Commission.

For my Toronto readers and for anyone else familiar with Toronto, some of their more notable designs include, Hart House and the Soldiers Tower at the U of T; The Arts and Letters Club; The Canada Life Building on University Ave and the Royal Canadian Yacht Club Clubhouse on the Toronto Island.

As you can see in the current photo, somewhere along the lines the building grew. The older photos show the connecting section was built in the original construction, and the fence around the southern end of the property indicate that they always intended to expand, I’m just not sure when it grew.

The 1937 Map shows the expanded building in place, with a Woolworth’s on the ground floor. So sometime between 1913 and 1937 the building expanded, I’m going to guess it was probably following WWI.

From all account that I hear, the apartments are great, and it’s a great place to live.

Odds and Ends For The Weekend

Regular reader Darren, sends along this photo noting that it appears that Ford Motor Company has sent the building eaters in to start work on the Foundry.

Note in this crop there are two of them, the orange one on the left and you can catch a glimpse of the yellow one on the right. Thanks for the heads up Darren!

Last but not least, a rendering from Johnson McWhinnie, showing the elevation of Cody Hall, which we covered yesterday.

As you can see below there are a few differences between the planned structure and the final result. Most notably the grey columns on the main floor are much thicker and more obrtusive to the sightlines of the building. If it had been built as imagined, I think it would be a much nicer building, with the vistas across the base. Next time I speak with Doug Johnson, I’ll ask him if he rembers why the change occured.

<p>Take care everyone, have a safe weekend, and I’ll see you on Monday.</p>
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