William Thomas

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William Thomas

Heritage RecognitionsRecognition Authority: Ontario Heritage TrustRecognition Statute:Ontario Heritage ActRecognition Type:Ontario Heritage Foundation EasementNational Historic Site Recognition Date:1984/11/23

Renaissaance Revival A mid-Victorian architectural style adapting the classical forms of 15th and 16th-century Italian architecure, especially palace architecture, usuallly characterized by blocklike massing, with refined classicized decorative detail around regularly organized windows.

Other buildings of interest by William ThomasSt. Paul's Cathedral - London, OntarioSt. Michael's Cathedral - Toronto, OntarioSt. Lawrence Hall - Toronto, OntarioSt. Paul's Prebyterian Church - Hamilton, OntarioNew Quebec Customs House - Quebec City, QuebecSt. Matthew's United Church - Halifax, Nova ScotiaOld City Hall - Guelph, OntarioLansdowne Crescent - Royal leamington Spa, EnglandDuncan Mcintyre House - Montreal, Quebec

William ThomasOld City Hall59 Carden St. Guelph, Ontario, Canada

The Old City Hall was designed by William Thomas and built by Morrison and Emslie in the Renaissance Revival style and construction started on January 1st, 1956 and was completed one year later. There were celebrations the day ground broke for construction, however by the time construction was complete there was much outrage by the citizens due to construction being greatly over budget. The Old City Hall is two storeys and faces a plaza that was part of the original central town square. The market was started by the people of Guelph right next to The Old City Hall, giving the structure a constant presence in the community. The limestone that was used during construction was collected from a local quarry. A structure of this kind showed a confidence and a long term commitment by the people of Guelph to the region.

The structure has a rectangular massing and the exterior facade is symmetrical with a central pediment pavilion. The Exterior of the building is decorated with incredibly detailed carvings that are a fine example of class and elegance. The roof has a low pitched hipped roof accented with brackets evenly spaced in the limestone cornice. These brackets below the cornice were originally designed in wood but a change order was approved and this feature remains today as a character defining feature. There is a featured central Venetian window with an ornamental balcony located directly above the main entry.

Guelph Old City Hall was designated a national historic site on November 23, 1984, because of multi-functional uses during its life span. The structure was used as a market, fire hall, police station as well as a jail, library, a public hall, a reading room for The Mechanics Institute, town offices and a town council chamber. This structure has been the heart and soul of its community, and has been recognized as a national historic site to as a symbol of the versatility that must be exercised in all of us during our own life spans.

ReferencesOld City Hall Guelph National Historic Site of Canada. (2015, July 30). Retrieved from Canada's Historic Places: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=11974Magrill, B. (2012). A Commerce of Taste: Church Architecture in Canada 1867-1914. Montreal: Queen's University Press.William Thomas Canadian Encyclopedia. (2015 Sept. 5) Retrieved from Canadian Ecyclopedia:http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/william-thomas/


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