Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Flash of Pretty Ankle

Recently I wrote about Picton's rowlock bond houses, and mentioned one that had caught my eye as I drove past down the 'town hill' paying careful attention to the tricky intersections at top and bottom. Despite my focus, I was distracted by a flash of something intriguing and beautiful, but meant to be covered.

What I noticed was this bit of rowlock bond brickwork on the side elevation of a partly demolished house - it had been concealed by a peak-roofed wing, one of several add-ons over the years of looking for more space within, until man or the elements changed the building's north wall.

It might be a stretch to call this flirtatious, but for an old-house sleuth it does tantalize -  and invite further inspection.
common bond brick covers an exposed wall
or the rectangular addition

In my ankle-high boots I braved the calf-deep snowplow wake and the heavily drifted lawn of deep snow covering...what? Not weak old boards covering deep pits, or rusty nails, I hoped, as I peered inside the openings.

  I remember this building at the corner of Mortimer Street, from my childhood. I seem to recall that the southern addition's neatly squared off corner entrance led to a plumbing supply store. Could it once have been a corner grocery, when this hill beside the harbour was lined with working folks' rooming houses? Its heavy cornice, woodframed windows and a banded brick chimney on the main house suggest its age - how I'd love to know its long story.

Today the building marks the entrance to a spiffy waterside condo complex, and scarcely gets a glance as residents zoom down Mortimer Street to their parking spot and home. I wonder if we'll even wonder 'what used to stand here' when it is, inevitably, demolished. Or will Picton's pride in its rowlock dwellings give it a chance?

1 comment:

  1. You have a very interesting blog! I had a great time looking at every post, and this one particularly caught my attention. I can’t blame you for stopping and taking pictures of this structure. It looks amazing, and by the looks of it, it is still in good condition. But as you said, a portion of it needs to be covered. Perhaps the interior also needs some renovations. I believe a family can be truly happy living here, once the restoration work has been made.

    Lenore Lung