Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Grand Durand

Absolute best way to spend a sunny October afternoon?
Wander Hamilton's south Duran neighbourhood - with a camera.

Guaranteed you'll see a few Porsches, Mercs and Beemers.
Almost certain the only folks you'll speak to will be staff and workmen. Had a lovely chat with a woman waiting to be buzzed through the gate to "sit with a lady."

But who notices, because (thanks to Hamilton friends Shannon and Sabine) I have now begun a bit more informed walkabout of Hamilton neighbourhoods - beginning (socio-economically speaking) very close, if not at, The Top.
for sale on KiJiJi I kid you not 

The walking tour map I found online directed me to 10 architecturally significant homes from the late c.1800's and early 1900's. I made a unilateral decision to deem a great many more significant, by a quick check of my heartbeat. Oh, and did I mention the castle?

I don't know their stories. Yet. I plan to research them all more carefully soon. I will begin at Historical Hamilton. It was Ken Coit of ACO Hamilton, who provided me with my wee map, and the title for this post, in his informative introduction to the South Durand neighbourhood on that site.

Granted they are excessive in many ways - way different from the serene purity of the early houses I am most drawn to. But these owners had statements to make - about their wealth, their prestige and their place in society. Their taste, in most cases. And they made it.

In all styles. Period Revival (lots of Tudors, for another post), Gothic Revival, Classical Revival and that more-is-more Victorian eclecticism we all love.

Something else I was entranced by - the landscape, the trees, the foot of the Escarpment hilly terrain, all that nature and all that.... space.

Did I mention that Hamilton is my new favourite city?

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