Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Thursday, October 20, 2016

I love it when this happens

Sometime this summer, we spent a Sunday afternoon in Brockville. There were tall ships. There were crowds and crowds. Food trucks proliferating.

As always, I enjoyed the experience of Brockville's Blockhouse Island, the doughty stone buildings along Water, Broad and Buell that I've admired on other visits, the roiling power of the closeby St. Lawrence, and the view of the city skyline with its Gothic spires.

The highlights of the day were not nautical; nor were they architectural. Oddly enough, there is not a single ship on my camera.

But the day, and our memories, are full.

An aside. It's said that Brockville  citizens are friendly. As we pondered our street map, pulled over in a refuge from the traffic, delighted but dismayed at how very successful this event was, a fellow crossed the road from his house, to see if he could be of assistance. The interchange resulted in Linda and Junior moving their truck, so we could park on their lawn, with repeated entreaties to "drop by and park any time"  we were in town.

A superb lunch and a couple of Beau's at the delightful Buell St. Bistro set us up for a delightful wander, and a few photos. As we headed back to the car at the end of the afternoon, I paused to take in the imposing vista up Courthouse Avenue. Often, when we stop to appreciate early buildings or streetscapes, what rises to our lips is "I wonder..." "Do you suppose...?" "Could that once have been...?"

That day in Brockville, the moment I stopped to ask myself and my walking partner what to make of the scene, this awfully helpful interpretive panel came into view. I love it when that happens, Thanks for making your history your present, people.

I've said it before. Good on you, Brockville, for making your past so accessible.

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