Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Flagship - aground

Back in August I made a day trip to historic Grafton. Like a moth to a flame, I was drawn to the frame c. 1820 store, home to Penumbra Books and Art, and 1812 Antiques. I fell into conversation with proprietor Pat Poisson, then announced my intention to save time to visit Barnum House once again.
Only then did I learn that this historic house, flagship of the heritage movement in Ontario, had been closed for two years!!

Saved by Dr. Eric Arthur when he purchased it in 1939 (talk about vision!) it became the province's first house museum, and the birthplace of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario.

If you're a regular visitor to this blog, you likely know all about Barnum House. Here's what Ontario Heritage Trust has to say about the place. The ACO site tells the story of the house and the formation of the organization.

This past September, ACO Cobourg and ACO East Northumberland hosted a meeting of the ACO Council at historic Barnum House. Friend Laurie attended, and came home inspired.

ACO is certainly a force for good in heritage preservation in the province. This Friday, the annual heritage awards are being presented in Toronto. One day I would love to go; imagine spending an evening at the historic Arts and Letters Club!

I'm sure that at some time in another post I have swooned over the pilasters, the flushboard cladding, triglyphs and metopes, blind arches, and the pedimented doorcase.

It's been years since I was inside. Hope the wait won't be too much longer.

All this history and all I get is a lousy plaque.

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