Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Good 'Hood

Central Park. Frederick Todd's 1903 design, completed 1912
Last week I wandered many of the neighbourhoods that I knew and loved as a student in Ottawa during the mid to late 1960s. One area with which I had only a passing acquaintance (literally) was Clemow Street.

Spanish Colonial Revival designed by Noffke

Rambunctious university students (unless they were the sons and daughters of these well-kempt homes) wouldn't have had a look-in were it not for that most democratic of institutions, the park. Patterson Creek wanders westward from the Rideau Canal, itself bordered by parkland and 'the Driveway.'

Once a swamp, Patterson Creek was drained and landscaped in the 1890s; it's now a mature and beautiful meandering park with two ponds. The beauty is attributed to landscape architect Frederick Todd's 1903  design.

architect Noffke's house at 20 Clemow Avenue

Overlooking the ponds are dozens of homes dating from the early years of the 20th century. Clemow Estate East is a Heritage Conservation District. Deservedly so.

The extension of the street car south on Bank Street (the main north-south corridor) enabled the growing middle class to move out of the city's core and into a suburban setting. This land was part of the estate of Senator Francis Clemow and his brother in law William Powell.

Their children Adelaide Clemow and William Powell formed Clemora Realty and developed the area. The plan for the neighbourhood and many of the homes are attributed to architect W.E. Noffke. The development features all of the styles prevalent in the era: Spanish Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival (including a rather startling little concrete block baronial castle,) Edwardian Classical and Arts and Crafts.
W.E.Noffke (1913

Ghana High Commission

Freen House at right, love this pairing
 A good companion on the walk? Exploring the Capital: An Architectural Guilde to the Ottawa-Gatineau Region by Andrew Waldron (Figure 1 Publishing, Vancouver, 2017.)