Proportions have been distorted by factory vinyl windows.
Original detailed facade is gone forever.
I had always enjoyed driving thru Shakespeare, Ontario, until I glanced over at what used to be one of my favourite storefronts and saw to my dismay that it was being destroyed to make way for, of all things, vinyl windows. The fact that the building houses an antiques business is irony of the worst kind. I took it upon myself to have a look at the 100 plus year old fenestration that was removed and cavalierly propped up against the side of the building, perhaps to be hauled to the dump, or maybe sold as wares in the "antiques" business? There was nothing wrong with the woodwork that some proper and thoughtful restoration and paint could not repair.
Dumped or to be sold as architectural salvage?
The beauty and style of this building is now lost, and we can be guaranteed that the cheap and tacky vinyl windows (not to mention the upper windows and door) will look dull and chalky in one tenth of the time the original millwork served. Below is the building right next door with its original windows - stylish and graceful - the new frontage cannot hold a candle to it.
Stylish and graceful, original details, the building as it was meant to be seen.
When did this become progress? We should rethink this urge to toss the old and maintanance free-ify buildings that deserve much better treatment than this. Seems a four lane highway is not the only threat to the charm of little Shakespeare when the very merchants that ply their wares on it's main street are not sensible enough to preserve the real antique treasures we can all enjoy - our built heritage.
Rory McDonnell is a General Contractor, Licensed Carpenter and Architectural Designer with Build, a construction firm in Stratford, Ontario, specializing in new custom homes and renovations.
I am a licensed carpenter,