Saturday, January 31, 2009

Queen Street West, Gladstone Hotel, dates unknown

No idea when this postcard was made... but it shows some interesting details about the Gladstone Hotel.

The Gladstone Hotel is the oldest continuously operating hotel in Toronto. It was originally built in 1889 as a stylish hostelry across from the then existing Parkdale railroad station which serviced the Grand Trunk, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), and the Canadian National Railway (CNR) companies.

It was designed by George Miller, the architect of the Lillian Massey building of the University of Toronto, many other public buildings in the city, as well as a large number of formerly grand residential buildings in the Parkdale neighbourhood. 

The Hotel was designed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style - in the period a popular style for public buildings such as train depots, churches, and libraries. The architectural style of the Gladstone is characterized by the rough cut stone and brick and by the dramatic arches over the windows and porch entrances. The Hotel tower is also characteristic of the style. The cupola was removed in 1930 due to disrepair.

The Gladstone is a fine example of a Victorian Hotel with intact plaster moldings in the grand hallways. The two restored pillars in the hotel's Melody Bar are unique in Toronto in that their faux marble finish was rendered in true European fresco technique. No other architectural pillars such as these exist in Toronto. The meticulously restored Victorian elevator is one of the last hand-operated elevators in Toronto.

Too bad  the corner tower lost the cupola... it was quite something! Even the top brick details of the two facades is a bit different...

The good thing about the Gladstone is that it's still an hotel, even after all these years. The owners are actually pretty concern about the place, and they've been doing a lot of work to keep it in good shape.

A+ for the Gladstone!

1 comment:

  1. Another great success story. I wish they would add the copula back, but that is just my opinion. I'm looking forward to seeing the interiors when I go for the Building Stories exhibit. I've never had the opportunity to go inside. I've tried photographing the outside, but there are so many hydro and streetcar wires in tht area, I can never get a good shot. I will just keep trying.