Friday, April 2, 2010

Bay and Nepean Demo, Part 4: 357-359 Nepean Street

Last time, I posted the third in a series of posts on the demolition of houses at Bay and Nepean. With the three Bay Street houses done, it's time to turn to Nepean Street.

The building on the left is not being demolished, and it has not been bought by Richcraft. It's a curious one itself, being constructed with a wide variety of bricks, including glass bricks in the second-storey window. But the building being profiled today, 357-359 Nepean Street, is the cream-coloured one next to it.

If you blinked, you might have missed it:

The house is described on URBSite as "A tight hipped roof double with modest Georgian proportions," dating from the late 1870's. Five electricity meters (suggesting the building was a four-unit rental) clutter up what little of the façade isn't occupied by windows and doors, in this late-November 2007 photo:

The demolition reveals to onlookers that there were two rooms in the basement.

At the front, again in late November 2007, we see a wooden porch with its white posts almost all broken away.

By the time I took this photo, a few days after the URBSite post, the utilities had been disconnected. Curiously, if you click on the photo to see it full size, you will notice that the word "You're" on the sign is actually a sticker, perhaps to correct a typo?

This building is just down the street, and is of the same vintage. Obviously, it's been much better kept: not only is it faced with brick, but there are windows on the sides. The foundation is also slightly taller, necessitating steps to the front porch.

There isn't much notable in the ways of windows on the sides of 357-359 Nepean, although there is a very narrow window at the foundation.

I didn't notice it until the house had been removed from on top of it. We're looking at the exposed inside wall of the same window.

Another detail is the chimney, which had lost some bricks years ago.

There's some yellow spray-painted graffiti on the front window here, but the fridge visible through the window gave me chills, like a ghostly reminder that this was once someone's living space.

The wood clapboard siding, painted in a dark red, had a nice texture to it. At each storey there were squares boards spaced at regular intervals.

The rear of the house was interesting, seen here in late November 2007. Two successively smaller additions were added at some points in the building's history. An eave at the very rear was only tenuously attached.

A year and a half later, not only had the snow gone from the roof, but bits of the roof itself were missing as well! The rumour I heard was that firefighters used the house to practise entry into older buildings, effectively sealing its fate to never be used again. As with the other houses, graffiti had been painted over with brownish paint.

That's it for this house, unfortunately. On the bright side, at least its better-kept sibling remains intact.

Make sure to catch the fifth post in four more days (Tuesday at noon) on the last of the five buildings demolished on this site. The sixth and last installment will come a bit later when landscaping has progressed, at which point I'll include photos of the site taken from above.

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