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Three Heritage Awards in Walkerville

It's become a tradition for the Windsor Architectural Conservancy Advisory Committee (WACAC) to honour owners of selected heritage properties in the city of Windsor with Built Heritage Awards.

To be a recipient of this prestigious award, handed out every February, the owner of a heritage property must have been dedicated to restoring and/or maintaining his or her property while retaining historical characteristics.

This year, three of the seven recipients  are owners of properties in Old Walkerville.

Posteroptics at the corner of Gladstone and Wyandotte St. E., is a two-story red brick commercial building. At one time it housed a general store owned by the Burstyn family. Today, owners Kevin and Leslie Donald operate a poster framing service out of the ground floor.

posteroptics.jpgBuilt in 1915, the building is an excellent example of early 20th century traditional commercial buildings. The upper front façade boasts a large bay window with a conical roof; to the east is a small arched window opening topped by decorative brick work and a keystone. The storefront is composed primarily of large display windows with a deeply recessed entranceway.

The second Walkerville recipient of the award is another commercial building located at 1701 Wyandotte E. Three stories high, this structure was built in 1908 at the corner of Wyandotte and Windermere in the Beaux Arts Classical Revival Style by contractor Victor Williamson.

homebank.jpgOriginally the Home Bank of Walkerville (thought to be the only Canadian Bank to declare bankruptcy - c. 1927) the building is owned by Darlene Bennett and currently houses two hair and beauty salons, an interior design service, and several apartments. While changes have been made to the lower part of the building and an undated addition has extended the rear of building, the building retains its massive overhanging dentilled cornice and flat headed windows with keystones.

The third Walkerville property is a red brick residential home owned by Carol and Bill Lester at 841 Kildare.

861kildare.jpgOver the last decade, the Lesters, who are the fourth owners of the home, have completely restored it. Built in 1904 for Albert Meirs, Secretary/Treasurer of the Walkerville Malleable Iron Co., who also served as a local magistrate as well as Walkerville Town councillor, the house is a good example of the quality homes built during a period of rapid expansion in the Town of Walkerville in the first decade of the last century.

The four other recognized Windsor properties include a mixed use building at 212-248 Erie West built in 1922 and owned by Masen and Barbara Younan, the Art Decco style Bell Canada Building at 1149 Goyeau, the law offices of Frank Miller and A. Thomas Costaris at 518 Victoria, built around 1900, and Sandwich Town Hall, built in 1912 and now an apartment building owned by Douglas Whaley and Lauren Bityk.

The Walkerville Times salutes all award recipients; they have proven that old buildings can be indeed be given a new lease on life.

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