THE WALKERVILLE TOWN HALL
a.k.a. The Barclay Building

350 DEVONSHIRE ROAD (former Second Street)

ARCHITECT - Albert Kahn

Built: 1904

With the completion of St. Mary's Church seven blocks to the south, the original church (c. 1870) was demolished. From its stone foundation, opposite the office building, rose the new Town Hall in 1904, designed by the now-independent Albert Kahn.

Ironically, the Town Hall was supposed to have been built on Devonshire Road, where it stands today, but the availability of an existing foundation offered an opportunity too good for the Walker Sons to overlook. Construction of the new public building (at a cost of $15,000) was in the hands of Victor Williamson.

Ninety years later, with a corporate plan to reduce its heavily taxed physical plant, Hiram Walker & Sons, Ltd. decided to raze the former Town Hall (also known as the Barclay Building), along with the malthouse and the Walker Stores building.

A determined group of volunteers quickly formed the Preserve Old Walkerville committee to try to save the Town Hall. Within a year sufficient funds had been raised to have it moved. Today, thanks to an imaginative and enterprising businessman who purchased it, the Town Hall has been restored and renovated to house a new cultural and commercial attraction - the Galerie d'Art Royale.

The Preserve Old Walkerville committee is now the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario - Windsor Region Branch. The former Town Hallís design is Classical Revival in concept (symmetrical, belt courses, angled quoins and burst pediment) with windows more closely associated with Arts & Crafts styling. The dark tile roof and low-arched dormers were specified by Kahn, but the roof-top cupola and rear stair well are modern embellishments.

 

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