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> Issue 34 > Page 59 - Yvon LeBlanc, Architect Fortress of Louisbourg

Page 59 - Yvon LeBlanc, Architect Fortress of Louisbourg

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1983/8/1 (295 reads)

The Dugas-de la Tour House, below and on the Front Cover made of a certain subject, they're taken mostly from French text sources, and then digested, made into a report. And then when they need to be done in French, they are regurgitated in French from the Eng? lish intermediate. And that shows. It shows in the form of the language that comes out, as well as into the thing it? self. It cannot but be so. You've heard him called Captain de Gannes here. That is a thing which is not French at all. You don't say "Captain de Gannes" in French. You say, "Monsieur de Gannes, Capitaine." So that when you hear it, it sounds English. A very subtle little thing which grates. A thing seen by English eyes being put into French by--unfortunately in Canada here, by the very nature of things-- translation, reflects English. So, what comes back there, and comes out--an Eng? lish-seen kind of thing, and an English- felt kind of thing. So it cannot but gradu? ally go in time and become the richest part of the interest. It cannot be any? thing else. Here is the Dugas house. He's the only Aca? dian, really, that settled here from Aca? dia. He was a carpenter. And his wife was a Richard girl. And after that she married a la Tour, Saint-Etienne de la Tour, (Did you have a great deal to go on when you did that house?) Oh, yes. We knew that it had been built in conjunction with a fel? low by the name of Detcheverry as a double house. And Dugas, he got the right to live in it as his remuneration for building the house. And they had made a pact, the two of them--if one left, the other one would buy it all, Dugas settled down in his side. In the 1720s, he bought the whole house. And then he died in 1733, and we had an in? ventory of that time, on which we based our plan. And then Marguerite Richard, she married again, la Tour, so that by 1744 it was really--we used to call it the Dugas- la Tour house. And then, they would have had 6 unmarried girls (two daughters with Dugas, two of de la Tour, and twins of Mar? guerite Richard and de la Tour). To build the house, we found the fomda- tion, which was fairly insubstantial. We were sure it was not a stone house. Now, as far as charpente, we deduced that from the fact that there was a foundation wall. But the rest is imagination. The piquet fill, for instance, that is our own thing. We didn't know. We put some piquet fill be? cause the fovmdation was sort of light, And since there was the occupied upstairs, we presumed that there would have been a knee wall, therefore, the jroof a bit high? er. And since he was a carpenter, we thought we might try to give something spe? cial to his house. So we have put the pi- fuets at an angle within the charpente ramework, in the knee wall, just for a little change. Because having pieces like that in the framing members is quite com? mon in many French frame houses. We thought, well, maybe Dugas remembered that. But we don't know at all. This is purely our own thing. It's a pity, because every? body sort of likes it. We thought we could take this little liberty as a plausible thing that might have happened. And it might have been, but I wish I knew if it was really so. (You're aware of an inventive art, but at the same time, you're determined to get it as right as you can.) Well, that's the challenge, you see, that I gave myself. Be? cause, from an architecture point of view, it's not worth much, if you take architec? ture in its sort of superficial way--the design visual and all that sort of thing. But from a thing of reconnecting with the people of the past, with real people--the challenge I give myself is to reflect as
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