Page 24 - William Harris - Architect of Broughton
ISSUE : Issue 46
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1987/8/1
towers at its corners. John Ferguson recalls Wil? liam Harris condemning a large floor joist in this building while it was under construction; the joist was partially brown, suggesting the presence of rot, and William made the construction crew re? place it with a sound timber. The hotels and the office building had seven-foot basements. The manager's house was an imposing dwelling made, in the words of John Ferguson, "large and good." There was also an assistant man? ager's house, with hipped gables, buttresses, and an umbrage at the front entrance. The Broughton map carries drawings of front and side elevations of a railway station, but it is not clear that this building was actually constructed. It too called for buttresses, hipped gables, dormer win- dows--and a round tower with conical roof rising out of the broadly sloping surface of its roof. There were also 43 miners' cottages, some of them semi-detached, all of them built with a minimum of architectural or stylistic embellishment and with? out basements. The Broughton buildings illustrate the fecundity of William Harris's creative imagination as an ar? chitectural stylist at this period in his career. He had assimilated elements from a variety of in- Turnstone Pottery WHEELTHROWN Fvmctional Stoneware & Custom Dinnerware ARICHAT, ISLE MADAME (226-3004) THE HOME OF FINE SEAFOOD, we have a pickup booth at the SYDNEY AIRPORT. Call us. Coast To C6ast Air Shipping - Ask For Our Price List- Phone: Plant (902) 849-5505, Night (902) 849-2705 Write: P. 0. Box 160, Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, BlA 5V2 Telex: 019-35241 CHARGEX - MASTER CHARGE - VISA (24) HortZ Rent a Car 24 HOUR SERVICE - 7 DAYS A WEEK 1430 George St. Sydney, N.S. Sydney Airport 539-1538 539-5623 --FAST FRIENDL Y SERVICE -NOW FEATURING 1988 CHEV. CORISCA and 1988 CHEV. BERETTA • LOCAL PICKUP AND DELIVERY To Reserve a Car 1SS'd"'r.'A -800-263-0600 The*l way to rent a cat ES3 fluences--6othic, Romanesque, Chateauesque--which he handled in the manner of the Shingle Style ar- jchitects of the American North-East. In conse? quence he had an architectural repertory which was varied and adaptable. At Broughton all the build? ings are clearly interrelated in respect to style and yet each is distinct and unique. Architectural? ly, Broughton had unity but not uniformity. Broughton also was an hierarchical community, and this characteristic was reflected in the design of its buildings. The round towers and the veranda on the "Broughton Arms Hotel" clearly marked it as a superior place to the proletarian "Crown," which had bartizans at the corners of its modified man? sard roof and no shaded places for idle patrons to sit. Still, the "Crown" had architectural elegance which announced to the world that even Broughton's second best was superior to most of what the out? side world had to offer, at least as far as Cape Breton Island was concerned. And, of course, the houses of the officials of the Company were super? ior to those of the miners in both style and com? fort, and the relative status of the various offi? cials themselves was reflected in the size and style of their dwellings. In this Broughton was not unique, for company towns the world over have sought to make statements about the relationships of individuals within their structures by means of the buildings in which they live and work. William Harris was clearly happy to be working as the architect of this little city rising in the Cape Breton woods. It was an exciting commission, for it was unusual for an architect to have an op? portunity to put his mark on a whole town. On 8 June 1905, he wrote to Robert and Bessie Harris to try to persuade them to come and spend a summer holiday with him. "I have taken my quarters for the summer at a delightful farm house at the en? trance of the Mira River overlooking Mira Bay • Mar- tell's. I use my room for office work and walk ualHy'lf' CAMERAS LTD. One Stop Photo & Video Centre First in the Maritimes: |Your Complete Service Headquarters • Guaranteed Quality Photo Finishing • Video Equipment - Sales & Service • Darkroom Equipment & Supplies • Cameras &* Accessories • Camera Repairs • Photo and Projection Lamps ?? Largest Stock of Photographic I Supplies on the Island I Al '??' We Use Kddak Paper For The Good Look Kodak MIN??LTA PENTAX Canon 562-3600 H Corner George & Dorchester Sts., Sydney
Cape Breton's Magazine