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Where is it?

Royal George detail

Fancy enough for a wedding cake, the decoration on this Concordia building is ceramic, not stone.

The Royal George Apartments

good Sir George

This is the facade of the Royal George Apartments, whose old address was 1452 Bishop St. The fancy white apartment building was built in 1912 in the Renaissance Revival style.

Art historian Virginia Nixon calls it "a very luxurious example" of the style, which combines elements of the Italian and French Renaissance. "You're living in a palace," she said.

Montreal has many old buildings in this style, which was internationally popular. What makes the Royal George unusual is that much of the exterior decoration is made of glazed terra-cotta.

"The sheer quantity of decoration on the faŤade is unusual, and of course, with the white glaze, it stands out all the more. Glazed terra-cotta was not a widely used building material in Montreal, hence the special value of the Royal George as an architectural landmark."

The Royal George was bought by Concordia in 1979. When the University outgrew its library facilities in the Norris Building, on Drummond St., the Royal George was slated for demolition.

Protests and court cases were mounted by the 10 remaining residents, however. In the end, the facade, including the interior detail, were incorporated into the J.W. McConnell library complex, which opened in 1992.


Copyright 1999 Concordia's Thursday Report.