Friday, February 25, 2011

Moment of glory

It's a little-known fact that Kingston, Ontario was briefly (1841-1844) the capital of what was the fore-runner of the nation of Canada, then known as the United Province of Canada (Upper Canada - Ontario, and Lower Canada - Quebec). This period prompted a building boom, and many fine buildings of limestone were constructed. Kingston became known as the 'Limestone City'.

In 1842 a competition was held to choose a design for the city hall. The cornerstone was laid in June 1843, and by December 1844, the building was completed at a cost of 25,000 pounds vs an estimate of 10,000 pounds (some things never change). Over the years, fires damaged some parts of the building (e.g. the cupola was rebuilt in 1909). Although Kingston is an important regional centre and boasts a world class university and medical research facilities, it never gained the prominence once envisioned by many. While it has all the conveniences of a large modern city, it has retained its small town atmosphere.

(18-55mm  f8.0  1/200 sec  ISO200)


Dawn said...

And THESE are some of my favorite places...that charm draws you in. Amazing architecture....back when "architecture" was beautiful. (I'm thinking it isn't so much now least not my style;)
Really like this building- thanks for the short history lesson!

darlin said...

Rick I've been to Kingston and never wanted to leave, the buildings are amazing. I never did see this one but it's stunning. I'd heard that back in the day it was the prisoners who did a lot of the labor to erect a lot of the limestone work, do you know if there's any truth to this? Regardless of who erected the buildings it's stunningly beautiful and a place I'd love to revisit one day.

Your photo is amazing, were you lying on the ground to take this? ;-) It looks like you were at least squatting down and the angle is awesome, the light is fantastic and the color is so clear or would precise better describe this? Either way it's a magnificent shot. Do you use a polarizer filter by chance?

magda said...

Beautiful building and photo !!!
Have a nice weekend!

Soraia B. said...

Love it :D

Elizabeth Grimes said...

It's a beautiful building with an interesting history. Thank you for sharing!

CarreraCaballo said...

Thank you for the insights, and YYYEEESSS some things LIKE MONEY ISSUES FOR INSTANCE never change . . . :-D

Great architecture ;-)



Farmchick said...

A beautiful structure!

Cat said...

It's a beautiful building...I wish that kind of charm was still in these days seems to be so boring for public buildings.

Rick said...

Thanks, Dawn. I have to agree on the architecture bit - today's designs seem to focus just on the functional and very little on beauty for the sake of beauty - that's why I loved all the old(er) buildings in Europe ! (I knew a bit of the history but checked out some more - I learn a lot that way ;-)

Thanks, Darlene - there are a lot of beautiful buildings in Kingston. I hope it is true that prisoners built the buildings - beats rotting in a cell and might even instill a little pride ! No - I used a tripod for this since it was getting later in the day. I do have a polarizer but rarely use it - and not on this shot.

Thank you Magda - have a great weekend !

Thanks, Soraia. Enjoy your weekend too !

Rick said...

Thanks, Elizabeth. The whole city is beautiful with many more fine examples.

Thank you, Joseph ! Shows the enduring characteristics of politicians, doesn't it !

Thank you, Farmchick !

I totally agree, Cat. Why can't functional and beautiful both be applied to a building !