Friday, December 13, 2013
Victoria Hall Community Centre
4626 Sherbrooke Street West, H3Z 1G1 (at Lansdowne)
Destroyed by fire: 1924
Architect: Robert Findlay
The original Victoria Hall opened in 1899 after citizens petitioned the city for a community centre. Robert Findlay designed Victoria Jubilee Hall, using the same style and materials as the Library. It housed a public meeting room, lodge room, drill hall, bowling alley, billiard room, gymnasium, and a swimming pool. It was destroyed by fire in 1924.
Architects: Hutchison & Wood
The second community centre on this site was built in stone in the neo-Tudor style by the architecture firm Hutchison & Wood. Sandstone was used for the Gothic details—the square crenellated tower flanked by four corner turrets, the oriel window above the ogival doors, and the buttresses of the two wings. This new centre had a large hall with a balcony and a stage for dances and performances. There was a Masonic Lodge room upstairs. Victoria Hall underwent a complete renovation and restoration in 1998, carried out by the firm Fournier, Gersovitz & Moss. It provides space for municipal courses, concerts, meetings, and social events.
Victoria Hall is Westmount's community centre and home to the Community Events Division. This division is responsible for the operation of the building, including the Gallery at Victoria Hall, and for the coordination of local events.
Victoria Hall is used for City Council events, cultural presentations and recreation courses offered by Westmount. On any given day, you can find activities for all ages taking place there, including tai chi, fitness, music, dance, theatre, bridge and much more.
Please note that rooms in Victoria Hall are NOT available for rent.
The stage and auditorium were built on the first and second floors of the structure respectively. The auditorium was the primary purpose of Victoria Hall. This breaks with the tradition of the combined town hall/opera house, where a small stage and auditorium is most often found on the second floor above municipal offices and chambers. The building was the home of regular weekly big-band dances during the 30s and 40s, widely attended by Westmounters and Montrealers alike.
The newly-renovated facilities at Victoria Hall offer residents a variety of venues from meeting rooms to the kitchen to the large concert hall. The building underwent extensive restoration and renovations in 1998-99, including the installation of an elevator and the addition of a Gallery.
Architects: Fournier, Gersovitz & Moss
The gallery space was designed by the firm Fournier Gersovitz & Moss to match the exterior of adjacent Victoria Hall, using the same neo-Tudor architectural style and similar building materials. The floors were done in geometric tiles in the British tradition. The French doors open onto the Conservatory forecourt which was planted with linden trees and perennials in 2001.
The Art Gallery provides a pedestrian link between the Conservatory and Victoria Hall. It hosts changing exhibitions of the visual arts by Westmounters, children from the Visual Arts Centre programmes, and city employees. It is also used for occasional lectures and social events.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013