Located at a prominent intersection in Kingston’s Heritage District, this building (c. 1872) was one of the finest extant 19th century stone buildings in the City.

In 1990 fire destroyed everything but the facades, which were also seriously damaged. Rather than build a modern building in its place, with the cooperation of the insurance company, the Owner, Spindex Corporation, chose to attempt to rebuild the original building.

Although his first emotional reaction at the scene of the fire, as headlined in the newspaper was “I will rebuild it right down to the creaky wooden floors,” the new interior is now of non- combustible construction in compliance with today’s codes.

The restoration work involved careful documentation of the remnants, research into the building’s history, detailed stone work drawings and nine new hand-carved limestone Greek Composite capitals to replace the burned ones.

The facade, however, is a reconstruction of the original with the street level retail front as it appeared in the mid 20th century.

In all, approximately 460 tonnes of limestone were used in the new construction. During construction the media and citizens maintained a watchful vigilance over its progress, with curious and admiring stolen glimpses behind the scaffolding and weather protection which was kept in place until the unveiling to enthusiastic praise from all.

THE MACNEE & MINNES BUILDING

Princess Street, Kingston, Ontario

Frontenac Historic Foundation Awar

Tradecut from Letterhead dated 1893, priv. coll ©