Sunday, April 12, 2009

Some Saskatoon Gargoyles

When I’m travelling, I am always drawn to stone carvings and sculptures. But I tend to ignore them in my home town. It was warm and sunny yesterday, so I went out and took photos of some of the carvings on two of Saskatoon’s oldest buildings.

College Building, University of Saskatchewan
The College Building was designed by Montreal architects Brown and Valance and constructed between 1910 and 1913. It cost $297,000 and originally housed labs, classrooms and offices as well as the library and the President’s Office. Particularly in its early years, the university had close ties with agriculture so the basement housed rooms for making butter and cheese.

Designed in the College Gothic style, the gargoyles protecting the building were supposed to represent Prairie animals. Unfortunately, the carvers in Eastern Canada weren’t familiar with Prairie animals. Instead, there is a mix of farmyard animals and more exotic creatures.

The Bessborough
The Bessborough Hotel was constructed between 1928 and 1932 as one of a chain of railway hotels built by the Canadian National Railway. It was designed to resemble a Bavarian castle and continues to be a well-loved landmark on Saskatoon’s riverbank.

The slideshow on the right currently includes a variety of close-up images of the gargoyles and carvings on the two buildings.

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