Monday, July 7, 2014

Booth Street Beauties

If you have ever been stuck in traffic on Booth Street near Albert Street you may have admired the row of multi-coloured houses with carports on the eastern side, plus a row on adjacent Primrose Avenue. What I find most striking about these houses are the different colours used to distinguish each unit in the row. 

The row on Primrose has a brighter colour scheme.

I am uncertain of the exact date when these houses were built, but it would most-likely have been in the late 1970s or early 1980s. The architecture is similar to other townhouse clusters built around the same time with wood siding and carports. This architecture appears to be particular to Ottawa, creating a unique local vernacular. Two blocks west of this cluster are other houses with a similar architecture, but they were built by J. Perez. I have heard that these houses were built by R.J. Nicol.

The plans for these "Painted Ladies" are unique as well, especially the way that the units interlock with each other. The 3 bedroom unit is wider on the second and third levels at the front, and actually overhangs the carport of the 4 bedroom unit next door. As such, the 4 bedroom units have a slightly narrower second floor balcony - as shown in the photo below.

The 4 bedroom units are deeper and widen out at the back. All units have 3 bedrooms and a bathroom on the top floor, but the 4 bedroom unit has a larger ground level which is where the 4th bedroom is located.

The next time you are stuck in traffic on Booth Street, or walking to or from Lebreton Flats, take the time to admire this unique pocket of houses! 

1 comment:

  1. I owned one of the four bedroom units, No 203 Booth. The floor plans shown were the "proposed" layouts, and not as built. The entry level had a laundry room immediately to one side, and a entry level roughed in bath for the Booth units and a built in bath for the Primrose units. Booth sold for $51,000 and Primrose's for 53,000. We bought it from plans and moved in feb. 1980 or 81. The kitchen and dining room shown were combined to make a kitchen about 12x16 across the back of the house; and the living room was lengthened to make a 11x25' combined dining / living room. The back balcony stretched across the whole back of the house, making it very useful. We had an optional skylight above the stairs in a recessed tapered light well set between the rafters; the stairs wind around a opening that extended right down to the entry level, so there were light everywhere, making it bright modern and exciting. Traffic on the street is a killer, though; and the innovative "party" walls separating the units are dubious -- there was a stud wall, plywood, a 2" gap supposedly filled with sand for acoustic dampening, and then another plywood panel, stud, and the next unit.