Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Mystery of the Lincoln Heights Moderns

Recently, a reader brought my attention to a handful of mid-century modern houses on the east end of Regina Street in Lincoln Heights that resemble the Eichler-built houses in California, particularly in regards to the roof lines and exposed beams. Unfortunately, I have not been able to dig up any information on these houses - other than that they were built around 1960 - so maybe one of my readers can help?

The one aspect that makes these houses stand out compared to the Eichler-built houses is that the Ottawa versions have large windows overlooking the street. As much as I absolutely adore the Eichler designs (some were designed by my favourite architect A. Quincy Jones), they are very inward looking, often focusing on a central courtyard. The privacy this provides is noteworthy, but so too is the fact that there are few "eyes upon the street" (as per Jane Jacobs). I for one know that I would not be happy in a house without large windows overlooking the street from my living spaces. It makes me feel connected to the community and makes for a safer neighbourhood.

Most of the Eichler houses were built in Northern California, yet below are some of the Eichler designs built in Fairhills, Orange, California. Notice how the front facades are mostly blank: 

Back to Lincoln Heights in Ottawa, I do have some floor plans for houses built in this area. I remember reading an article years ago (perhaps in an old newspaper that I cannot seem to track down) about how the builder Assaly planned to built a large neighbourhood of luxury homes next to the Western Parkway. Assaly did build a number of large detached houses in the early 1970s in the area and in the 1980s MacDonald Homes constructed some more. The remainder of the houses in Lincoln Heights were custom-built in the 1980s and 1990s. There are still a few vacant lots in the area yet to be built on. 

Below are the plans by Assaly. The Quality is not great, but these are scans of the photocopied versions I have.

I do not have the plans for the semi-detached houses, but I suspect that they are the ones on the south side of Regina Street.

Plans by MacDonald Homes:

Monday, October 10, 2016

Costain in Ottawa Part Two: Blackburn Hamlet (and Orleans) Carriage Homes and Townhouses

In Part One I shared Costain's detached plans in Blackburn Hamlet (some of which were also built in Orleans): Costain in Ottawa - Part One: Blackburn Hamlet (Detached Homes). This second installment in the series focuses on the Carriage Homes and Townhomes built by Costain.

The Carriage homes in Blackburn Hamlet were for the most part built south of Innes Road, with a small pocket in the northwest corner of the area. Similar carriage home designs were also built in Convent Glen in Orleans. These designs are usually only attached by the garage, although some units have bedrooms over the garage and thus are attached to the adjacent house on the upper level. A variety of distinct facade designs makes each unit more individual on the streetscape.

The Harwood townhouses are located south of Innes Road at Orient Park Drive. There are a few other condo townhouse complexes built by Costain South of Innes, but these are the only plans I have. Other builders also constructed townhouses in this part of Blackburn Hamlet.

Below are the plans for the Innes Park rental complex built by Costain at Innes Road and Eastpark Drive, including townhouses, flats and 2-level apartments.

Stay tuned for more Costain plans!