The apartment buildings on Bell Street south of Gladstone are amongst the oldest in Ottawa. We were becoming a big city when young single people no longer needed to “board” with someone or continue living at home. Of course, these independent living arrangements were not chaperoned, giving the Bell Street Towers the moniker “Peyton Place” for the first decades. After all, why else would young people leave home if not for immoral purposes?
I recall back in the 70’s visiting other students who lived there, and discovering the ceiling above was at a crazy angle, and there were large bolts and metal brackets in the apartment wall to hold up the floor above which had “let go” of the underneath wall that supposedly supported it. Seriously scary.
After decades of decay and exterior neglect, a firm bought the towers with the intention of rebuilding them. Some of the balconies will be partially enclosed to expand the living rooms.
Work has been going on the balconies for some time, hammering off the damaged and decayed concrete and pouring new. Here is an exterior shot, and be sure to notice the apartment on the left most stack that is stucco with small windows rather than all glass (there was a fire, it was repaired in this mis-matched fashion a decade ago):
And here is a view of the first panels of new exterior to go up on the west side. The metal panels are two toned gray, the balcony railings glass.
Architectural fashions seem to go around and around. The original 50’s exterior is all glass walls, just like the most elegant condos being built today. Will today’s de luxe condos be tomorrow’s affordable housing? Will we someday bless Claridge for providing the thousands of affordable apartments spread around downtown?
Here is an artist’s view of what the exteriors will look like, as detailed the two previous WSA posts linked below: