Thursday, 3 May 2012

Queen's Park's Whitney Block Tower

The Whitney Block Tower is a Modern Gothic structure added in 1932 to architect F. R. Heakes 1928 Whitney Block. It is faced with Queenston limestone. Due to the building being situated on the street racing part of Queen's Park Crescent most people take no heed of it.

As first built it was an eclectric complex for a Provincial Government headquarters, featuring
  • a bowling alley in the basement
  • An early form of conditioning that used blocks of ice
  • The sixth floor contained animal pens used by the provincial veterinary services that were housed there. Cows were brought up to the lab in an adjacent service elevator.
  • The elevator is not automated but has to be hand cranked
As imposing as the Whitney Block tower is, it is an abandoned building.

The building hasn't been inhabited since 1968, when it was deemed a fire hazard. There is only one staircase, which makes it unsafe in the event of an emergency evacuation. As well, there is no central mechanical ventilation system. The only way to get fresh air into the building is by opening the windows.

No comments:

Post a Comment