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Edward S. Clouston House(5/1894)
3660 Peel Street [362 Peel Street], Montreal, QC, Canada
Residential, Urban house [detached, basement, 2 floors, attic]; brick and stone; wall bearing
Client: Sir Edward Seaborne Clouston
Description: Edward S. Clouston has often been referred to as Canada’s J.P. Morgan. Born in 1849, he entered Bank of Montreal in 1865, made his way to the top and by 1893 was Vice-President and General Manager. Edward Maxwell was already quite popular with the Canadian Pacific/Bank of Montreal business community, having completed the Crathern (69), Learmont 127), Hugh A. Allan (4) and his brother-in-law H.V. Meredith ( 165) residences in the short three years upon returning to Montreal and establishing his firm. H.V. Meredith will eventually succeed Clouston as General Manager at Bank of Montreal in 1911. E.S. Clouston actually considered having a semi-detached house built with Duncan McIntyre Sr. on Peel Street (that house was built as the McIntyre-Angus house, (146) but opted instead for a detached family mansion to be erected on a lot just south of the latter and north of the James Ross (191) residence on Peel Street. Like the latter, the Clouston House adopted the Château style introduced by Bruce Price in Canada and popularised by Edward Maxwell with the CPR train stations and hotels coast to coast.
A perspective from March 1893 shows the imposing mansion with its round corner tower capped by a conical roof and connected by way of a loggia to a polygonal oriel, with its view to the Saint-Lawrence River. Steep roofs, the rough masonry (buff and red sandstone) and the picturesque massing were in keeping with designs for wealthy Americans by architects Richard Morris Hunt and Bruce Price and conveyed the same message of sophisticated affluence. Construction contracts for the sum of $44,715 were awarded in September 1893. Sculptor Henry Beaumont designed the decorative stone carving on the exterior, notably the initials “B.M.” (Bank of Montreal) above the main entrance.
In plan, the house followed the usual Victorian vertical household layout, with the kitchen and services in the basement, the more formal reception rooms around a hall on the ground floor. The master bedrooms and the library were on the first floor; additional bedrooms and servant’s room on the second floor. The ground floor rooms (drawing room, dining room, billiard room and pantry) encircled a vast hall (28’ x 20’) with oak panelling and a sculpted mantel. The billiard room was adorned by bas-reliefs by George W. Hill (397).
Edward S. Clouston, obviously pleased with his urban house on Peel Street, hired E. Maxwell in 1898 to work on his house in Senneville, Bois-Briant (333), modifying and enlarging the property over a period of 12 years. They also collaborated on another house on Pine Avenue in 1913.
The Clouston House was demolished in 1938. Recently a new building of the Nahum Gelber Law Library, McGill University, designed by Montreal architect Dan Hanganu, was erected on its former site.
Holdings: Urban house (detached, basement, 2 floors, attic); brick and stone; wall bearing
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