I M A G E S:
J.B. Learmont House(3/1894)
1564 Doctor Penfield Avenue (30 MacGregor Street), Montreal, QC, Canada
Residential, Urban house [detached, basement, 2 floors, attic, 6 bedrooms, 1 servant's room]; stone; wall bearing

Client: J.B. Learmont
Architect: E. Maxwell

Description: Montreal businessman J.B. Learmont was an erudite man whose knowledge of literature and history, among others, was extraordinary. He was a collector of rare books; his library was auctioned off in New York after the First World War. He held various honorary positions, which included membership of the Montreal General Hospital, the Montreal Building of Trade, and the Victorian Order of Nurses, the Charity Organization Society, and the Montreal Art Association. He was a business associate with Mr. James Crathern who was the founding member of Crathern & Caverhill, wholesale hardware merchants. Learmont became the partner in the successor firm to form Caverhill, Learmont & Company. On July 12, 1892 Learmont, together with Crathern, asked Edward Maxwell to design houses for them in the western perimeter of the Square Mile. The outcome was a fraternal pair of houses, which adopted similar plan but different exteriors. The plan is most likely an adaptation of N.L. Anderson’s House (1881) in Washington planned by H.H. Richardson who had influenced Edward and his designs. The ground floor plan of the Learmont house adopts typical Edward’s residential design with a stair hall as the central core of the house giving access to drawing room, music room, and dining room and butler’s pantry. The staircase leading to the upper floors accommodates Learmont’s bedroom with an attached library and guestrooms. Four large bedrooms and a small library occupy the attic floor. The servants’ room is located in the basement. Even today the ground floor of Learmont house retains the Edward’s interior details, safeguarding the mosaic floor of the vestibule, the golden oak woodwork in the stair hall, and the sycamore wainscoting in the drawing room, music room and dining room. The exterior of the house varies drastically with relation to the façade of the Crathern House (82), which adopts the same plan. The Learmont House known for its smooth grey limestone façade, while the Crathern House embraces highly textured red sandstone exteriors. The front elevation of the Learmont House features a gently curved projecting bay on which a large gabled dormer is placed. The tympanum over the deeply recessed porch is decorated with iron works and all the ornamentation is limited to emphasizing the cornice details, corbels and capitals. Today the Learmont House demonstrates the versatility, showing its ability for adopting the major stylistic fashions in residential designs to the Canadian context that were popular in United States.

Holdings: Urban house (detached, basement, 2 floors, attic, 6 bedrooms, 1 servant's room); stone; wall bearing
12 Drawings: 10 ink on linen; 2 ink on paper
2 Presentation drawings: floor plans
7 Working drawings: floor plans, attic floor plan, elevations, section, wooden cornice
3 Detail drawings: plan, elevations, structure, fittings
1 Photograph: 1 finished exterior

I M A G E S:  Drawings  Photographs  
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