With news of the Perth County Council’s decision to demolish the Registry Office, I thought I’d raise awareness of its significance and give some hope on how we can fight this.
This building was designed by prominent local architect T.J. Hepburn and constructed in 1910. On this street alone, Hepburn designed the original part of the Stratford Public Library in 1903 and undertook extensive renovations of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in 1899.
Hepburn designed the building to complement the existing Perth County Court House and Stratford Jail, so, as the Stratford-Perth ACO stated, “when completed the addition of the building created a unified street scape from Huron Street to the jail thus creating a significant landscape along St. Andrew Street.” Demolition of the Registry Office effectively removes this unified streetscape.
The similarities are evident in the Hepburn’s use of buff brick with rusticated brown stone as well as in the red painted detailing including the stamped metal ornamentation above the entry and in the gable that is designed to replicate the use of terra cotta on the Court House.
Brown coloured stone is applied to the windowsills and lintels, as well as through stringcourses along the base and heads of the windows, along the eaves of the front gable, and as a plinth course along the building’s base. Even more significant, is application of this stone in a rusticated door surround. The words “REGISTRY OFFICE” are inscribed in stone above the entry door. The stone detail and colour closely resemble the Credit Valley stone used on the Court House. Similarly, there is a frieze board with prominent brackets.