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Recreating an Icon at Main and Mill & Thinking Forward
The Hotel McGibbon has occupied this corner of Main and Mill in Georgetown since 1861. This is a prominent position both on Main Street and in the town’s history. The whole team is incredibly passionate about the history of the site, and about maintaining a meaningful connection to the past. A tremendous amount of thought, planning, and effort will be made to salvage and reuse existing material in various ways, and to recreate and preserve significant elements of the original building.
Preserving the iconic view of the building at Main and Mill is of utmost importance. Studio JCI, the architects for The Residences of the Hotel McGibbon, have faithfully recreated the footprint of the original hotel, distinguishing it from the rest of the building using classic red brick. New red brick for the exterior has been sourced from Britain, which is a more expensive option, but is a perfect match and worth the cost and effort as this reflects the history of the structure.
The intent is also to recreate the original balcony and hang the original sign, again satisfying our desire to preserve the view of the corner. The corner of Main and Mill reveals itself in photos dating back to the 19th Century. It’s such an important cultural touchstone; it’s meaningful to be able to look into history and see the building through the ages.
We’re working to bring back the lovely recessed porticos, visible in photos dating from the 1880s to 1910. These little recessed entrances soften Main Street and make it a more active streetscape, encouraging people to engage with the building. For us, these porticos, lost in the current structure, is the most gracious and representative of this element of the building’s proud history.
We’re also thoughtfully incorporating artifacts and repurposing materials from the original building on Main Street, while nodding to classic hotels in our design of the new building itself. The original stone floors and floor joists are being repurposed elsewhere on Main Street, for example. Artful integrations of other elements of history in the interiors are also important.
Behind the stone desk will hang a spectacular and unique piece of art. Original works of art will be commissioned, inspired by the history of the area. The pieces will contribute to a sense of place that’s relevant to the history of the area, as well as to the people who live in Georgetown. Mason Studio is introducing a special sculptural piece in the lobby made of locally sourced stone, and a gallery hall displaying work from local artists, and found objects and artifacts connecting past and present to the region will be displayed.
The Residences of the Hotel McGibbon is a powerful homage to the site, and history of Georgetown. We’re doing our best to honour the site’s cultural importance and physical presence at this iconic corner, while also listening to residents and looking forward to produce a building the town and future residents love.
*Renderings and illustrations are artist’s concept.