Tuesday, August 11, 2020

The pending loss of 150 years of history in the heart of Westboro

My article in this month's Kitchissippi Times (we're back in print!) focuses on the history of the unique building at the north-east corner of Richmond and Churchill, in the heart of Westboro. The entire block will be razed to make way for another condo building, and the intersection will take on a whole new look. One more chip away of the character of old Westboro. Not too much of it left on Richmond Road, I'm afraid.

The former Westboro Sports building at the corner has a long history, and in the article are several photos showing it through the years. I also cover a bit of the history of the rest of the block on Richmond, including some of the original gas station, chicken feed and cigar shops that appeared there.

One interesting development which I wish I knew about before submitting the article - I was alerted the other day by renowned local historian Bruce Elliott that in fact the original Birch's hotel that stood on this spot in the 1870s was not fully replaced in 1928 as I wrote in the article; in fact, part of the rear and east-side wall still remain, practically hidden in the back and alongside the building. So when the walls come down sometime this fall, it will be George Watson's 1928 building that comes down, but also part of the original hotel that has stood since 1873! How tragic. I believe Bruce is writing up a brief "letter to the editor" to share this piece of information and a photo, and I'm glad to know it, but it almost makes it harder to see the building go, now that I know this extra bit of info.

Anyhow, the article can be read at https://kitchissippi.com/2020/08/06/connecting-pieces-remembering-150-years-of-history-on-richmond-road/  and I thank you for reading!

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