By Barry Magrill
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Additional info for A Commerce of Taste: Church Architecture in Canada, 1867-1914
British immigrants building a religious infrastructure in the Dominion associated the images of Gothic Revival churches in the pattern books with extended British imperial power. This was particularly important to British rule in the Dominion of Canada because North America had no medieval roots except the ones imposed by the colonial situation. The deployment of British and European medieval-revival motifs lent churches built in the Dominion an appearance of permanence. Britishtrained architects operating in the Dominion appropriated medieval planning and aesthetics to legitimize the modern cultural claims of their clientele.
Introduction to the Study of Gothic Architecture (1849) by John Henry Parker, like Gwilt’s continually reprinted book, enlightened students on the function and designation of all facets of architectural detail. 20 An earlier reference book on architecture dealing more directly with the notion of taste was An Attempt to Discriminate the Styles of English Architecture, from the Conquest to the Reformation (1817), written by the British architect Thomas Rickman. ” Many of these terms are still in use today.
Another publication that recognized the importance of Montreal’s contribution to ecclesiastical architecture in Canada was the Illustrated London News, which published an account of the opening ceremony in 1860. ”17 Construction costs were proportionately high, estimated as £35,000, given the inclusion of the elaborate ornamentation of the building. The costs also included a plan to offer a portion of the seats free, or “open,” to worshippers unable to pay the fee to lease seats. This meant that the community at Christ Church had been 27 • the r ise of comm ercial so ciet y willing to support some portion of the construction costs through donation rather than the lease of every seat in the church.
A Commerce of Taste: Church Architecture in Canada, 1867-1914 by Barry Magrill