Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Look Who's Home !

After nearly a century of wear and tear, the Waddell Fountain was removed last year for some much needed tlc leaving an eerie gap in Central Park.

Above c 1918. Below c 2008
above and below June 2009
The fountain was built in 1914 to commemorate Emily Margaret Waddell.

Mrs. Waddell died in 1908 and stipulated in her will that if her husband Thomas, a local temperance leader, remarried, he donate $10,000 to the City for construction of a fountain. Mr. Waddell, who did remarry, was able to raise the funds and in 1914 met his obligation.

Local architect John Manuel was selected to design the fountain. Manuel also designed structures at the University of Manitoba and was active in the Manitoba Association of Architects before relocating to Alberta in 1927 to direct construction of Canadian Pacific Railway hotels at Banff and Lake Louise.

The Waddell Fountain is a rare example of High Victorian style in Manitoba and is based on the 1844 Gothic Revival monument in Edinburgh to Romantic poet Sir Walter Scott.*

It appears that Mr. Waddell did not get a lot of time with his new love. "Thomas Waddell one of Winnipeg's old timers has lived here for 35 years is ill. He recently sustained a paralytic stroke" That was August 31, 1914. On September 3 there was an announcement of his funeral.

The fountain is back, (I can't wait to see the water flowing again !) and now it's time for the park to get it's makeover. The earth movers have now invaded !

From more details of the redevelopment see:
- WED Press Release (June 20, 2008)
- Inner City Renaissance - Free Press (with image)
- Hurrah for Public Space Upgrades - Dumplings
- Central Park to get a Facelift - CTV

- For more photos of Waddell Fountain see my album

- Quote from the province's historical sites website. For a more detailed version see the city's Historic Buildings Committee report (pdf).


Emma said...

Thanks for posting about this. I've heard a lot about the park and its fabled fountain, and am looking forward to seeing it in person... it looks beautiful.

mrchristian said...

I've never seen it with water in it !

Anonymous said...

My mom took a pic of me in front of the fountain in 1948 I still have the picture, a mother's love for her son. I was about one year old. After all it was designed after romantic poet Walter Scott. Thanks Barry M.