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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

1021 Wellington Crescent - Part 2

Sad news that 1021 Wellington Crescent has been significantly damaged by fire. Here's a look back at its history. Part 1 looks at the families that have called it home over the decades. Part 2 is about the home builder, Frank R. Lount.

Frank R. Lount (source)

The house was designed and constructed by Frank R. Lount in 1933. 

Lount came from Ontario in 1921 and was actually a housing contractor by trade under the company names F. R. Lount, F. R. Lount and Son with son William).

Though the Depression caused many Winnipeg families to lose their fortunes, Lount saw an opportunity. He designed and built over a dozen exclusive homes between 1929 and 1939 on streets like Wellington Crescent, Elm Park Crescent, Grenfell Boulevard, Girton Boulevard, Fulham Avenue, Park Boulevard and Handsart Boulevard.

In the case of 1021 Wellington, at least, Lount continued to own the house until the early 1940s and lease it to the owners. It's unclear if he did the same thing with his other tony properties.

September 8, 1936, Winnipeg Tribune

In 1936 the Town of Tuxedo opened up a large section of land for residential development, enough for 50 houses. Lount was the first to break ground on the site with four homes and 137 Girton became the show home for the development.

November 8, 1949, Winnipeg Tribune

The construction slowed to a crawl during World War II but as it came to an end, Lount found a new niche: post war bungalows. In his native St. James he took out dozens of permits, sometimes applying for five or more at a time. 

In 1949 he struck a deal with the City of St. James to purchase the 126 acre former Lord Strathcona estate on which 500 homes would be constructed over a period of years. (The area is now known as Silver Heights.)

Winnipeg Clinic Oct 1953 PC 18-7294-18-6298-004

After the war, F. R. Lount and Sons, (he only had one son, the plural likely includes Peter Stovel, an architect who worked for the company and became his son in law in 1943), built something other than houses. Frank is credited as the architect for the Winnipeg Clinic Building on St. Mary Avenue. The company also designed and built the Silver Heights Apartments on St. James Street.

Lount was founding president of the Winnipeg Home Builders Association in 1944 and president of the Canadian Home Builders association in 1945-46. He died on May 22, 1976 at Grace Hospital leaving wife Annette, son William and daughter Ferne.

Related:
1021 Wellington Crescent Historic Building Committee
Frank Reade Lount Winnipeg Architecture Foundation
Sures House Winnipeg Building Index

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