Museum opposes Redpath House demolition

Ask Montreal to respect its own bylaws

Acontroversy is developing regarding the proposed demolition of the historic Redpath House on du Musée Ave. That house, dating from 1886, was built by the founder of the sugar refinery that bears the same

John Symon

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name.The house is also considered to be one of the prime surviving examples of Queen Anne style architecture in Montreal's Golden Square Mile district. The house is also a short distance uphill from the Mon- treal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA), and the board of directors there is one of the groups opposed to the demolition. "A majority of theVille-Marie borough councilors adopted a resolution authorizing a zoning variance for the site of Redpath House, thus allowing a real estate developer to build a high-rise 25 metres tall.This variance does not respect current municipal by-laws, which limit the height of buildings to a maximum of 16 metres," reads an excerpt from a museum press release.That release goes on to claim that a condominium planned for the site would,"mar the architectural design of the Museum's

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new galleries and spoil the view of [Mount Royal from the museum]." Other groups trying to save the mansion include Heritage Montreal and Projet Montreal (a municipal political party). Projet Montreal presented a motion opposing the demolition at the January 24 Montreal city council meeting,but withdrew it after Mayor Gerald Tremblay spoke about the "new information" that the MMFA also opposed the demolition.Tremblay also expressed hope that the MMFA would meet with the Redpath owners, but it appears this has not happened. The Sochaczevski family that owns the property tried to demolish the mansion in 1986, but was stopped by a court injunction. Reports in other media describe the Redpath mansion as "dilapidated."

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* FEBRUARY 5, 2011 7

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