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Niagara Falls
Sunday, July 14, 2024
Letter: Once ‘architectural blasphemy,’ house now earns accolades
Architecture columnist Brian Marshall said this home is an example of a contextually appropriate infill. (Supplied)

Dear editor:

When I read Brian Marshall’s comments (“An homage to the Greeks and one couple’s vision,” April 27) about the Queen Anne home I built over 20 years ago at 116 Gate St., I was reminded of Cervantes’ observation to trust time, as it often brings sweet endings to bitter hardships.

At the time it was described as “architectural blasphemy” and one which the building inspector quipped generated so many complaints that he could have hired a full-time secretary to handle the calls.

I would never have imagined that the house would now be considered a “design in sympathy” with the community.

Tourists always seemed to feel this as well. 

There are many, many truly appealing homes in the town, and according to the number of photos they took of 116 Gate, this must have been one of them. 

They were most often fooled by its age, commenting that it was in wonderful condition for a century-old structure. They sometimes walked through the front door without knocking, thinking that it was a B&B.

Sometimes, we heard commotions on the front porch as wedding parties took pictures on it. And every night about 10 when I heard the carriage horses “clip-clop” by the house, I would think “How much better could it be than to live in this community?”

And I often thanked Al Derbyshire, who lived at the corner of Prideaux and Gate, for his charitable goodwill. 

When I first met him I suggested that as the owner of 116 Gate, he might not want to speak to me. His response was simple and sincere, “John, we’re all friends here.”

John Asher
Loretto, Ont.

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