Description of Historic Place
Hollywood Parade, 103-113 James Street, was built in 1892-93 by James A. Corry and occupies a large northeast lot at the corner of James and Lyon Street. The two storey orange brick row-housing complex forms an integral part of the Heritage Conservation District of Centretown.
Hollywood Parade was designated for its cultural heritage value under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act by the City of Ottawa through By-law # 83-78.
Hollywood Parade is an excellent and relatively rare example of domestic Romanesque Revival architecture, and is historically and contextually related to the development of Centretown and the transformation of the residential built form.
Hollywood Parade is a multi-unit residence that reflects the architectural styles and ideas of its time period. The late 19th century witnessed a growth in eclecticism and the Victorian interest in irregularity and ornamentation was translated into architecture. This building in particular features elements from a number of architectural inspirations which as a whole relates this building to its time period. For example, the design of the recessed doorways, and ornate window and door arches seems to have been influenced by Islamic architecture. On the other hand, the wide voussoirs have origins in the Romanesque Revival and the heavy cornice and corbelling is influenced by the Italianate style. The combination of these stylistically borrowed elements creates an entertaining and fanciful design consistent with High Victorian taste.
This six unit row house was constructed in 1892-93, most likely by James A. Corry who was also the original owner. James A. Corry, architect and builder, was the most prominent developer in Centretown of the 1890s. An 1892 newspaper article stated that during the spring, Corry had sold residences on James and Florence Streets to the extent of $28,000, an accomplishment greater than any other individual in that section of the city.
Centretown developed as a residential neighbourhood south of Ottawa's principal business and governmental centre starting in the 1880s and was mainly developed by builders like Corry. This particular row house was primarily constructed to house the growing civil service in Ottawa and other white collar workers. Built within reasonable proximity to Parliament Hill and other governmental offices, Hollywood Parade became a favourable destination for this growing social class.
The type of residence and its particular location is also of note. Row housing was less popular with English Canadians in the earlier 19th century, who preferred individual detached houses with small gardens. But rising costs of land close to the centre of urban areas instigated the rise in popularity of row housing during this period. This was the beginning of a trend that witnessed the growth of multi-unit residences throughout Ottawa's centre, which continued into the 20th century as this area was intensified. The unpopularity of row housing for middle and upper class English Canadians is perhaps the reason why it was named “Hollywood Parade”, to suggest a pastoral Arcadia rather than urban row housing. However, the precise origins and reasoning for the name “Hollywood Parade” are unclear.
Sources: City of Ottawa file PD04-OHD4300/ JAME 00103-00113
Character defining elements of Hollywood Parade include its:
- orange brick exterior
- decorative corbelling and low-relief floral patterns
- segmented brick horseshoe window surrounds, alternating with drip surrounds on the upper storey
- stained glass portions of lower storey windows
- brick stringcourses between storeys and vertical bands delineating the bays
- double pilasters separating the window bays
- segmented brick round recessed entrance arches with contrasting pink granite keystone
- low-relief floral terracotta panels (featuring swirl, vine, oak leaf, star, flower, vase, and maple leaf designs) supporting the upper and lower storey windows arches
- red granite columns with marble capitals supporting the ground storey window arches
- heavily rusticated limestone window sills and foundation
- flat roof with pressed tin cornice of upright acanthus leaves, projecting brackets and sawtooth dentils
- marble plaque with building's name in centre of façade
- location on a large corner lot with similar shallow setback as neighbouring properties