RDH Architects selected to transform Old Galt Post Office

An architect has been named for one of the most prestigious rehabilitation projects in the province. During Thursday’s (March 20) municipal heritage advisory committee meeting, chair John Oldfield announced Toronto’s Rounthwaite Dick and Hadley (RDH) Architects have been selected by a unanimous decision to work on the Old Galt Post Office.

“I am very happy. They were my number-one pick,” Oldfield said. “They more than adequately addressed my heritage concerns.”

The city is ready to spend an estimated $11 million to transform the iconic post office building into the city’s newest library/restaurant. The city wants to complete the designs for the renovations and a major addition to the rear of the building this year and have it built in 2015.

Oldfield said of the six finalists that made presentations to the city on March 14, five were top-notch and well qualified to do the job.

“The job has attracted a high level of interest,” he said noting each of the presenters was impressed by the building’s pedigree. “Most of the presenters paid homage to the building’s architect, Thomas Fuller.”

Fuller held the post of Chief Dominion Architect for the government of Canada during the days of Sir John A. Macdonald. He was responsible for designing many prominent government buildings, including the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa and several key buildings at Kingston’s Royal Military College, as well armouries in Toronto and Halifax and a number of post office buildings.

Oldfield said the architects were impressed with Fuller’s ability to create “such a bold presence for the federal government in such a small footprint. It’s a very powerful building, but really quite small.”

RDH is no stranger to working on libraries. It has done four library projects in Toronto, while closer to home they have designed the Guelph Civic Centre pavilion, Hamilton Public Library, and the Waterdown Library and Civic Centre. According to the company’s website, the firm has also designed government buildings, schools and homes.

Mayor Doug Craig said an official announcement is expected to be made on Monday.

“It’s really an iconic building and there were a lot of architects drooling to get this job,” he said noting that roughly 40 architecture firms applied for the project.

“I think when this is done it’sgoing to draw a lot of people down here to see it, which is exactly what we wanted,” he said.

By Ray Martin of the Cambridge Times


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