For 20 years the abandoned crapboard Petch house served no purpose, except to collect animal feces.
After a decade of indecision and squabbling by 3 Aurora town councils, followed by ridiculous efforts to save it by some so called “friends” is still is without a purpose. It is however “complete” as reported in last week’s Auroran which you can read here: http://www.newspapers-online.com/auroran/?p=3841
This after over $100,000 behind spent on its reconstruction, effectively turning it inside out.
Given how the house arrived where it did it seems more than fitting that it appears as a kiddie playhouse perched in the backyard of the Aurora seniors centre, not unlike you would buy from Toys-R-Us:
Here is a shot of the Petch House back when it was somebody’s house:
Here it is as it has been restored:
The missing impetus to focus so much time and attention, on a house that wasn’t even part of Aurora’s history while we approve demolitions of other heritage registered homes at a rate of one per month, has been the subject of several posts. I have selected a shortlist of some that can be viewed here:
Nowhere in any of the discussions I followed did I ever pick up on the intent to invert the remains of the house.
Perhaps “Inversion” a temporary art-installation project in 2005 by Houston Texas based artists Dan Havel and Dean Ruck provided the inspiration. Pictured above the exterior skin of the house was peeled off and used to create the narrowing spiral as it progressed eastward through the small central hallway connecting this building and another, exiting through a small hole into an adjacent courtyard. Another shot can be seen here:
Even an inside out house is better than what was envisioned by the now non existent “friends” of said house.
Back in this May 25th 2011 article from The Error Banner Richmond Hill resident Kathrine Belrose claimed that “A house like that is not restored in a year’s time, because it wasn’t built in a year either.” You can read the article here:
Both of Belroses’ assertions appear to be without merit.
I suspect that the Petch house was originally built in under a year. In pioneer days construction of a dwelling couldn’t linger, it was necessary shelter. It’s not a complicated house, there aren’t huge amenities, wiring or plumbing.
It was rebuilt in a timely fashion by the town for a fraction of what the contractor the “friends” of the Petch House brought forward without even filing an RFP.
With regards to timetable Belrose is quoted in the article as saying “We’re looking at about three years or so.” yet in the 2011 article claimed they want the doors open to coincide with the town’s 150 anniversary this year.
Her math doesn’t add up, and her statements above certainly do nothing to reinforce her credibility in the areas of heritage homes.
I’m glad that council saw through the fanciful “rebuild it and they will come” notion that she shared with her friends to make it into some micro Black Creek Pioneer village.
The quest for a purpose still stands, and may be limited due to how it was reconstructed as evidenced when I visited the site to take some pictures.
When I was onsite I had to stop and laugh after noticing that a copy of the Yellow pages was left at the front door:
I guess the fact that the house doesn’t have an address, let alone a phone or electricity shouldn’t stop it from receiving a copy of the yellow pages. Just like the fact that the house has no purpose didn’t stop it from being turned inside out by a bunch of fickle morons and their “friends”.