24 Sussex Drive

Ottawa (1868)

 

The Building:
The house at 24 Sussex Drive is the official residence of the Prime Minister of Canada during his or her term of office. The house has been renovated many times with unsympathetic alterations prevailing in most cases. The oldest part of the house dates from the 1830s. It is a national historic site.

 

Project Synopsis:
Historic Plaster Conservation Services was asked to assess two plaster ceilings in the large dining room - the large coffered (fibrous plaster) ceiling intalled in the 1960s, and the delicate and delightful bay window ceiling, which probably dates back to building's 1830's origin.

The assessment reveal the modern fibrous plaster to be in good condition, with no treatment required. However, the bay window ceiling plaster, which had been brutalized by the relaively recent installation of a smoke detector and pot light (see picture below), was in a precarious state, requiring HPCS to conduct an emergency stablization.

Heritage plaster being unnecessarily brutalized at Prime Minister's residence
 A delicate Adams Style bay window ceiling is all that survives of vintage plaster at 24 Sussex Drive. Here it is being brutalized.
HPCS submitted a report recommending full and proper treatment of the bay window ceiling. We expect this treatment program to get underway once the current Prime Minister agrees to restart the restoration of this historically important building .
 

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