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Report recommends Cambridge add to its roster of designated heritage buildings

Report recommends heritage designations for Fashion History Museum and 1876 home on Dayton Street
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The city's municipal heritage advisory committee is recommending heritage designations proceed at the former Hespeler Post Office, now the Cambridge Fashion Museum, at 74 Queen St. E., and the 1876 home at 12 Dayton St.

City heritage planners are asking the Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee to endorse recommendations to proceed with heritage designations for the former Hespeler post office and a home in Galt that was once the home of a Grand Trunk Railway caretaker.

The recommendations, coming to next week's MHAC meeting, are based on the cultural heritage value of both structures.

The former post office at 74 Queen St. E, now home to the city's Fashion History Museum, was highlighted for designation by Ward 2 councillor Mike Devine last August as part of a review process of all city owned heritage buildings.

The building was constructed in 1928 and is considered "a rare example of the Art Deco style of architecture for commercial spaces," writes senior heritage planner Laura Waldie in her report to the committee.

The chief architect on the federally-funded project was Thomas W. Fuller, the son of Thomas Fuller, who was also the Dominion Architect for Canada from 1881-1896. Thomas Sr. was responsible for the construction of the Old Galt Post Office in 1885.

Fuller Jr. designed a number of Art Deco style government buildings across Canada, which was a popular design in the 1920s and 1930s.

"Cambridge does not have many examples of the Art Deco style for Federal buildings, which makes the Hespeler Post Office building particularly worthy of designation," reads the report.

Also recommended for designation is the granite and limestone home at 12 Dayton St.

The current homeowners asked the city to undertake the designation in August.

Waldie writes that the property was surveyed in 1872 by John Miller, a prominent land owner in that area of Galt.

She says the home was constructed in the Queen Anne style of architecture, a style popular between 1880 and 1910.

Land registry records show that Edwin West, a caretaker for the Grand Trunk Railway bought the lot from John Miller for $110 on July 13, 1876.

It remained in the West family until December 7, 1922, when Edwin West’s widow, Fannie, sold it for $500 to Charlotte Smith.

For the next several years, there were a number of different owners who rented out rooms within the house.

"Many of the tenants were single men who worked in a variety of labour industry positions with the Galt Knife Company, the Galt Roof Company, Yale Shoes, Babcock and Wilcox Northworks and the Galt Stove Foundary.

The current owners purchased the property in 2013.

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