Mother House noted for its architectural value and social relevance
Montreal, April 18, 2012 — The Grey Nuns Mother House in Montreal, future home of Concordia University’s Faculty of Fine Arts, has been designated a National Historic Site.
Concordia President and Vice-Chancellor Frederick Lowy notes that "the federal government’s endorsement of this site upholds Concordia’s commitment to preserving heritage properties while integrating them into a sustainable cityscape that is part of our modern university campus."
In announcing the designation, Peter Kent, environment minister and minister responsible for Parks Canada, cites both the social relevance of the work performed by the Grey Nuns on the site and the architectural value of the buildings. Indeed, the monumental scale of the Mother House bears witness to the broad scope of the Grey Nuns’ beneficent work and educational mission.
The designation is also conferred on the site because of its location on a large urban property and the graceful way it embodies the architectural trends of the period — a mixture of neoclassical and Romanesque Revival styles. Board members from the HSMBC were equally struck by the contrast between the buildings’ plain exteriors and the elegance of the chapel within.
Located between René-Lévesque Boulevard West and Ste-Catherine Street West, the facilities are being temporarily used by Concordia students living in residence and the remaining sisters, who plan to relocate from the site later in 2012. The buildings also house a daycare and some classes are held there as well. Within the next two years, the university intends to launch a site development competition to ensure that the downtown property becomes a world-class addition to the Quartier Concordia urban planning project.
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