By the time Paul Denys was asked to rebuild the elaborate porch first created by woodcarver Alphonse Rochon, nothing was left of it – except for a photo taken almost 100 years ago. That fading black and white image provided the basis for scale drawings. The painstaking reconstruction required handcrafting 3,000 pieces of wood. Recreating history takes patience. We think Alphonse Rochon would be proud to see how the porch of his old home has been reborn.
The Rochon House was designed by Oscar Beaudry and built in 1898 for woodcarver Alphonse Rochon (seen here with his family in front of the porch in an old photograph). Mr. Rochon and his father, Flavien, were responsible for much of the wood sculpture inside Notre Dame Basilica, including the side chapels and the organ case. Alphonse Rochon designed and built the original elaborate porch that included a deep bracketed cornice, metal cresting along the parapet edge and central flag pole that rested on a carved stand.
This intricately carved, two-storey wooden porch was removed during the mid- 1900s. To recreate the porch, scale drawings were produced using a photo of the original, provided by the granddaughter of the first owner. Construction of the new porch required more than a 3,000 pieces of wood and in excess of 9,000 stainless steel fasteners. A handrail added to the first floor to bring the porch up to code was built from glass and stainless steel to minimize its visual impact.
Now home to an art gallery, the building remains an important component of St. Patrick Street and contributes substantially to its heritage character.
This project involved restoring original woodwork.
“Paul, you did a fantastic job of re-creating our home from a 1908 photo. You are an artist in your trade. It is with great satisfaction that we wholeheartedly recommend you to anyone one who wants renovations.” Jean Claude & Simone
City of Ottawa Heritage Award: Award of Merit