Arch­ways part of city’s his­tory

The Welland Tribune - - FRONT PAGE - DAVE JOHN­SON

For more than 100 years, two brick arch­ways have stood at the en­trance of Park­way Boule­vard.

Wel­land her­itage ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee mem­bers want those arch­ways to stand for an­other 100 years or more and are seek­ing a by­law to keep them pro­tected and des­ig­nated as hav­ing cul­tural her­itage value un­der the On­tario Her­itage Act.

Nora Reid, sec­re­tary/trea­surer, and re­searcher for the ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee, said the des­ig­na­tion would bring at­ten­tion to the his­tory of the area. “I think a lot of peo­ple have won­dered what the arch­ways were and who built them. They are a big part of Wel­land’s his­tory and de­vel­op­ment. They mark the move from a farm-based econ­omy to an in­dus­trial econ­omy.”

Wel­land ex­pe­ri­enced rapid in­dus­trial ex­pan­sion from 1905 to 1915, with com­pa­nies such as Ply­mouth Cordage, Elec­tric Steel and Met­als, Page Hersey Iron Tubes and Union Car­bide mov­ing to the city.

Reid said Cyre­nius J. Laugh­lin, pres­i­dent of Laugh­lin Realty, wanted to build an elite sub­di­vi­sion, to be called Park­way Heights, for all of the “movers and shak­ers” in the com­mu­nity — the in­dus­tri­al­ists, the bankers, com­pany man­agers and busi­ness peo­ple.

“All these new peo­ple were com­ing in and a high-class sub­di­vi­sion was needed for them.”

I think a lot of peo­ple have won­dered what the arch­ways were and who built them. They are a big part of Wel­land’s his­tory and de­vel­op­ment. They mark the move from a farm-based econ­omy to an in­dus­trial econ­omy.” Nora Reid, sec­re­tary/trea­surer, and re­searcher for the ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee

Park­way Heights, she said, was built on farm­land pur­chased from the Price fam­ily in 1910 and the arch­ways to the gated com­mu­nity were built in 1913. The arch­ways fronted the sub­di­vi­sion on what was then called North Main Street, now Ni­a­gara Street.

“The houses had to be a min­i­mum dis­tance from the street and all be of bet­ter value. It was also the first boule­vard in Wel­land.”

Reid said the arch­ways were built of ta­pes­try brick, mean­ing each brick was of a dif­fer­ent colour, with tile roof­ing and wrought iron lights.

The arch­ways still stand, how­ever, the lights are long gone and the tile roofs have been re­placed with wooden shake shin­gles. The city has been tak­ing care of them for nearly 100 years.

“Maybe the city could bring back some nice lights here,” she said.

Earl Enge­mann, a her­itage ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee mem­ber, said pro­tect­ing the arch­ways makes res­i­dents more aware of what kind of trea­sures Wel­land has to of­fer.

“We want to make sure they stay around for a long time,” said Enge­mann.

Reid does not know when the re­port on the arch­ways, and the com­mit­tee’s re­quest to pro­tect them, will be be­fore Wel­land coun­cil.

DAVE JOHN­SON/WEL­LAND TRI­BUNE

Nora Reid, left, Wel­land Her­itage Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee sec­re­tary/trea­surer, and re­searcher, and com­mit­tee mem­ber Earl Enge­mann, stand in front of a brick arch­way at Park­way Boule­vard Satur­day.

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