Open Edition – Signed Prints Size each: 9″ x 13″
$195/set of 3 prints (unframed)
This is a set of 3 vignettes which are details from 3 of my most nostalgic Limited Edition Prints. I have re-titled each to reflect on the images contained in these small scenes.
The memories of downtown Hamilton for those of us who grew up in the 1950’s and 60’s are those of the soda fountain at the back of Renner’s Drug Store and the animated Christmas displays in Eaton’s windows where my sister and I stood watching until we were almost frozen. But these memories would not be complete until we had recalled to mind Gore Park at Christmastime.
Set into the middle of King Street, like an enormous, triangular boulevard, the majestic century old trees would be draped with what seemed to be thousands of lights, illuminating the entire park. The fountain which was originally installed in 1860, sparkled like a snow covered beacon while in hibernation. Many were the Christmases that children would want to be taken downtown to see the reindeer and perhaps have a hot chocolate at the restaurant in Kresge’s afterward.
The Gothic, Connecticut brownstone that was located in the southeast corner of King and James Streets was erected circa 1883. A fire destroyed a large portion of the original building in 1929 and from the ashes rose one of the finest public buildings on the continent, which became known as the ‘Birks Building’.
The changes included a copper roof, show windows and an enormous clock that hung outside. The famous Birk’s Clock was modeled after ‘The Clock of the Charging Horsemen’ designed for Wells Cathedral in Somerset, England. Circling the lower section, designed to look like a medieval castle, are jousting knights on horseback, which charged around the castle, engaging in a mock battle every hour to the delight of shoppers.
A purchase from Birk’s became a source of public pride for Hamiltonians. Every purchase was wrapped in white tissue paper and packaged in the coveted blue box.
“The Chicken Roost”
Parcel-laden shoppers would stay downtown for the entire evening until the stores closed, many stopping in at a restaurant for dinner. One of the most popular restaurants was the “Chicken Roost”. My sister, Shirley and I recall many shopping excursions that would end at the Chicken Roost. Although known for the Bar-B-Q chicken dinners, it was the cherry cheese pie that we always looked forward to.
It is my hope that through these vignettes your memories will be stirred to relive your own reminiscences of an era that will live on in our hearts and minds.