Ontario's Historical Plaques 


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Woodchester Villa

Woodchester Villa

Photo by contributor Wayne Adam - Posted December, 2009

Woodchester Villa

Photo by contributor C. Bau - Posted September, 2006

Plaque Location

The District of Muskoka
The Town of Bracebridge
On the grounds of the house on the north side of King Street
at the end of a long driveway


Coordinates: N 45 02.403 W 79 18.322

Map

Plaque Text

One of the finest octagonal houses in Ontario, this impressive building was erected in 1882 by Henry James Bird, a prosperous local woollen manufacturer. In its unusual design it illustrates the architectural theories of Orson Squire Fowler, an American author and lecturer who claimed that many-sided structures provided healthier, more efficient environments for their inhabitants than rectangular buildings. In keeping with Fowler's views, the house was solidly constructed of fieldstone and poured concrete and contained such innovative features as ventilation shafts and a dumb-waiter. It was officially named Woodchester Villa after the owner's birthplace in England, but became known locally as the "Bird Cage". Occupied by family members until 1977, Woodchester Villa has since been restored and is now open to the public.

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Bracebridge Plaques




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