History In the Making

Tromp L’Oeil

Castle On Display

Historic Designation

Conservation Work

Our Aims

Advisory Committee

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History In the Making

Built:

1877 by flax industrialist James Livingston

Architect:

David R. Gingerich

Style:

Italianate

Named:

"Castle Kilbride" by James Livingston after his birthplace of East Kilbride, Scotland

Owners:

Home to the Livingston Family for three generations

1877-1920: James Livingston

1920-1949: J.P. Livingston

1949-1988: Laura Louise (Livingston) Veitch

1988-1993: Waterloo Developer

1993-Present: Township of Wilmot

In an era when treasured landmarks are often sacrificed in the name of progress, Castle Kilbride stands as a monument to our heritage and traditions, and the commitment that the people of Wilmot Township have made to preserving their heritage.

Castle Kilbride was built in Baden in 1877 by James Livingston and named after his birthplace in Scotland. Seen from the road it dominates its surroundings with its clean Italianate design capped by a towering belvedere. Its attractive external appearance, however, is overshadowed by its amazing interior decor, which in its own right classifies it as artistry of international significance.

As one enters the home, the entrance hall presents an arcade of illusionary columns, deftly rendered by the skills of the artist, H. Schasstein. The artwork appears to be three dimensional, but closer inspection reveals it to be painted on flat surfaces in such a manner as to provide the illusion of depth. Much of the interior is masterfully painted in this trompe l'oeil style.

Kilbride served the Livingston family for many years until the builder's granddaughter, Laura Louise, her husband Harris Veitch and family decided to seek smaller accommodation and less onerous maintenance. In 1988 a development company bought the home and the furnishings were sold at a huge four-day auction.

Development did not take place; the home sat empty for five years and the property began to deteriorate.

Local heritage groups, proud of the Township's designated heritage building, were concerned and after discussions with municipal figures, the Township purchased the property and embarked on a program of thorough restoration. Aided by provincial and national funding, the building was designated as a site of national historic significance in March 1994.

To appreciate fully the artistry in the Castle you will want to see for yourself the brilliance of the restored works. Plan now to visit Castle Kilbride soon.

   

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