It takes a door to raise a house. A house is not a home without a door. All good things start with… a door? Maybe in some far off distant country these are actual sayings. Maybe not. Regardless, Wednesday, January 25th at just past 11:00 am, the Red Antiquities Building officially became a building with a door.

In keeping with our commitment to maintaining the heritage of the building, the original double door was recreated from pictures by Al Marlow, of Al’s Custom Millwork.   Soon, the original main door, which was painstakingly restored by Mr. Marlow, will take it’s place back in the building where it belongs.

Driving by the Red Antiquities Building, one feels a sense of completion as the two toned red and cream double door and crisp, newly painted window frames signal the light at the end of a very, very long tunnel.  This window, is a replica of the original store front window, built in 1893.

A photo, from the University of Western Ontario archives shows how little the building, including the window, has been altered since it’s original construction. It’s not difficult to imagine the building, in it’s heyday, greeting customers who stopped in from all directions.  From that expansive window, the Winders must have looked out on a very different skyline and perhaps imagined the changes which were to come.  We owe a great deal of gratitude to the London Endowment for Heritage Fund for contributing to the completion of this window.

While this important stage of construction was underway, the interior of the building was buzzing with activity.   Dedicated crews worked to install plumbing, electrical and fire protection.   

 It won’t be long before sheets of drywall make their way through these newly minted doors.  Work continues at a rapid pace as everyone involved waits for the day when we can call this project: complete.

22. December 2011 · Comments Off on Construction Highlights · Categories: Construction Update

As we approach the end of 2011, the Red Antiquities Building Project nears the end of it’s third phase. We wish to extend our appreciation to our sponsors and share some of the construction milestones reached over the last six months:

The old roof on the rear addition had deteriorated beyond repair and was structurally unsound. Our crew built a new roof, raising it 8” to accommodate 6’ of headroom, thus increasing the usable space on the third floor.

The red siding and exterior trim is complete. The original wide boards of eastern white pine were in poor repair and required replacement.  The new boards are an exact replica of the original wide boards.  The original window frames, trim and dentils (decorative trim near the roof) were in good shape and able to be restored by the team.

Hydro, gas, water and sanitary services were installed.

The basement is framed to provide more office space. The majority of the framing on the main and upper floor is completed.  Work on the flooring began on the main and second levels.

The elegant front entrance on the residence side of the building was restored by a skilled craftsman and is being installed.  New basement windows and window boxes are installed.

Masons restored the exterior chimneys. The flues of both chimneys were unusable and had to be replaced. The masons did exceptional work rebuilding the chimneys off a platform secured to the roof. The brick work around the foundation is finished and rare bricks with maker’s marks now highlight the corners on the south and west side of the building.

The re-engineering of the roof trusses is complete.  Structural supports were added to meet current codes. The rotted boards of the original roof were replaced and a stone covered steel roof is being installed.  The roofing material has the look of traditional wood shake with the durability of steel.

In November, we were honoured by Architectural Conservatory of Ontario with the AK Sculthorpe Award for Advocacy. This award recognizes an individual, an informal group or an established non-profit organization that, at a critical point, achieved exemplary success in solving a significant heritage crisis.

The next phase will involve the installation of heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical systems. This will be followed by insulation, drywalling, and interior restorations. In the spring, landscaping will be completed. We hope to have the building ready for occupancy in April 2012 as our fundraising continues in order to raise money to finance the final phases.

To follow our progress more closely, follow us on Facebook at “Back from the Brink.”

We are very thankful for all the support we receive. It is through the generosity of our community that this project continues to be a great success!

02. December 2011 · Comments Off on The RAB Receives a New DECRA Roof! · Categories: Construction Update

The Red Antiquities Building (RAB) would like to thank DECRA® Stone Coated Steel Roofing Systems and their regional distributor, Copp’s Buildall. DECRA has donated 25 squares of DECRA Shake XD®, to restore our roof. 

DECRA Shake XD, will give the RAB roof the look of hand-split shake, without the worry or maintenance that traditional wood shake requires.  This roofing product will offer protection from freeze/thaw conditions, high winds, and hail damage. DECRA’s products are lightweight and will not cause strain or damage to existing roof beams, retaining the historical components original to the structure when it was first built.  Shake XD® has a unique hidden fastening system and is installed direct to the deck and requires no special tools. Shake XD® provides the durability and longevity of stone coated steel and is backed by a 50-year warranty.  The panels will not crack, split, curl or break like traditional wood shakes.

We’re in the process of installing the Shake XD now, and it looks fantastic!



03. November 2011 · Comments Off on Water Day · Categories: Construction Update

November 3, 2011

The break in the rain has allowed our construction to move forward. We’re having our water and sewer services installed today. Hill Street is closed in order to hook up the utilities. The two chimneys are being bricked and the final touches are being made to the front façade of the building. We should get a look at the new face of the Red Antiquities Building next week. The front doors and window glass are the only details remaining.

Thanks to our sponsors for their support, and our construction crew for their expertise!

02. November 2011 · Comments Off on Update: October 26 · Categories: Construction Update


We have made good progress over the last few weeks!


New electricity service has been installed and the basement is framed to provide office space for  a non-profit organization.

Masons are doing the preparation work for chimney restoration and brickwork should begin in the near future.

Everyone should see the front façade of the building going up very soon. The wet weather has slowed us a little, but we should have the exterior completed by early November.