The Federal Building was a great example of the Second Empire style, a popular form of mid-Victorian architecture. The building signalled the presence of the Federal government in the city, and similar public ‘Federal Buildings’ went up across the country in the 1870s and 1880s. The tiled mansard roof is a hallmark of the Baroque-influenced Second Empire style, as are the high windows, elegant moldings, and either gabled or elliptical dormers. The St. Catharines Federal Building hosted the post office on the main floor, with customs and excise offices upstairs. The Federal Building was torn down in 1964. Few public examples of this style of architecture remain in the city.
Another View of Queen Street
Another view of the Federal Building and Queen Street is available to us in this photo from 1885. A major time of transition, electricity had been introduced in the City before the streets were paved. Only 20 years would pass before automobiles would begin to outnumber horses on these downtown streets.
There’s More to the Story
Check out the entire History InSite installation and find the other panels.
About History InSite
A permanent, site specific installation, History InSite juxtaposes historical photographs with modern streetscapes by presenting the photo in, or close to, the place which it was taken.
St. Catharines has a rich photographic history and when compared to the changing streetscapes around the City, that history becomes much more meaningful, poignant, and relevant to our modern eyes.
History InSite is presented by the St. Catharines Museum & Welland Canals Centre.
If you spot any graffiti on our purple History InSite signs, please send us a message and photo via email firstname.lastname@example.org.