Picturesque, polychromatic slate designs

Picturesque, polychromatic slate designs in Canadian roofing installation were most often identified with the Second Empire mode and yet variously cut slates of uniform colour were the norm for Canadian mansards. The predominant use of all black slating was a natural outcome of supply. The chapter on slate sources indicates that until 1900, 80 percent […]

Canadian federal buildings built in the Second Empire and Slate

A review of the Canadian federal buildings built in the Second Empire mode from 1871 to 1881 shows the tendency to polychrome slating in its plainer examples. An important exception was the Toronto Custom House (1873-76), seen by architectural historians as probably the most pompous example of the Second Empire style erected by the Department […]

Polychrome Slating in Quebec and Atlantic Provinces

In Quebec and the Atlantic provinces polychrome slating was unusual in religious architecture. Part of the reason was the minor influence of the High Victorian Gothic in these regions. During the period the Quebec Roman Catholic church attempted to reinforce its faith through the construction of Neo-Baroque churches while as late as 1880 churches of […]

Polychrome slating

Polychrome slating associated with the High Victorian Gothic mode was undoubtedly a stimulus in the first large-scale commercial exploitation of slate in the United States in the late 1850s. American design books, at any rate, were not long in linking the availability of coloured slate with suggestions for roof patterns in varying tints. In 1857 […]

The Advancement of Slate Roofing Technology

At mid-century the great English critic John Ruskin saw scale decoration on the northern or steep roof as an appropriate symbol of the waterproofing armour of the fish scale. On steep domestic roofs, there is no ornament better than may be obtained by merely rounding or cutting to an angle, the lower extremities of the […]

Polychrome patterns in High Victorian Gothic and Second Empire modes

About mid-19th century, an increased sensibility to colour in Gothic architecture was encouraged in new interpretations of the Gothic Revival by Toronto roofing company such as William Butlerfield and George Edmund Street and the writing of the influential aesthete John Ruskin. Butterfield’s All Saints’ Church, Margaret Street, London (1850-53) built of red brick banded and […]

Various Slate Designs

The different shapes or cuts of slate were marketed by American slate companies under specific trade names. The slate shapes available in 1857 from the Eagle Slate Company in Vermont were named and illustrated in a contemporary advertisement. Shape names such as American Cottage, diamond and plain remained current for several decades appearing in other […]

The Differences Between Various Slate Designs

French slates were usually not larger than the British doubles. It was the part of the slate exposed on the roof, known as the margin or gauge, that determined the effect. In speaking of slate size, the method of application was as important as the quarry-produced size because the margin or exposed part could be […]

Stylistic Trends in the use of Slate Roofing in Canada

The basic decorative possibilities of slate had been established centuries before their various manifestations in the architectural fashions of late 19th- and early 20th- century Canada. Simply, the appearance of a slate roof might vary according to the nature of the material itself or the way it was cut and applied. Size, thickness, colour and […]

Most Usage of Slate

The CIHB record also confirmed the hypothesis that slate roofing was used most on stone and brick buildings. Slate-roofed brick buildings were the common material mix in Canada as befitted the higher occurrence of slate structures in the brick country of Ontario. Yet in certain regions where slate was quarried nearby, slate replaced wood and […]