Tuesday, June 25, 2013

515 Portage Avenue - Janet Skinner King Commemorative Window

Bryce Hall

Object: Janet Skinner King Commemorative Window
Location: Bryce Hall, University of Winnipeg
Unveiled: May 20, 1893
Artist: Henry James Holiday

This stained glass window was originally designed in 1886 for a Methodist seminary in New Jersey by artist Henry Holiday, the chief designer at Powell Glass Works in England (source). In 1891 Holiday created his own firm and the following year was commissioned to create a replica for the Methodist Manitoba College, a forerunner to the University of Winnipeg,

Manitoba College on Ellice, ca. 1907, (source)

The window arrived in Winnipeg in April 1893, just in time for a special event the following month.

Manitoba College, at that time located on Ellice Avenue at Vaughan Street, had undergone a major expansion and renovation to the existing structure. To celebrate, hundreds of invitations were sent out to former students and an open house was held all weekend long.  

Manitoba Free Press, May 20, 1893

The gala event was a formal dinner held in the new convocation hall on Friday, May 20th. One of the keynote addresses was given by the school's first principal John M. King. A highlight of the evening was the unveiling of the stained glass window, dedicated to the memory of King's late wife Janet Skinner King.  The unveiling took place but the electric lights set up to illuminate it did not work.

In 1931 St. Paul's College took over the building and in 1951, when United College began construction on Bryce Hall, the window was retrieved and installed in the new building.

Bryce Hall
Bryce Hall

On October  22,1979 a ceremony was held to unveil the above plaques that explain in some detail the images in the window.

Demolition ca. 1964, (source)

As for Manitoba College / St. Paul's College, the building underwent an expansion in 1932 to hold St. Paul's High School. In 1954 the College moved to the U of M campus and in 1964 St. Paul's High School moved to their present location in Tuxedo.

The building was demolished and the land sat mainly empty until 1983 when construction of the National Research Council Building began. 

 Bryce Hall
St. Paul's College History St. Paul's College 
St. Paul's High School History St. Paul's High School 
Bryce Hall Institute for Stained Glass in Canada

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