Historic SDG Jail and Warden’s Residence back to brick

Starting at left: Charlie Baker (SDG Building Maintenance Coordinator), Allan Armstrong, Carma Williams, Kirsten Gardner, Jim Wert, Lyle Warden, Francois Landry, Tony Fraser, Steven Byvelds, Warden Jamie MacDonald, David Smith, Stephanie Jaworski (alternate), and Bryan McGillis. Photo right: The United Counties buildings in 1879, with attached Warden's residence on left side of drawing.

SDG — After several months of work, the exterior of the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Warden’s Residence — better known these days as the Historic SDG Jail — is back to the brick of its era.

Gone is the dull stucco that covered up the original masonry decades ago. Porters’s Historical Restorations handled the removal of the exterior and installation of brick selected to closely match the way it looked in the more distant past. The original brickwork was too deteriorated underneath the stucco to be restored.

The job took several months. Originally constructed in 1859 as a home for the ‘Governor’ and his family, the Warden’s Residence is attached to the United Counties’ historic headquarters in Cornwall.  The ‘Warden’ in this case is a political title — head of Counties Council — and has nothing to do with the prison function the building took on in 1971, when the residence was converted into holding cells.

Today, it serves as the SDG Counties Visitor and Information Centre, as well as the starting point for tours of the Jail.

“With the removal of the 1960’s era concrete entrance and small windows, the brickwork restores the building to its former glory,” says the current Warden, Jamie MacDonald.  “This, along with the extensive landscaping that was completed last summer, completely revitalizes our corporate headquarters. This is certainly a showpiece and is among the finest properties in Cornwall.”

The completed work on the Warden’s Residence represents the last in a three-year capital overhaul of the United Counties buildings on Pitt Street, where $600,000 in renovations were completed in 2017. Only some landscaping in front of the residence, scheduled for this year, remains to be done.

Above, the front door of the Warden’s Residence (SDG Visitor’s Centre) in 2017, with grey stucco. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News


The United Counties of SDG building as it appeared in 2017, with stucco-covered Visitor’s Centre (former Warden’s Residence) visible at the left side of the frame. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

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