BUILDING ART: The Life & Times of J. C. Dumaresq

City: Fredericton
Director: Jonathan Collicott
Genre: Entertainment

A carpenter’s son, James Charles Dumaresq emerges as one of the most prolific and successful architects in Canada during the late 19th-century. Leaving a legacy of buildings in the Maritime provinces, J.C. Dumaresq was the first of five successive generations of architects based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The six episode documentary series explores and celebrates the architectural heritage of a man, his family, and profession, with a focus on seven buildings he designed in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

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Episode 1 - Dumaresq the Carpenter

In the late 19th century, J.C. Dumaresq won an international architecture competition for the iconic New Brunswick Legislature in Fredericton. Syd and Dean are the fourth and fifth generation of the Dumaresq family architects and are in Fredericton to visit the Legislature on a tour of seven buildings that J.C. designed.

Episode 2 - Dumaresq the Draughtsman

The second building stop in Fredericton for Syd and Dean is the Charlotte Street School, where they discover J.C. Dumaresq’s incredible drafting skills. It was J.C.’s unique designs and drawing techniques that set him apart from other 19th century Maritime architects.

Episode 3 - Dumaresq the Shepherd

J.C. Dumaresq’s Christian roots helped him expand into religious architecture, including the design for St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Fredericton. Syd and Dean receive a tour of the church as they admire the architecture of this 19th century stone building.

Episode 4 - Dumaresq the Robust

J.C. Dumaresq’s robust designs produced numerous buildings that have survived the wrecking ball over the ages, including Fredericton’s York Street School. Syd and Dean are enthralled by the fine brick work on the York Street School, which has served many purposes over its 150-year history.

Episode 5 - Dumaresq the Businessman

Syd and Dean continue to enjoy their tour of Fredericton as they meet the current owner of the Clark Building and a descendent of the Fitzrandolph family. Plus, we learn about several important partnerships that J.C. Dumaresq established with architects based in Saint John, New Brunswick.

Episode 6 - Dumaresq the Legacy

The final stop for Syd and Dean is in Devon, a community in Fredericton on the north side of the Saint John River. In the final chapter of J.C. Dumaresq’s remarkable life, we learn how St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church came to be when it opened in 1906.

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