The University of Windsor’s restoration of the Windsor Armouries has been honoured with a 2019 Built Heritage Award by the City of Windsor.
A report from the city’s Heritage Standing Committee said the University’s “extensive rehabilitation project succeeded in conserving and showcasing the character-defining elements of the designated property while introducing heritage-sensitive interventions, and creating an excellent new purpose for one of Windsor’s most important downtown heritage buildings.”
The Built Heritage Award comes five years after the University engaged CS&P Architects Inc. to re-imagine the century-old Armouries as a new space for learning and community engagement, while maintaining the integrity of the building to pay homage to its historic past. In addition to CS&P, ERA Architects (heritage consulting architects) and Colliers Project Leaders also worked on the project.
About 500 students, faculty and staff moved into the restored Armouries and the adjacent, new building — the Alan Wildeman Centre for Creative Arts — in January 2018.
“This is a wonderful confirmation of the hard work of many people involved in the Armouries project from conception to completion,” said interim president Douglas Kneale. “The support of the City of Windsor has been an integral part of the partnership from the beginning and recognition such as this makes the relationship come full circle. In fact, it makes us even more Windsor Proud!”
In February, the Armouries restoration also earned the University the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Excellence in Conservation. The entry submitted by the University highlighted the Armouries as an example of the adaptive reuse and restoration of a key piece of built heritage in Windsor.
At its March 25 council meeting, the city also conferred a Built Heritage Award on UWindsor professor Jason Grossi as part of a team that worked on the Sandwich Brewery Co. Nicole and Jason Sekela acquired the apartment building with storefront for redevelopment in 2012, and engaged Grossi of studio g+G as the project’s architect and heritage consultant to transform the existing structure into a microbrewery. Grossi is co-ordinator of the University’s Visual Arts and the Built Environment program, which provides degrees in both architecture and visual arts.
The University had received a Built Heritage Award from the city in 2016 for its preservation work on the former home of the Windsor Star newspaper. The newly-named Windsor Hall is the home of the School of Social Work and Continuing Education.