Photo Du JourWindsor

More Windsor Mid-Century

Today’s Photo Du Jour brings us another creation from the Windsor firm of Johnson & McWhinnie. I spent a little time at the Windsor library this past weekend trying to uncover a little information about the firm. Despite searching through microfilm, all that I uncovered came from old City Directories. Douglas C. Johnson & Cunningham McWhinnie got together and formed the firm in 1953. They were both employed as “Architectural Draftsmen” with separate firms when they got together. They landed a huge job with the City of Windsor in 1957 when they won the bid for the new Civic Center. The outcome was the Cleary Auditorium and Guest House. It appears that the partnership lasted from 1953 until 1985. Mr. Johnson was active as an architect until his retirement in 1993.

The building featured today is now known as Century Secondary School. Prior to that it was known as Cal-Tec (California Road Technical School), and when it first opened it was called William Hands Vocational School. Generations of Windsor kids grew up making fun of students who went to Hands as well as Shawnee.

The building was built in 1964, and features a large circular cafeteria as one of the key architectural features.

A view of the building from the south.

A ghostly outline reveals “William Hands Vocational School”

The cantilevered overhang, creating a covered walkway is a standard feature.

The north end of the building features interesting shapes.

Around the back of the school, is this lovely car.

A peek through the front windows offers a flashback…

The large circular cafeteria.

A peek in through the windows reveals that there has been next to no changes. A textbook example of a mid-century interior.

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