Photo Du JourWindsor

Holy Redeemer РAcad̩mie Ste. C̩cile

Located on Cousineau Road in South Windsor, is the city’s youngest designated heritage property.

Built in 1957 as Holy Redeemer College, it was built for the Redemptionist Fathers as a teaching seminary that was affiliated with Assumption University, which later became the University of Windsor. The seminary prepared missionaries for Canada and Japan, it later evolved into a religious retreat center. It was closed in 1995 and sold to Académie Ste. Cécile International School. A.S.C. is an “interfaith international private elementary and secondary school based on Roman Catholic principals.”

The building was designed by Architect Barry Byrne, along with Charles Gillin, associate. The building is Windsor’s only example of the work by the noted Prairie School architect Barry Byrne. Byrne (1883-1967) began his architectural career working for Frank Lloyd Wright. Using Wright’s teaching as the basis for developing his personal style, Byrne set new precedents in modern ecclesiastical architecture, and was renown worldwide. Holy Redeemer College, built in the mid-century modernist style – with a touch of prairie influence – is considered one of Byrne’s greatest works, and is his largest built work.

At the front entranceway, you’ll find this large carved panel showing the year of construction – 1957.

Over the front door is this large carved Holy Redeemer College Crest.

The most stunning part of the building is also considered to be one of Byrne’s best ecclesiastical spaces – the chapel.

The stained glass windows in the chapel all have a very Frank Lloyd Wright feel to them, they were designed by Barry Byrne’s wife Anette Cremin Byrne. Here are the deep blue lower nave windows.

Here are the upper (and more impressive in my opinion) nave windows.

The two figures above – one flanking each side of the altar – were designed by Barry Byrne, and look similar to some other interior statues at other churches he designed.

Looking back towards the entrance and the organ. The walls are lined in both buff brick, and concrete block. Several times Byrne employed the used of concrete block to help keep costs down during construction.

A view of the crucifix behind the altar and the wood surround.

The pews are notable for their use of metal trim and armrests.

Click here for a little biography of Byrne and to view some of his other works.

This building is one of Windsor’s least seen, and most unknown heritage buildings. However the owner of A.S.C., has graciously agreed to open this building (along with her other designated property – The F.H. Joyce House), for Doors Open Windsor 2008. Doors Open 2008 is going to take place (after a one year absence) Sunday September 28th. Make sure you save the date, and be sure to visit as many great sites as you can. This one should be added to your list as a must see, you won’t regret it.

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