From the Border Cities Star – May 30, 1925:
COOPER COURT, FINEST OF BORDER RESIDENCES
Above is a general view of Cooper Court, taken from the front. It gives a good idea of the magnificent proportions of the handsome residence, and of the beautiful grounds which front it. The home is built on the site of the former Charles S. King residence. Mr Cooper bought the property from Mr. King and razed the house that stood on it, replacing it with this handsome structure. It is one of the largest, if not the largest, pieces of property in the Border Cities entirely given over to a private dwelling. It extends along Ontario Street for the full distance between Kildare and Devonshire Roads, Walkerville, and back half the length of a long block. The lawn, a considerable portion of which is shown, is almost in a state of perfection and has the reputation of being one of the best kept pieces of land in the district. The picture also shows part of the extensive tulip beds which grace the grounds, more than 2,200 of the plants having been set out. Unfortunately the backwards spring has retarded their progress this year and many of the plants have failed to come into bloom.
… A glimpse of the formal garden on the north side of Cooper Court, just inside the massive gateway. Here in one short year, a beautiful piece of landscape gardening has been accomplished with smooth sward, gorgeous flowers, a fountain and neatly kept gravel paths. The statuary well selected and placed adds much to the charm of the scene. On the left is seen the pillared portico and the main entrance to the dwelling. In the background is the glass roofed wing which houses the conservatory and swimming pool, and beyond that, the garage. Trees have been judiciously set out, and are beginning to give promise of what may be expected of them a few years hence. When they mature, the drive will be a thing of real beauty, delightfully shaded. On the right is a decorative hedge which marks the boundaries of the property. This being carefully trained, and makes a fitting background for the delightful combination of art and nature which has taken every advantage of a comparatively small space.
- Here is one of the most cheerful and delightful rooms in Cooper Court. It is the sunroom, with the library in the background. Entirely enclosed with glass on two sides, this room is a marvel of brightness and beauty. In the far corner of the library is seen the keyboard of the organ.
- One of the most striking points of interest about Cooper Court is the conservatory and swimming pool. It is on the second floor in the northwest wing, leading directly out of the main second floor corridor. The walls and roof are entirely of translucent glass, while the pool and the floor are of terrazzo. The pool is seven feet deep at one end and three and one half feet at the end reserved fro the little ones. At each side of the entrance is a tile and marble dressing room, one for men and one for women.
- Quietly luxuriant in all its appointments is this, the reception hall of Cooper Court. The grill-work in the right background encloses the main pipes of the magnificent organ, and through the door at the rear a glimpse of the beautiful library is seen. The whole effect is in the most exquisite taste.
It’s hard to grasp the idea of how large and majestic the 40 room Cooper Court was. The area occupied by the Cooper Court Property is highlighted in yellow. In comparison Harry Low’s mansion, was located cater-corner to Cooper’s, and is visible in the lower right hand side of the aerial photo.
Cooper Court was designed by Pennigton and Boyde, for James Cooper, who made his fortune during prohibition. Cooper’s story can be found at the Walkerville Times website.
Cooper only lived here a few years, as his ill health forced him to Switzerland, and the relief of the alpine air. In 1931 while sailing back to Europe from New York, Cooper allegedly fell overboard in the middle of the Atlantic. His body was never recovered.
While the expense of maintaining such large home was its downfall, and judging from the style of the six houses that were built on the Cooper Court Land, it came down sometime in the 1960’s. A bit of it survives today.
Visible in the second photo in today’s post, a bit of the driveway and gate house still stand on Kildare Ave.
Too bad the house didn’t survive, it sounds like it would have made a great B&B or museum… Without a doubt the grandest of Windsor’s lost residential buildings.