476 Richmond Street, Anglican Diocese Mutual Fire Insurance

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Mutual Fire Insurance Building

Richmond str. looking North from York



Richmond Street Anglican Diocese

This structure was built expressly for the finance and insurance companies that were booming in the late nineteenth century. The architecture of this building hints at a style that would become popular in the first two decades of the twentieth century: Edwardian Classicism. It was designed by local architect George Craddock and initially served as a head office to the London Mutual Fire Insurance Company (est. 1859).

In the last years of the nineteenth century new ideas on architectural styles followed each other in quick succession, and the influence of European trends was particularly strong. From the 1880s onwards the Romanesque and Gothic styles (Romanesque and Gothic Revival) became in vogue throughout south-western Ontario. On top of the Gothic Revival, the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century saw the rise in popularity of the Edwardian style. In London and south-western Ontario the Edwardian style, which was popular until 1914, mixed together a number of other styles and allowed considerable freedom to the architect's imagination.

After 1909, this Edwardian building at 476, Richmond St. became the headquarters of the Travellers' Club, which was popular for its organization of an annual massive picnic at Port Stanley. Towards the end of World War I, the building became the Canadian headquarters of the Woodmen of the World. The Woodmen sold the building to the Anglican Diocese of Huron in 1945, and the building served as the Synod's office until 1977.

It is also interesting to note that the building's fa├žade is mostly made of red brick. The earliest brick buildings in London were built in various colours of cream and buff brick. Rough red brick started to be used to provide a cheap material for building, particularly for back and side walls. About 1895 the taste in building in the city dictated that the lines of white buildings, which still grace some of the older streets, were supplemented by the red brick structures, which remained the norm until the 1950s.


476 Richmond Street
London, Ontario
N6A 3E6