Series consists of Benjamin Brown’s architectural drawings of personal residences that were either designed or renovated for real estate developers, landlords or the occupants themselves. The majority of the buildings were designed for a Jewish clientele, many of whom were prominent citizens, including Louis Gelber and Mendel Granatstein. Brown also created designs for his own personal residence on Castle Frank Crescent, however the home was never completed. Most of the houses he designed or renovated were located in the Annex, Forest Hill, Casa Loma or Hillcrest neighborhoods. Many were designed with elements of Georgian, Craftman, Colonial Revival and/or Tudor architectural styles. They ranged from three storey mansions to small duplexes and single story homes. The vast majority of his commissions were standard three or four bedroom two storey homes.
The majority of these drawings are on tracing or drafting paper, several of which are in colour and the remainder are either blueprints or drawn on cardboard. Plans, sketches, elevations, sections, detailing and technical drawings of the residences are included.
Several drawings are in poor condition. See file level descriptions for further details.
Series consists of Benjamin Brown’s architectural plans and drawings of significant buildings designed or renovated for Toronto‘s Jewish community, including proposals that were never implemented. Contained within are renovation plans of the Beach Hebrew Institute synagogue, an ark design for the McCaul Street Synagogue, and the complete designs of the Henry Street Synagogue. The last of these projects is of particular significance, because it was the first synagogue in Toronto designed by a Jewish architect and was one of Brown‘s largest commissions. Drawings of the Primrose Club (a Jewish men’s club) and the Brunswick Talmud Torah Day School, as well as plans of Camp Yungvelt (a Jewish summer camp) are also included. Additionally, several preliminary sketches of synagogue facades are contained within.
The majority of these drawings are on tracing or drafting paper, several of which are in colour, and the remainder are either blueprints or drawn on cardboard. Floor plans, elevations, sections, foundation plans and sketches of building exterior facades and interiors are included. Additionally, there are drawings of windows, doors and synagogue arks.
Several drawings and plans are in poor condition. See file level descriptions for further details.
15 architectural drawings : 1 blueprint, pencil and 10 hand col. watercolour, pastel and pencil crayon, some on cardboard, some on verso of blueprints ; 55 x 70 cm or smaller
Scope and Content
Series consists of several high quality colour sketches of a variety of buildings. These have been grouped together to display Brown’s artistic ability and were originally used for both public display or as commissions. Drawings are sketches of both commercial and residential buildings. Among the sketches are building interiors and exteriors, an entrance, a theatre stage and a bedroom. Brown's sketch of a public library when he attended the University of Toronto is also included. Two drawings have been described at the item level, one is the library Brown drew when he was a student and the other is a house interior of exceptional quality.
Both drawings with item level descriptions are encased in Melinex.
The two drawings in roll 1 are in need of conservation. Both have significant tears.
6/16/2015: The two rolled drawings were sent out for conservation treatments.