Saturday 12 July 2008

Save Al Purdy's house!

This is the house Al Purdy built by hand (with the help of his wife Eurithe, and later, Milton Acorn), and behind this house is Roblin Lake, the muse for so many of Purdy's poems. The cultural significance of this house cannot be underestimated. Unfortunately, it has become necessary for Eurithe Purdy to put the place up for sale. “It's become too much for me,” she has said in a story in the Globe and Mail.

The idea of some Saab-driving nincompoop buying this property and tearing it down to build a garrish three-storey cottage send paroxysms of disgust down my spinal cord.

I know there are a few writers in Canada, and some who were close to Purdy, for whom purchasing this property would be no more of a financial strain than it would be for most people to buy a new pello chair from Ikea. (I just checked my Super-7 ticket, and I'm not one of them.) Why wouldn't they pool their resources and buy this place? It should be a museum to Canadian letters, or a writer's retreat like Pierre Berton House in Dawson City.

Read more about it here.


Ally said...

Am I way too into poetry or is there a chance of getting it heritage status?

Paul Vermeersch said...

Oh Ally, I think that would be wonderful, but I think the property needs an owner who can keep up with it first.

Unknown said...

11 people give 25,000 and they have a summer house.

Zachariah Wells said...

Wealthy writers in Canada prefer to sign petitions for the preservation of treasured sites than paying for same themselves. Remember the fuss over Coach House being demolished? Whatever happened with that, anyway?

Paul Vermeersch said...

The Coach House was declared a heritage building and saved. The press operates unfettered by wrecking balls, thanks to the dedication of the community.

Similar work is afoot to save the Purdy residence in Ameliasburg. I'll post more on it when it can become public.