Bruce Price, the architect of the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec, designed the building. Construction was a massive undertaking—not the least of which was quarrying the stone from near Eagle Lake and transporting it by draft horse to the shores of Frenchman Bay. When COA bought the Oblate Seminary property in the early seventies, it came with Turrets, stately, but abandoned and in terrible disrepair. The building survived the 1947 fire, a 1950’s renovation – and subsequent neglect.

Fast forward to April 2013, when Turrets once again needed repair. Work began with the immediate goal to reconstruct and preserve the outer envelope for the next century. A crew of workers with EL Shea Inc., Hahnel Brothers Co., and Joseph Gnazzo Co. have spent the last five months replacing 99 windows, more than 20 doors, 7 chimneys, and the slate roof. In addition, the entire exterior of the building will be repointed before construction wraps up in November.

Last week we gathered the crew from EL Shea Inc. and recreated the infamous photo taken in 1895 of the workers who originally built Turrets. That was then:

Workers gather in front of COA's historic Turrets cottage during construction in 1895Workers gather in front of COA's historic Turrets cottage during construction in 1895

This is now:

Turrets under reconstructionTurrets under reconstruction


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