A bit of history
Hôtel des Coutellier
A bit of history . . . In 1820, a blacksmith named William Tweddell acquires a 40 ft. wide land on Saint-Charles Street, with a depth going all the way to Saint-Paul Street. The transaction includes a dock, a cowshed and a wooden store.
Later, in 1865, a lawsuit involving Dorothy Tweddell, widow of William Tweddell, shows that she had commissioned, a few years prior, the construction of a two-story brick house on Saint-Charles Street. There is a possibility that this building was the Protestant Infant School for which two building permits had been signed in 1850, by notary E. G. Cannon. The plans, designed by architectsBrowne and Lecourt, indicate that the foundations, window sills and steps were to be in stone and the façades were to be made with bricks. It is also mentioned in the lawsuit that the building burned down shortly after its construction and that it had been rebuilt right after the incident. In 1867, smelter Thomas Tweddell sells the property to Alexander Learmonth and John Gasnold. At the time, a machinery workshop and a forge were located in the back yard of the property along Saint-Paul Street.
The Goad Atlas of 1910-1916, mentions a four-story brick building used as a storehouse and as a factory. It is the building currently located on 253-255 Saint-Paul Street. It had probably been constructed by the National Breweries Ltd or the F. H. Andrews & Son's company during the 1910s. Unlike most storehouses in the area, its façade with arch windows is richly adorned and themulti-colored brick walls reveal different original patterns: pilasters, bands, quoins and coping.
In 1956, the building is owned by Hormidas and Wilbrod Langlais. Around that time, the building is seriously damaged by fire and the eastern part had to be rebuilt, revealing the original brick disparity. Jean-Marie Roy, that would later be one of the most famous architects throughout the 1960s and the 1970s. was hired to design the reconstruction plans.
At the time, the building was housing the ministère du Travail (Departement of Labour), a government body now known as Régie du bâtiment du Québec, until they moved to the Marie-Guyart Building still commonly known as Complexe G.
In 1979, a group of professionnal constructors acquired the building for its convenient proximity to their main project, the construction of the palais de justice de Québec (Quebec's courthouse). They hired the architectural firm Chabot, Gilbert, Jarnuskiewcz & Mainguy (now BGLA) to carry out structural and upgrade works on the building. The firm is located at 50, côté Dinan on the other side of Saint-Vallier.
During the renovations, a fire of suspicious origin was timely extinguished thanks to the sprinkler system that had just been rendered operational. After the fire, the building hasn't undergone any more major structural renovations.
In 1988, all sash windows are replaced by new windows similar in appearance, with inward opening lower parts. Magnificent brick arrangements give this commercial building great architectural value.
In 1996, the Société en commandite Coutellier purchases the building who was housing many company offices at the time. After several departures from various renting companies, the Coutellier family decides to transform the building that had been used exclusively as a commercial space and a warehouse, into a 24-bedroom hotel. Between 1998 and 2000, architects Benoît Thérien and Hélène Thibault complete the outside restoration and Hôtel des Coutellier opens officially in September of 2000. In 2003, the addition of the marquee and all-wood entrance door gives the façade a brand new look. An up-to-date conference room is incorporated in 2004 and the lobby section is expanded in 2008.
In 2010, in celebration of its 10th anniversary, Hôtel des Coutellier receives the greatest gift it could wish for: a 4-star rating! Indeed, following the evaluation of the Corporation de l'industrie touristique du Québec (a corporation that classify and certify the tourist industry in Quebec) Hôtel des Coutellier received a four-star classification, an ultimate reward after years of efforts to achieve the goal the Coutellier family had set for their hotel since its opening.
This 24-bedroom hotel stands proudly on Saint-Paul Street and keep participating in the revival and economic dynamism of the neighborhood.
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