Kevin Holland 160 pages hardcover
Based on years of archival research, this new book blends an engaging narrative and more than 200 rare images to present the fascinating story - much of it previously untold - of this iconic Canadian hotel. Opened in 1912 by the Grand Trunk Railway and greatly expanded in the late 1920s by corporate successor Canadian National Railways, the Cha^teau Laurier was the flagship property of the CNR's cross-Canada chain of hotels and summer resorts. Today, as Fairmont Chateau Laurier, it remains an architectural gem at the heart of Canada's capital. In concept and construction, the Cha^teau Laurier gave form to the varied aspirations of a governor general, a prime minister, and a railway baron. Architects' reputations were made - and maligned. Its opening was overshadowed by tragedy, and its expansion on the eve of the Great Depression contributed to the howling of political wolves bent on bringing down one of North America's most capable railway executives. It has been permanent home to Prime Minister R.B. Bennett, renowned photographer Yousuf Karsh, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Ottawa radio studios. To many, young and old, the Cha^teau Laurier is the embodiment of a fairy tale castle - "A poem in stone," in the words of its original owner.