Saturday, 2 February 2013

William Coaker's Bungalow

Coaker's Bungalow 12I know who Sir William Coaker was. He founded the Newfoundland Fisherman's Protective Union. What I didn't know, at least not until I took a tour of it when I visited Port Union this summer, was what a treasure his home is.

My folks and I were in Trinity and I decided to wander off and take photographs, thinking we would meet when we returned to Carbonear. On my way to Bonavista, I took a detour down to Port Union to scope out the only union-founded town that I know of. Who do I run into in the museum parking lot but my folks! We decided to take in a guided tour of Sir William Coaker's home.

The house itself is a bungalow. The main floor has the living room, kitchen, dining room, solarium, and office. The half storey upstairs has a few bedrooms (most much smaller than I would have expected) and a bathroom.

Coaker's Bungalow 11

Stepping inside the house, my first impression of the house was "warm Art Deco". I don't see how it could be classed as Art Deco, though. The house was built in 1917 and Art Deco didn't appear until '20's. I don't think I would describe it as Art Nouveau, as Coaker embraced technology much like Art Deco followers did. Nonetheless, the house is full of decorative trim and furnishings, including woodwork by Ronald Strathie.

A lot has been written about Coaker and the FPU, but try and find something about his house and you will come up empty. Even the Sir William F. Coaker Heritage Foundation, which runs the historic site in Port Union, hasn't published anything about the house on their website, so I couldn't go verify my impression about the genre of the house. While I was there, I was more interested in recording the visual richness of the house than in remembering what the tour guide was saying (even though I remember thinking at the time that she was quite knowledgable), so I am going to let my photos do the talking and you can make up your own mind.

Coaker's Bungalow 13

Coaker's Bungalow 1

Coaker's Bungalow 2

Coaker's Bungalow 4

Coaker's Bungalow 6

Coaker's Bungalow 7

Coaker's Bungalow 8

Coaker's Bungalow 9

Coaker's Bungalow 10

If you step back and look at a room as an entity, the details do not crowd out the warmth of the house, but instead add to it.

Coaker's Bungalow 5

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Coaker's Bungalow 3

One of the details I quite liked was the porthole-styled windows in the dining room.

Coaker's Bungalow 12

Coaker's Bungalow 12

If you are ever on the Bonavista Peninsula, the Port Union site and the Coaker House in particular, are worth stopping in for a visit.

Fine art prints of Newfoundland are available for purchase here from my web gallery.

If you would like to read some of my other posts about Newfoundland, click here and use the "Older" and "Newer" links at the bottom to scroll through the posts.

1 comment:

Pelipal said...

Truly amazing photos

gr Xander Pelipal