Criticism of the Construction of City Hall

Criticism of the Construction of City HallPinterest
Areaway (“a sunken space in front of a building, usually leading to the basement”) with steps leading down from Ontario and Brock Streets and to a doorway, which is the entrance to the Police Station. The projecting form off the areaway is a double privy for the use of the police and city officials. A drain bringing rain water goes into a cesspool and then continues along Ontario Street and eventually drains into the lake. The areaway retaining walls must have been of stone and, therefore the privy outer walls are also stone (being the same thickness on the drawing) with a frame inner dividing wall. The square room accessed by the hall to the police station is the chief constable’s. Source: City of Kingston. Annotations by Jennifer McKendry.
Criticism of the Construction of City HallPinterest
Unidentified floor plan (NMC 7146 original and tracing), no date, not signed; it must be city hall's basement, as the wing (top of the drawing) is labelled "Shambles"; the "Basement Hall" (running at right angles to the main building's length) is entered down steps at the front (bottom of the drawing), that is, through the open arch off Ontario Street, and the hall runs to a choice of two flights of steps next to the entrance into the Shambles. Source: City of Kingston. Tracing by Jennifer McKendry.

In a letter to the editor, a “Kingstonian” has some harsh words about the city hall, “now in course of erection,” including: "It is said that there are no drains sunk, nor water closets erected; the fact of there being no drains, has come under my own observation; has the contractor forgot they were mentioned in the contract, or does he intend to blast the rock after the building is finished?" The letter was antagonistic to architect George Browne and contractor Joseph Milner and cannot be taken as a realistic assessment of the construction. It does, however, show concern for aspects such as privies, often not considered dignified enough or considered too commonplace to discuss in public. We know from the competition's plans, working basement plan (undated but likely November 1842), specifications (undated but likely late 1842), and a plan of 1844 for a public privy that there were drains and water closets.