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2370 Lorne Street

Henry Black bought 2370 Lorne Street in 1950. He lived there until his death in 1960 at which time Ken Black and his family moved into it. Blacks lived there until 1987. Due to inordinately high taxes, high upkeep costs and the reality of very expensive renovation costs - Ken and Rhoda decided to 'downsize'. Various proposals for the property were brought forward and rejected by a city planning commission/council held hostage by the perceived public desire to maintain both houses, as they were, in perpetuity (at the Black's expense). After Rhoda's death in 1986, a buyer with very deep pockets appeared (Dr. Jim McHattie) and Ken Black sold both properties. McHattie did an excellent job of restoring 2370. 2310 College Avenue has continued to deteriorate and as of 1998 is for sale once again. In the spring of 1998, there was a rumour that McHattie was bailing out of Regina and heading to the US. As part of the real estate marketing plan for 2370 Lorne Street, this article apeared in the paper. It is 'fairly' accurate.

It is interesting to note that at one time Ken Black also owned 2326 College Avenue - what is knownas the 'Bronfman House' - next door to 2310 College. He sold the Bronfman House to Francis Olsen Realty. The Bronfman House held interesting memories for him. During the late 1920s (after prohibition was brought into force in the US), Harry Bronfman was the Black's next door neighbour. Ken Black clearly recalled peering into the windows of Bronfman garage and watching in wide-eyed in amazement as illicit booze was poured into storage compartments hidden in large black touring cars. The cars then scooted off to the United States and the Bronfman fortune was born.

From the Regina Leader-Post Sunday March 29, 1998

It's A House Of Distinction

Regina's historic architecture covers a variety of styles and periods. According to art historian Maija Bismanis, the house at 2370 Lorne Street is nor only considered to be one of the best examples of the classical type in Regina, it is also one of the few built in this style in Western Canada.

In addition to being architecturally significant, the house has the distinctionn of being built for Dr. James McLeod, who was Saskatchewan's first eye, ear, nose and throat specialist. Before his medical training McLeod taught school on Prince Edward Island where his most famous pupil was Lucy Maude Montgomery, the author of Anne of Green Gables.

Dr. McLeod set up his practice in 1905 after having studied at McGill and in Vienna. After he and his family had lived in Regina for many years McLeod commissioned Storey and VanEgmond to design a house. Built in 1927, the Lorne Street house incorporated classic design features which remain popular today.

Some of these include a large front hallway, french doors in the foyer, a fanlight above the front door, an open central staircase, palladian windows and hardwood floors throughout. The living room is home to an eight foot long marble fireplace. From the outside, the sthree storey rectangular shaped house is equally impressive. The stateliness of the home is enhanced by the hipped roof with dormer windows and the eavestroughs which were made an integral part of the design.

The McLeods lived in this house until 1950. At that time, their neighbour Henry Black who had been Mayor of Regina in 1918 and 1919 bought the house. The Black family owned the two houses until 1987. In the late 1970's and early 1980's Henry Black's son, Ken Black was living in the house as 2370 Lorne Street while 2310 College Avenue was used as office space.

The H.A. Roberts group offered to buy the property from him on the condition that the Lorne Street house be relocated and the College Avenue one be demolished. Black did not believe that houses had significant heritage value, so he agreed.

A storm of public protest broke out. Heritage Regina and the Transitional Area Community Society collected over 5000 signatures on postcards opposing the project.

Heritage proponents argued that demolishing the original Black house on College Avenue would cause Regina residents to lose touch with the city's past. They also said that moving 2370 Lorne Street would encourage redevelopment in an area with strong heritage value. After this political turmoil H.A. Roberts decided against building the office at that location.

However Ken Black still believed that constructing a new building for office space was the only economically sensible thing to do with the property. He continued to propose plans, one of which included building an L-shaped building around the home.

However, none of these suggestions were implemented.

In 1987 Dr. Jim McHattie and his wife Beth bought both houses. They have lived in the McLeod house ever since. Now over 70 years old, the house has been redone in its original 1920's style and furnished with antiques.

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