John Holliday-Scott

It turns out that the Abramson house was designed by architect John Holliday-Scott. Fifty-five year old house that looks like it was designed within the past year. Very much a contrast of styles; nothing else like it on the street:

Saskatoon Abramson house 2

Neil Remington Abramson did some research on the architect of his childhood home. It turns out that John Holliday-Scott contributed to the later design of the Saskatoon Club. He also designed the Law/Commerce building at the University of Saskatchewan in 1967 and the Dentistry building in 1979. Both are now on the heritage register of the University of Saskatchewan. He is remembered by the Saskatchewan Association of Architects. It notes that the Abramson house was the first commission Holliday-Scott received after he started his own architectural firm in Saskatoon, and that thereafter, “commissions came in the door”.

Such a legacy, also preserved on film, as Neil pointed out:

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3 Responses to John Holliday-Scott

  1. Back in the 1960s, Saskatoon was very community-oriented. There was an annual event where a committee picked the most interesting-to-see houses in the city and, on a particular day, anyone with a ticket could come and look through any or all of them. For years, my parents’ house, pictured above, was on that list. Perhaps this contributed to Mr Holliday-Scott’s success in getting new commissions. I think my parents were honoured to receive the attention.

  2. On July 10, 2015, Neil Remington Abramson commented further, as follows (reproduced with permission):

    I suppose it was designed on the ancient Greco-Roman principle of the primacy of public space over private space. About 2/3 of the space was given over to the massive upstairs living room / music room. A large atrium ran from the central skylight to the main floor ,with plant boxes hanging into it from the upper floor, and vines hanging down.

    The downstairs public area included more plant boxes under the atrium, dining area and kitchen.

    The 1/3 private space held my parents’ bedroom, bath and study. On the main floor was my bedroom, bath, and a guest room.

    In retrospect, it was a strange setup for a 6 year old and his parents. And I was not to go upstairs without permission. Much later I never felt comfortable upstairs even when the injunction had been lifted. I did like the upstairs study directly above my backyard facing room.

    By today’s standards, the bedrooms and baths were very small. Even my parents’ room had barely space for a queen-sized bed.

    Much later, when I went to university, they finished the basement with a large TV room and bath.

    The original house was 2400 square feet, much larger than most houses at the time. The basement added another 1000.

  3. On July 10, 2015, Neil Remington Abramson commented further, as follows (reproduced with permission):

    Abramson, Neil House

    I took my wife to Saskatchewan in winter, to see where I’d grown up, after she took me to Japan. Here is the house much more like I remember it. Originally the main floor was white stucco, but it stained, so my parents made it charcoal grey.

    I think now the whole house looks a consistent tan color (your photo).

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