Mary and John Streets, June 2013

Monday, June 17, 2013

39 George Street, part 1

(Posted by M. Lee on behalf of T. Siemens)

The Mary-Allen neighbourhood has several majestic houses, many of them on George Street. You can download a walking tour of the neighbourhood at http://www.wpl.ca/walkingtour

One interesting house is #39 George Street. It is a mirror image of a house at #50 Albert Street. Both houses were constructed by Charles Moogk, Waterloo’s first Civic Engineer as well as an architect and a builder. The Albert Street house was built in 1903 for Herbert Snyder of Snyder Brothers Company (furniture and upholstery) and 39 George was built for his brother, Alfred, in 1905.(Their father, Simon Snyder, lived next door at 43 George Street) Both houses are concrete wall construction, a new concept at the time. Both cost around $7000 to build. 

In 1945 Edward Bordman and his son, Harold, bought 39 George Street. Edward supplied the down payment by selling his home at 159 Herbert Street (now torn down and is part of an empty lot at Herbert and William). Harold took out the mortgage. While renovating 39 George, Harold and his wife, Shirley, lived in the Bauer Apartments at the corner of George and King Street. This is now Your Neighbourhood Credit Union.

Marnie Wharnsby, Edward’s daughter, recalls how her father and older brother took a full year to remodel 39 George Street and turn it into 5 apartments. Before the remodeling the very top floor had been an enormous billiards room for Alfred Snyder’s family and the table was still there! That room became an apartment, with two units on the second floor and two on the main floor. It cost the Bordman’s just under $20,000 to finish the apartments. Harold and Shirley lived on the main floor on the west side, and Marnie and her parents lived directly above them. The other 3 units were rented out. 

The Bordman families lived in the house until 1957 when they sold it to the present owners. The picture below shows the house in the 1940’s. The pine trees on both the far right and far left of the house are still there.

We will continue with Marnie’s recollections of growing up on George Street in a future post.  
39 George Street ca. 1940, constructed by Gharles Moogk and built for Alfred Snyder of Snyder Brothers Co. in 1905

Present day 50 Albert Street, a mirror image of 39 George Street

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