The Frederick-James Villa is officially moved

As planned, the building was moved 19 meters away from the cliff.

The general contractor Construction Béton 4 Saisons in Saint-Arsène, which won the call for tenders for phase one of the Espace bleu, is responsible for the site. However, it was its subcontractor specializing in this type of operation, Héneault et Gosselin, who moved the heritage building.

The Frederick-James Villa, side view, on a steel structure.

Some architectural elements of the building were dismantled before the move to prevent them from being damaged during transport.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Marguerite Morin

David Dubé, president of Construction Béton 4 Saisons, points out that the operation is a success. Everything went as planned. There is no breakage, no unforeseenconfirms the manager.

The century-old building was moved using lifting and moving beams, commonly referred to as rollers. A mechanical shovel and a cable were also used.

Currently, the house is in the place where it should be. We are in the process of stabilizing the building so that it can remain in place while the rest of the work for this phase is carried out, which is concrete structure work. »

A quote from David Dubé, President of Construction Béton 4 Saisons
The model offers an aerial view of the villa, with paved access to the entrance, in the basement, of the villa which overlooks the land.  Around, a green space gives access to the sea.

The digital model of the Frederick-James villa shows the final result of the work that will be carried out to develop the Blue Space.

Photo: Courtesy of the Ministry of Culture and Communications

The size of the building and especially its geographical position posed real challenges for the contractor in charge of the project. There is one side of the building that could not be accessed due to the risk of the cliff collapsing. We had to work under the buildingsays David Dubé.

As the land is sloping and excavation work has been carried out, the height at which the villa stands is considerable. This is also a special element of this project, underlines Mr. Dubé. In the end, the building will be located only a little lower than the steel structures on which it currently rests.

The model shows an entry point in the basement and the villa overlooking the land.  The space is green, like a park.

The Frederick-James villa will benefit from an underground extension with universal access to the garden level.

Photo: Courtesy of the Ministry of Culture and Communications

David Dubé recalls that the new location of the heritage residence has been analyzed by professionals so that the move can be made respecting the landscape. He adds that this step was thought out so that the change has the least possible impact on what people already know about the site.

More steps to come

The next step will be the erection of the concrete foundation on which the villa will be placed over the next few weeks. A second phase of work aimed at restoring and bringing the residence built in 1887 by the American painter Frederick James up to standard will then take place.

According to information collected by Radio-Canada, the call for tenders for this second phase should be launched this summer.

Gathered together are Samuel Parisé, Warden of the MRC du Rocher-Percé, Jeannette Martin, Communications and Policy Manager for Gesgapegiag, Nathalie Roy, Minister of Culture, Éric Dubé, Warden of the MRC de Bonaventure and Cathy Poirier, Mayor of Percé .

When the project was announced, it was explained in particular that the place will not be a traditional museum with collections, but rather an immersive place where the history, heritage and builders of the Gaspé will be honored.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Isabelle Larose

The intentions of the Legault government were revealed by Radio-Canada in August. However, it was not until April 8, during the visit to Percé by the Minister of Culture and Communications Nathalie Roy, that Quebec clarified its project.

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