James Bay United Church

A restored Colour Scheme for James Bay United Church

James Bay United Church was built in 1890, and designed by architect Thomas Hooper. Long neglected, the congregation decided to renovate and restore the church structure, with new accommodation in the church basement and other necessary updating.

As part of the project, Stuart Stark was asked to research the original colour scheme of the Church. Extensive sampling and microscopic analysis revealed a rich, ‘stacked’ colour scheme of a type popular in the late 1880’s and early 1890’s, using strong colours of ochre, a rich red that was sometimes called ‘Indian red’ and derived from iron oxide, with black and grey for highlights and trim.

The reinstatement of the original colour scheme gave the small building a strong presence on the street, as well as restoring the architect’s original design intent of emphasizing elements of the architecture as part of the overall design of the Church.