Illustration by Gilli Stern
The heart of the Sauvé Scholars Program is an elegant four-floor mansion designed by the renowned Montreal architect, Robert Findlay1 and situated within the area referred to as "The Golden Square Mile".
Built in 1905 for a prominent Montreal industrialist, Harold Stearns and later occupied for 40 years by the family of Montreal stockbroker, Paul-Émile Ostiguy, the red brick house combines elements of the Tudor and Gothic traditions that were popular among wealthy Montrealers in the early 20th century.
In the late 1970s, the house was acquired by a law firm specialized in patents, trademarks and copyright law – perhaps a portent of the inventive young authors who would inhabit it as Sauvé Scholars. It was at that time that the house was enlarged in order to accommodate some 65 people in offices. Still later, it became the headquarters of the Gamma Institute, a prominent futurist think tank.2
The Jeanne Sauvé Foundation acquired the house in late 2002. It was lovingly restored and modernized under the supervision of Harry Parnass, architect and Founding President of the Sauvé Scholars Foundation. Today, the main floor, public rooms and magnificent staircase recall the glories of the beautiful residence of the past, while the Scholars' enjoy comfortable modern accommodations, sunny lounges, reading and study rooms, Internet access and all modern conveniences. The centerpiece is the communal kitchen and adjacent dining room, where the Scholars cook and share meals, at the same time enjoying new tastes, ideas and sometimes impassioned debates.
The different incarnations of Sauvé House, family home, law offices providing expertise in protecting intellectual property rights, and futurist think tank, have combined into an ideal setting for the creative, thoughtful young people who live there each year, forging bonds of friendship and understanding while preparing for the next phase of their lives as agents of change.
- Among Robert Findlay’s many well-known buildings is the Martlet House, home of the Department of Development and Alumni Relations and McGill Graduates' Society.
- The early history of Sauvé House is largely derived from Demeures bourgeoises de Montréal. Le Mille carré doré 1850-1930, by François Rémillard and Brian Morrett, Montréal, Editions du Méridien, 1986.
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