In This House: Hyatt Brothers

When Lisa Conley heard through the grapevine there was an opening at the apartment at 473 Baker Street she jumped at the opportunity. You would know why if you have ever gone by this stunning iconic heritage building.

It is a notable building not only because it is situated on a corner lot but there is also the letter “H” that stands proudly adorning the top and centre of the building’s gables that represent the Dutch Renaissance Revival. Certainly one of the coolest in the neighbourhood, one that cannot be missed.

I learned from the Heritage Highlights of the Geranium Heritage House Tours book, that the“H” actually stands for “Hyatt” Brothers who built the apartment building in 1929. The heritage designation was granted in 1993.
Lisa lives right around the corner from me and is a sought after Interior Designer, where she is an Interior Design consultant with 309 Design and she also runs her own business as Lisa Conley Interiors. I was so fortunate to have a peek in her home and it is done exactly as you would expect for a designer! Lush with colours, design elements and a sense of style that captures the unique space that she occupies with her 2 children and her dog, Winter. She has lived in the apartment for 5 years and in Old South for 12 yrs.

Conley’s passion is to design interiors of old homes, one of the reasons why she was drawn to the neighbourhood plus it is so easy for her children to walk across the street to Tecumseh Public School.

This 3 bedroom apartment for her is one of 7 units at this building that is run as cooperative housing and is called the New Brighton Cooperative. Every unit has access to their apartment from the front and the back which is extremely unique for an apartment building. Each unit holder has a role to play in the maintenance and operation of the building. Conley as the Vice President of the Board played a significant part in hiring a local landscaper with the proviso that it needed to reflect the era of the building. The blooms this summer were spectacular.

Monthly board meetings keep the building maintained and each unit is inspected annually. Decisions are made collectively and they are presently busy planning the 40 yr anniversary of being a cooperative in the spring of 2020. There is a communal space in the basement with a kitchen that was made use of this past summer where a wedding ceremony was held in the back of the building.

It was so fun getting an “inside” look at this building that I have been so curious of over the past 25 years. Thanks Lisa!


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