The Shakesides Windows Saga
On February 6, 2016, MLHS members discovered that the plywood covering the front windows of Shakesides had been defaced with common graffiti. A member purchased a can of black spray paint and covered up the offensive notation on the large front window.
In early June, MLHS’ resident artist, a fine arts student at North Island College, undertook to give the plywood some period “window treatments”, in time for the AGM on June 11. This would also discourage graffiti and give the house a less abandoned and unloved appearance.
About 20 hours of work was put into the painting of these windows, which was completed on July 26, 2016.
On July 27, 2016, a flurry of phone calls to the Parks Department and Town Hall, from some residents of the nearby nutfarm subdivision, complained about the painting of the plywood “windows”. The Parks Department was ordered to turn over the plywood art and return the windows to “neutral”.
However, the front window, which required two sheets of plywood and cross-braces, could not be turned. So a CUPE employee used paint and roller to cover the artwork – thereby leaving a wonderful white palette for the more common “art”.
The pictorial history of this saga can be viewed on our gallery page (scroll to the bottom).
Also removed on July 26, was the Canadian flag hanging from the eaves at the back of the house. So not only is Mack Laing’s home denied any dignity, but our country’s flag is also deemed unsuitable as a display on the home of a respected Canadian ornithologist and naturalist.