Louis-Joseph Papineau National Historic Site

Eric McLean (1919-2002) and the renovations

Eric D. McLean was one of the first proponents of the conservation of Old Montreal. It is partly thanks to him that this historic district was reborn, with its ancestral architecture.

Who is he?

  • Eric Donald McLean was born in Montreal on September 25, 1919, and died there on August 19, 2002.
  • He was very much involved in Quebec's musical and cultural life.
  • He was the music critic for various Montreal newspapers for 40 years, which led him to be friends with Glenn Gould.
  • He discovered singer Maureen Forrester.
  • Eric D. McLean is sitting at his piano
    Eric D. McLean is sitting at his piano, in the living room of the Papineau House
    © Parks Canada
    He became interested in the protection and presentation of Quebec heritage and translated Les meubles anciens du Canada français, a book by Jean Palardy, and wrote The Living Past of Montreal (1964) in collaboration with R. D. Wilson.
  • His contribution was recognized by various authorities: he was a member of the Jacques-Viger Commission, the Board of Governors of McGill University, the Board of Directors of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and President of the Music Critics Association of North America. He was nicknamed the “mayor of Old Montreal”. McLean was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1975 for his contribution to the world of music and for the part he played in the conservation of Old Montreal.

What he accomplished

  • In renovating the Papineau House, Eric D. McLean's aim was to restore it to its original appearance of the 1830s.
  • He had the two storeys of brick removed and replaced them with a gabled roof, restoring the house to its original appearance.
  • He restored the original divisions of the house, removing the more recently built walls.

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