Out of the Archives: Tracing the construction of the McLennan-Redpath complex

If you’ve been to the downtown McGill campus this summer, you’d be hard pressed to miss the unmistakable sights, sounds and even smells of construction. Dozens of workers and mammoth machines are currently toiling away on Sherbrooke and McTavish as part of the City of Montreal’s plans to create an urban promenade stretching from the St. Lawrence river to Mount Royal in time for the city’s 375th birthday in 2017.

With all the construction about, we thought it a perfect time to delve into the McGill Archives to check out some old photos of the Library, from it’s original days in Redpath Hall to the addition of the Redpath Library Building and finally the McLennan Library Building.

Redpath Library – 1891 (Credit: McGill University Archives, PS034687)

Redpath Library – 1891 (Credit: McGill University Archives, PS034687)


Redpath Library Extension construction nearly completed, viewed from southwest – 1901 (Credit: McGill University Archives, PR03829)


Main Entrance of Old Redpath Library, Southeast View – Circa 1940 (Credit: McGill University Archives, PR041908)


Exterior Aerial View of Redpath Library and Surrounding Area – 1953, (Credit: Associated Commercial Photographers Ltd. / McGill University Archives, PL037398)


Redpath Hall and Redpath Library – 1968 (Credit: McGill University Archives, PS034646)


Exterior – lower campus showing McLennan Library Building – 1981 (Credit: Edward Hillel, McGill News / McGill University Archives, PR034259)

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