McElroy, Garnet Andrew

McELROY, Garnet Andrew (1897-1986) of Windsor, Ont. was an influential architect responsible for dozens of commercial buildings for the S.S. Kresge & Co. retail chain in Canada and the United States. His progressive Art Deco and modernist designs for the stores can be found in cities from Victoria, B.C. through to Quebec City. Born in Sandwich, Ont. on 8 June 1897 he took courses in architecture and engineering at the Detroit Technical Institute and studied architecture at the University of Michigan for one year. He trained under Gilbert P. Jacques (in 1915-17 and in 1919-21), and worked as a draftsman for Albert Kahn in Detroit (1917-19). During his time there he attended evening classes of the Thumb Tack Club Atelier in 1918-20, and likely met some of the leading architects and young designers in the Detroit area.

He opened his own office in Windsor in 1921, and in 1923 he joined the S.S. Kresge Co. of Detroit, Mich. as a staff architect, a position he appears to have held as a consultant until after 1950. During this period he continued to reside in Windsor, and operated an office under his own name in 1923-28, then as McElroy, McIntosh & Gauthier (1928-31). His largest and most substantial design for the Kresge company in Canada was the five storey flagship store and office block on Ste. Catherine Street in downtown Montreal (1936-37), a striking Art Deco landmark clad in black granite, green terra cotta, and glass block. McElroy remained active in Windsor until 1969, and died in Windsor on 14 December 1986 (death notice Windsor Star, 17 Dec. 1986, D6; inf. Ontario Assoc. of Architects, Province of Quebec Assoc. of Architects; Architectural Inst. of British Columbia). A collection of original perspective presentation drawings prepared by McElroy for Kresge Co. stores in Canada is now held at the National Archives of Canada (NAC Acc. 80103/55).

WINDSOR, ONT., business block for the Jones Syndicate, 1923 (C.R., xxxvii, 10 Jan. 1923, 48)
WINDSOR,ONT., store and apartment block for an unnamed client, Wyandotte Street, 1927 (dwgs. City of Windsor Archives, RG4, No. 24)
OTTAWA, ONT., S.S. Kresge Store, Sparks Street, 1929 (Ottawa Journal, 30 March 1929, 5, descrip.)
KINGSVILLE, ONT.., Epworth Building, c. 1930 (list of works on P.Q.A.A Application dated 25 Feb. 1941)
LASALLE, ONT., residence for Vital Benoit, c. 1930 ((list of works on P.Q.A.A Application dated 25 Feb. 1941)
WINDSOR, ONT., Wilkinson Shoe Store, c. 1930 (list of works on P.Q.A.A Application dated 25 Feb. 1941)
WINDSOR, ONT., Police Headquarters, c. 1930 (list of works on P.Q.A.A Application dated 25 Feb. 1941)
VICTORIA, B.C., S.S. Kresge Co. Store, Douglas Street at View Street, 1930; altered 1991 (dwgs. at NAC 80103/55, McElroy Coll.)
HAMILTON, ONT., S.S. Kresge Co. Store, King Street East at Hughson Street North, 1930, with major addition and alterations, 1948-49 (C.R., lxi, Dec. 1948, 110; Tim Morawetz, Art Deco Architecture Across Canada, 2017, 178, illus. & descrip.)
ST. CATHARINES, ONT., S.S. Kresge Co. Store, St. Paul Street, 1932; addition, 1949 (dwgs. at NAC 80103/55, McElroy Coll.)
TORONTO, ONT., S.S. Kresge Co. Store, Roncesvalles Avenue near Fern Avenue, 1936 (inf. Toronto Historical Board)
MONTREAL, QUE., S.S. Kresge Co. Store and Offices, Ste. Catherine Street West at Victoria Street, 1936-37 (Daily Commercial News [Toronto], 15 Oct. 1936, 1, illus. & descrip.; C.R., vol. 50, 30 June 1937, 20-1, 25-6, 29, illus. & descrip.; Canadian Engineer [Toronto], lxxiii, 23 Nov. 1937, 5-11, illus. & descrip.)
SUDBURY, ONT., S.S. Kresge Co. Store, Elm Street East, 1937 (C.R., vol. 50, 28 April 1937, 60)
TIMMINS, ONT., S.S. Kresge Co. Store, Third Avenue, 1937 (C.R., vol. 50, 12 May 1937, 37; Porcupine Advance [Timmins], 20 May 1937, 1, descrip.)
KIRKLAND LAKE, ONT., S.S. Kresge Co. Store, Government Road West, 1938 (C.R., li, 8 June 1938, 36)
EDMONTON, ALTA., S.S. Kresge Co. Store, 101st Street at 101 Avenue, 1938 (C.R., li, 6 April 1938, 37)
TORONTO, ONT., S.S. Kresge Co. Store, Bayview Avenue near Millwood Road, 1939-40 (C.R., lii, 13 Dec. 1939, 28)
OWEN SOUND, ONT., S.S. Kresge Store, 938 Second Avenue East, near 9th Street East, 1938-39; still standing in 2023 (Owen Sound Daily Sun-Times, 12 Jan. 1939, 5; and 19 Jan. 1939, 10, illus. & descrip., but incorrectly credited to G.A. Elroy [sic], instead of McElroy, Architect; and 25 Jan. 1939, 5, descrip.; C.R., li, 21 Dec. 1938, 28-9, t.c.)
CALGARY, ALTA., S.S. Kresge Co. Store, 8th Avenue, 1941 (dwgs. Glenbow Museum, Calgary, specifications BB1 19682)
QUEBEC CITY, QUE., major addition to S.S. Kresge Co. Store, Charest Boulevard at Church Street, 1941 (C.R., liv, 30 July 1941, 28-9)
LEAMINGTON, ONT., recreation building (or an arena?) for the Town Council, 1947 (C.R., lx, Aug. 1947, 260)
WINDSOR, ONT., Mario's Tavern, Ouellette Avenue near Elliott Street, 1949 (C.R., lxii, Sept. 1949, 165)
LETHBRIDGE, ALTA., S.S. Kresge Co. Store, 4th Avenue South, 1950 (C.R., lxiii, June 1950, 128, t.c.)