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Diorama Model
THE ADDITION OF THE MAIN RESIDENCE BUILDING RELIEF

In addition to the Athlone Classroom Block, I had planned to add a relief of the Main Residence Building, which had been the olde Christopher Spencer mansion, and in turn housed Mrs. Dryvynsyde's residence, the Athlone School offices, the study hall, the boarding facilities and dinning area for the school. Although there was only room for a relief, any depiction of Athlone School would not be complete without some reference to this second grand building.

Unfortunately, few if any images existed of the North or required side of the Main Residence building, simply because of the proximity of the classroom block to this olde house. To cover the entire width at such a close range (between the two buildings) proved next to impossible. Subsequently, the photos that did exist only showed a small bit of either the northeast or northwest side. In turn, the architectural plans which were acquired and featured in my Athlone books, only showed floor and sight plans with no exterior building side reference.

Then, late in 2015, I received a newspaper clipping, which an Athlone Old Boy had saved. It was an image that had been taken by a local Vancouver newspaper in November of 1973, as Athlone School was being torn down. With the classroom block gone, it was at last possible to capture the entire North side of the Main Residence building. Sadly sitting in rubble but still very much standing.

From this clipping photo I was able to create a rendering. Then using my Athlone School Photo archives and the diorama for scale fit the rendering into the diorama.

With the rendering drafted it was possible to make a 2 dimensional card of the building to scales and place it into the diorama accordingly.

The next step was to make the 2 dimensional Main Residence building rendering 3 dimensional, and in doing so correct the landscaping around it.

Work will continue on this Athlone School diorama project until it is finished.

Christopher M. Robertson
The Athlone School Diorama Contractor.


Over the last two years Christopher M. Robertson has been working on developing a large to scale model recreation of the classroom block and surrounding grounds that were located at 49th Ave and Arbutus Street from 1955 through 1973. This three dimensional rendering of Athlone, in part and as it was in 1963 has been constructed down to the last possible detail, inside and out. Diorama ModelStudents can be found on the tennis court, in the locker room or taking direction from any number of Athlone's staff. Christopher has used the original Dominion Construction blue prints Diorama Model to work from and an endless number of photos to qualify detail. Old Boys who attended the last Athlone Grand Reunion (May 2006) will remember seeing this model and enjoying it's likeness even in unfinished form. The Athlone Classroom Block Diorama is scheduled for completion in 2008 and hopefully will be one of the main features of the next Athlone reunion.


Move your mouse over the thumb nails below to view a larger picture.

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Original 1955 Athlone Classroom Block Plans
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Initial Framing of Classroom Block on Layout
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Sheeting of outside walls from Northwest Corner
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Dressing and Animating of Staff & Student figures
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Development of Grounds contours & landscaping
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Cement work and foundation for low stone wall in place
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Athlone Grounds Finished
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Laying of Lino Flooring
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Lower Floor Nearing Completion
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Lower Floor & Grounds from the East, Completed
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Clossup of Shower & Locker Rooms
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North & West Upper Floor Walls Finished
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Laying of Second flooring Lino
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East & South Wall Erected
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Athlone Sign and West Inset Walls Completed
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West Side of Second Floor Develops
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More Students Dressed & Added
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Installation of Clear Viewing Roof
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Rev Esler Grade 8 Class in progress 1963
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Roof Overhang Built and Installed
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Athlone School Observed by Passersby
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Roof Insert built and installed, Outside Complete
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Three Forty Five, Athlone School is Out
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