Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘Edouard Arsenault’

Bottle Houses of Prince Edward Island

People who live in glass houses should never throw stones!  You certainly wouldn’t want any stones in the area where this unusual Canadian attraction has three different structures made of glass bottles.

Edouard Arsenault was a native of the area and lived in Cap-Egmont, Prince Edward Island, Canada all of his life.  His occupations varied from fisherman to carpenter to lighthouse keeper. After receiving a post card from his daughter of a glass castle on Vancouver Island, Edouard decided to recycle glass bottles in a very unusual manner. After collecting bottles from restaurants, dance halls, friends and neighbors, he spent the winter months in his basement cleaning the bottles and removing the labels. There aren’t many pop or beer bottles in his structures as those bottles at that time still had a deposit refund when returned.

When he was 66 years old he began construction of his first bottle house, a six gabled house composed of nearly 12,000 bottles.  This interesting arrangement of glass bottles measures 20′ by 14′  and is in three sections.  Carefully cementing 300-400 bottles per row, Mr Arsenault used bag after bag of cement as he carefully arranged the beautiful patterns. Everywhere you experience the serenity and beauty of the flowers he enjoyed.

The second house, a tavern, was constructed in a hexagon shape. Built in 1982 this is a much smaller house using 8,000 bottles. The pillar of bottles, viewed through this open door, stands near the bottle bar. This bottle cylinder is the only original part actually constructed by Edouard. Originally this building was used to house the souvenirs and special bottles that he did not want to be part of the structures. Today you will find here his personal collection of bottles that he felt had extra special features.

The chapel was the third and last building completed before his death.  It is a real work of art. Approximately 10,000 bottles form the chapel, complete with pews and altar. It was situated so that sunset streams in behind the altar giving a feeling of peace to those who visit.

Due to the terrible winters on Prince Edward Island, it was necessary to reconstruct these buildings in the late 1990s.  The same bottles were used in the original design.  The roof and center of the tavern are the only two that are almost completely the original structure.

A beautiful Acadian garden path meanders through the houses and ends up at the present gift shop.  Here you can find many locally made gifts as well as Prince Edward Island souvenirs.

These beautiful Bottle Houses are a real inspiration of what can be done with recycled products in our environment… and a lot of creativity.  Plus, they reflect beauty from every angle!

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