Saturday, July 2, 2016

PEI Bottle Houses

a portrait of Edouard T. Arsenault inside one of his bottle houses
We all have our unique likes and dislikes. I have always been drawn to stained glass. I have a small collection of old bottles. A few years ago, I read about the Bottle Houses on Prince Edward Island. So when we decided to take an impromptu trip to PEI on Monday, visiting the Bottle Houses was top on my list of things to see...well, it was actually a short list as the only tourist stop I wanted to make was this one! The rest of our time on PEI was devoted to seeing the natural sights...fields, beaches, sand, cliffs, etc.
the first PEI bottle house was built in 1980 and used 12,000 bottles
This is the first house built by Edouard T. Arsenault. It was built in 1980 and used approximately 12,000 bottles. He had seen a postcard of a tourist attraction on Vancouver Island and decided to build a house of bottles himself. Although there is no stained glass involved in the construction of these buildings, they have that feel about them when the light shines though the bottles.
inside the first house
This structure was re-built by local bricklayers in 1995, as severe structural damages had resulted from the annual spring thaws. The same bottles were used in the reconstruction, as well as the same basic design.
the second building was built in 1982 and used to be the souvenir shop
Edouard used approx 8,000 bottles to construct a second building in 1982. 
detail from inside the second building
This building was rebuilt in 1993 because the foundation needed to be repaired, but the roof and central cylinder were maintained. This building was used to sell souvenir items until the current shop was built.

EDNA, the Spirit of Wood

EDNA, the Spirit of Wood, was created in 2011 by Bill Gallant from Summerside. This Manitoba Maple was the largest tree on the property and it was brought down by heavy winds in 2010. The name EDNA was chosen in honour of the oldest sister of Edouard Arsenault. She passed away at the age of 99 years the week the sculpture was being created. 
the pond is situated in the middle of the three buildings
The gardens surrounding the bottle houses are beautiful.
inside the chapel - even the pews were constructed using bottles

Edouard started building the chapel in 1983 and used approximately 10,000 bottles. The chapel was completed with pews and altar. The chapel had to be re-constructed in 1998.

Here are a few more photos...can you tell I was enchanted by these buildings?



Of course, the buildings can't compare to the natural beauty that the province has to offer, but it's nice to play tourist once in a while!

2 comments:

sybil said...

I love it ! I'd drive to P.E.I. just to see this place too.
Did anyone ever actually live in the house ?

Sara said...


I think he just built them as curiosities