In 1913 a local newspaper printed this illustration of a planned "palatial" hotel featuring a terra-cotta exterior and steel-and-concrete construction. The architect for the $500,000, ten-storey building was identified as Montrealer James E. Adamson. But advance plans usually get it wrong: they threw out the rococo look and feel and brought in the Second Empire instead.
"Last though not least among the attractions of Montreal, is the number of its commodious hotels, among which the Windsor stands pre-eminent. It is built at the highest point of the city, under the shadow of the mountains, and for comfort and luxurious appointments is second to none, either on this side of the Continent or on the other. The charges here, as in all other first-class hotels, vary from two and a half to five dollars per day, inclusive, according to location of rooms. This is most moderate when compared with our [British] home charges, where the extras and sundries swell the bill till it is ready to burst with its own extortions."-- Duffus Hardy, Through Cities and Prairie Lands (1881).