Description of Historic Place
The elegant Louis S. St-Laurent House is located amongst larger apartment buildings on the well-known ‘Grande Allée’ Street in the Montcalm district of Québec. It is a symmetrical, two-and-a-half-storey brick residence in the ‘foursquare’ style with neoclassical elements and an almost square plan with a pyramidal roof, dormers and a chimney. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Louis S. St-Laurent House is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Louis S. St-Laurent House is associated with Canada’s 12th Prime Minister (1948-57), the Right Honourable Louis S. St-Laurent. It was his principal residence from 1913 to 1941, and again from 1958 until his death in 1973. Major elements of St-Laurent’s legacy include, at the national level, Newfoundland’s entry into Confederation and greater autonomy for Canada within the Commonwealth. At the international level, it was during his term of office that Canada became a full member of the UN, NATO and the new Commonwealth.
The Louis S. St-Laurent House is valued for its good aesthetic design. Its simple design, careful proportions and architectural eclecticism along with its proportions and balance derive from the early 20th-century cubic ‘foursquare’ houses. Its interior layout and finishing details clearly reflect the professional status of its former occupants. Very good craftsmanship and materials are evidenced in the brickwork, interior layout and decor that include fireplaces and woodworking details.
The Louis S. St-Laurent House is compatible with the present residential character of its setting in Québec's Montcalm district, and is a local landmark.
Sources: Christine Chartré, Maison Louis St-Laurent, Quebec, Quebec, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Report 00-051; Louis St-Laurent House, 201 – 203 Grande Allée, Quebec City, Quebec, Heritage Character Statement 00-051.
The following character-defining elements of the Louis S. St-Laurent House should be respected.
The features that distinguish this building as a fine example of the eclectic architectural style that was common in the early 20th century:
- the foursquare style, including the cubic shape, the pavilion roof with large gambrel, the dormers, the chimney on one side, and the exterior brick cladding;
- the elements reminiscent of an English cottage including the symmetrically placed façade openings, and the oriel and sash windows with small panes in their upper sections;
- the neoclassical elements, including the main entrance with a fanlight transom and stained glass sidelights, the door with transom opening onto the second-floor balcony, and the centre hall plan with rooms arranged around the main hall;
- the eclectic brick detailing, including the porch pillars with decorative rings, geometric patterns on the low wall around the balcony and simulated stone ties;
- the formal and functional interior features associated with the residency of Louis S. St-Laurent, in particular the cupboards and china cabinet with glazed openings, built by the sculptor Siméon Bertrand;
- the commemorative value of the residence, surrounded as it is by very tall buildings and, which remains a tangible reminder of a bygone era with its smaller scale development that allowed for green spaces.