Description of Historic Place
St. Jerome's College and High School is located at 120 Duke Street West, on a rectangular plan, at the northeast corner of Duke Street West and College Street, in the downtown core, of the City of Kitchener. This four-storey red-brick building was constructed in 1907 in the Neo-Classical style.
The property was designated, for its historic and architectural merit, by the City of Kitchener, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act, By-law 93-43.
Located at 120 Duke Street West, in downtown Kitchener, St. Jerome's College and High School is recognized as an important landmark. It represents the City's social and cultural history. The structure is physically prominent in its setting, and continues to be appreciated by the public.
St. Jerome's College and High School is associated with the foundation of Catholic education in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo. Its roots date back to 1857 when the school was initially established in St. Agatha, Ontario. Under the presidency of Father Zinger, the oldest portion of the school was constructed in Kitchener. The cornerstone of 120 Duke Street West was laid in 1907, and the building was completed in 1908.
The College is associated with numerous distinguished alumni that had contributed significantly to Kitchener's cultural, social, technological, physical, economic, and political development. In its early years, St. Jerome's students came from all areas of Canada, Europe, South America, and the United States of America. It was also one of the largest educational institutions in the area.
St. Jerome's College and High School represents a well preserved example of the Neo-Classical style of architecture, which is rather uncommon in the City of Kitchener. Neo-Classicalism draws heavily on both Greek and Roman architectural orders, and was considered a particularly suitable style for institutions of higher learning. St. Jerome's utilizes both classical styles while keeping them distinct. The bottom storey is identifiably Romanesque and the top storeys employ the Greek Ionic order. To emphasize the division, a stone belt course separates the first and second storeys.
Sources: City of Kitchener By-law 93-43; Historic Buildings Inventory, City of Kitchener - P. Shea, Heritage Researcher, July 1989.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of St. Jerome's College and High School include its:
- overall size and massing contributing to its landmark stature
- symmetry, lines and details representative of the Neo-Classical style of architecture not commonly found in the City of Kitchener
- red-brick exterior and stone foundation with ribbon mortar joints
- rusticated raised basement and ground storey
- roof and roofline
- rounded recessed entranceways and window openings
- rusticated stone voussoirs and keystones which contribute to the Romanesque style
- central bay consisting of a colossal portico in the Ionic order topped by a triangular pediment
- stone pilasters with Ionic capitals marking the bay divisions and running vertically from the belt course to the cornice
- entablature with bracketed cornice and simple frieze separating the third and attic storey
- wood and bevelled glass doors
- first storey, rectangular round headed window openings, and second and third storey, rectangular window openings
- prominent location within the streetscape