Description of Historic Place
78 Fox Street is a small, four-bay wooden Cape Cod style home situated on Fox Street in Old Town, Lunenburg, NS, between Cornwallis and Duke Streets. It was built between 1805 and 1818. The house is situated close to the streetline, and has an unusual extended roof in the western rear half of the roof, giving the house a full second storey and half of a third storey in the rear. Designation applies to the building and the surrounding property.
78 Fox Street is valued as an example of early Lunenburg architecture and for its unique subsequent renovations. The 'Cape Cod' style was common in Lunenburg at that time, adopted by immigrants from New England. Built between 1805 and 1818 for John Lennox, it was originally a small single-storey gable-roofed house. Lennox's business, a tavern, was located across the street, and it is now a restored inn and also a registered heritage property. His reasons for building this small Cape Cod are not known, however he may have used the property for production or storage of merchandise. Early maps show that there were several outbuildings on the property, which may have been used for commercial activity. As well, there is an entrance into the cellar under the front door, which indicates the movement of goods to and from storage. The house has had remarkably few owners: it passed into the Frederick family in 1821, and remained in that family until 1925. It has been sold only four times since that time.
In the years 1890 to1893, the large, rear, western two-storey addition was added, giving the house an asymmetrical shape that is uncommon for Cape Cod homes. Despite this addition, or perhaps because of it, the house has retained its original character, and it stands out in the Lunenburg streetscape as a simple, unornamented home.
Source: Heritage Designation File 66400-40-36, Town of Lunenburg.
The character-defining elements of 78 Fox Street relate to its architectural style, some of which are typical of early Lunenburg homes, and some of which are unique to 78 Fox Street, including:
- elements of the Cape Cod style, including the horizontal composition, the low eaves with no overhang, the central massive chimney, six-over-six windows, clapboard cladding and symmetrical front façade;
- location of the house immediately at the streetline, which is typical of early Lunenburg homes and indications that this was originally a commercial property, such as the entrance to the cellar directly under the front door, allowing movement of goods to and from storage;
- interior elements relating to the Cape Cod style, such as central fireplaces and original wooden paneling on the main floor, a bake oven and fireplace in the basement, and a narrow central staircase;
- indications that the place originally had a commercial function, such as the entrance to the cellar directly under the front door, allowing movement of goods to and from storage;
- unusual renovations to the building, specifically the large rear addition allowing a second and third floor to be added to the house, as well as extending the roofline on the western end, giving the façade an asymmetrical appearance.