William Alexander House Registered Heritage Structure
Bonavista, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0C, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
William Alexander House is a two and a half storey wooden framed building, designed in the Georgian style by Alexander Strathie. Alexander House is located in Bonavista, Newfoundland.
This designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
William Alexander House is designated as a Registered Heritage Structure due to its historical, architectural and environmental values.
William Alexander House is historically valuable for its age and its association with William Alexander. William Alexander House was built between 1811 and 1814 and is the oldest residential structure in Newfoundland that has been assigned a date. In the early 19th century, William Alexander, a prominent Scottish merchant planter made his home in the flourishing fishing community of Bonavista. During his time in Bonavista he formed the firm of Alexander and Co. and contributed a great deal to the community of Bonavista. One of his most famous contributions was the funding of the Alexander Chapel of All Souls Mortuary Chapel.
William Alexander House is architecturally valuable for its uniqueness in the community of Bonavista. A two and a half storey, Georgian style house with a central hall plan, William Alexander House is the only house of this style in Bonavista. The house features a highly symmetrical, 3 bay front façade capped by peaked dormers on a steep gable roof with end chimneys. This house is the earliest house in Bonavista and defined the architectural character of the community.
William Alexander House is also architecturally valuable for its association with Alexander Strathie. In 1811, William Alexander commissioned his fellow Scottish countryman, builder and architect, Alexander Strathie to build him a house in Bonavista. Strathie came to Newfoundland from Renfrew, Scotland in 1811 and began construction on William Alexander House. Alexander House was the first building that Strathie built in Bonavista, but it would not be his last. Strathie stayed in Newfoundland after building Alexander House and his architectural legacy continued through the generations to his son Ronald Strathie and others. Strathie constructed many more buildings in Bonavista including a home for his family which eventually became known as “Renfrew Castle.”
William Alexander House is environmentally valuable for its location in Bonavista. Alexander House is located grandly on the harbour front in Bonavista and this location stands as a testament to the affluence and influence of William Alexander in the community of Bonavista.
Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador unnumbered property file: "Bonavista-William Alexander House", 1 Springdale Street, St. John's, NL.
-3 bay façade;
-central hall plan;
-location in Bonavista;
-steep gable roof;
Newfoundland and Labrador
Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador
Historic Resources Act
Registered Heritage Structure
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, 1 Springdale Street, St. John's, NL, A1C 5V5
Cross-Reference to Collection