The Benjamin Wier House
Links and documents
1864/01/01 to 1864/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Benjamin Wier House is a three storey, brick house with sandstone trim, designed in the Italianate villa style. Above the main entrance is a central, elaborately decorated, wrought iron balcony. Built in 1864, the house is located across from Government House on Hollis Street in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Both the house and its surrounding property are included in the designation.
The Benjamin Wier House is valued as one of the few Rococo Italianate buildings in the Province. Built in 1864, the Benjamin Wier House is a three-storey house with a five bay Wallace stone façade. The front elevation incorporates many Palladian style windows with a decorative sandstone trim on both the first and second floors. In addition, the first floor windows have sandstone-bracketed hoods. A large window opens onto a decorative wrought iron balcony on the second floor. There are two dormers on the third floor, each flank a Palladian window with an ornate roof detail. The rear of the building is brick with not much decorative detail but it does have a distinctive Italianate villa characteristic, a Romeo and Juliet balcony.
The Benjamin Wier House is also valued because of its location on Hollis Street, forming a significant part of a continuum with other heritage buildings on the same street, including Government House. The building is one of the more important older structures on Hollis street. Located across the street from Government House, the Benjamin Wier House is among other prominent buildings including Province House, the Bank of Nova Scotia Building, the Brewery and Founders Square.
Source: Notice of Registration of Property as a Provincial Heritage Property, Provincial Property Heritage File no. 060.
Character-defining elements of the Benjamin Wier House include:
- location among other similar heritage buildings on Hollis Street;
- four dormers, two placed on either side of the building;
- truncated gable roof;
- Wallace sandstone front elevation.
Character-defining elements of the Rococo Italianate style of the Benjamin Wier House include:
- three storey symmetrical five bay façade with central doorway;
- round-headed window and door openings as decorative accents, windows with elaborated crowns;
- windows on the second floor have decorated sandstone trim while those on the first floor have, in addition, sandstone bracketed hoods;
- doorway topped by a large sandstone, bracketed entablature;
- wide eaves supported by brackets but are cut in the center to allow an elaborate parapet with a Palladian window;
- bracketed hoods and sills;
- two dormer windows flanking the Palladian window on the third floor;
- iron balcony above central door;
- Romeo and Juliet balcony at the rear.
Character-defining elements of the interior of the Benjamin Wier House include:
- richly carved ceiling moldings;
- white and black marble fireplaces;
- curving staircase with a large skylight above on the third floor.
Province of Nova Scotia
Heritage Property Act
Provincially Registered Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Office or Office Building
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Provincial Registry found at Heritage Property Program, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax, NS B3H 3A6
Cross-Reference to Collection