Sperry Gyroscope of Canada
Links and documents
1823/01/01 to 1830/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Mitchell House is a three storey ironstone Georgian house situated on the north-east corner of the block bounded by Prince and Lower Water Streets in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The designation applies to the footprint of the house and the lot it occupies.
The Mitchell House is valued for its architecture, its association with the history of West Indies trading in Halifax, and the Mitchell family who were the original owners and merchants.
George Mitchell purchased the land in 1819, located on the corner of Lower Water and Prince Street. In the mid 1820s he built this ironstone residence and warehouse, replacing an earlier wooden house. It was during this period that shipping merchants, especially those trading with the West Indies such as Enos Colllins, found great success. Mitchell no doubt purchased the lot for its close proximity to the harbour, the shore of which would have been considerably closer to the house during Mitchell’s time and prior to the extensive infill along the harbour font. He would have owned wharves across from his home where his ships would unload and the merchandise sold or transported for storage to the warehouse section of his house.
The house is built of native ironstone and trimmed with sandstone and granite. It is an exceptional Georgian building with five bays, quoined window details and corners, and stone cornice detail. It is similar in style and age to the buildings of Historic Properties, also built for shipping endeavors. The first floor of the Lower Water Street façade is divided in the center by two attractive mid-nineteenth century shop windows. All three storeys are detailed in freestone. The Prince Street façade has is ornamented with corner quoins, string courses and trim on the hoist doors and windows of granite. It has a hip roof with a broad based chimney. There are three hoist doors on the Prince Street façade, not doubt used for the easy transport of goods. Other interior elements, such as trap doors, also indicate that the building was used as a warehouse, added most likely after the Mitchell family moved out and the entire building was used for commercial purposes.
Source: HRM Heritage Property File 1684 Lower Water Street/5110-5122 Prince, Mitchell House, located at HRM Planning and Development Services, Heritage Property Program, 6960 Mumford Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The character-defining elements of Mitchell House relate to its Georgian architecture and include:
- ironstone, sandstone and granite building materials;
- five bays on both the Lower Water and Prince Street façades;
- quoined window details and corners;
- stone cornice detail;
- mid-nineteenth century shop windows on Lower Water Street façade;
- freestone details on all storeys;
- corner quoins, string courses and granite trim on hoist doors and windows on Prince Street façade;
- broad-based chimney.
Local Governments (NS)
Heritage Property Act
Municipally Registered Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Office or Office Building
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
HRM Planning and Development Services, 6960 Mumford Road, Halifax, NS B3L 4P1
Cross-Reference to Collection
See the G.P. Mitchell and Sons fonds, MS-4-214 , at the Dalhousie University Archives.