Home / Accueil

Mitchell House

1684 Lower Water Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1981/11/02

Front elevation showing second and third storeys and roof, Mitchell House, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 2005.; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2005.
Front Elevation
Side elevation including hoist doors, Mitchell House, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 2005.; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2005.
Side Elevation
View from Lower Water Street, Mitchell Building, Halifax, 2000.; HRM Planning and Development Services, Heritage Property Program, 2000.
Front Elevation

Other Name(s)

Mitchell House
Sperry Gyroscope of Canada

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1823/01/01 to 1830/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/07/19

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.

Heritage Value

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.

Character-Defining Elements

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;
- hip-roof
- broad-based chimney.



Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NS)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Municipally Registered Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

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.

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places



Advanced SearchAdvanced Search
Nearby Places