Charles H. Willis House
Links and documents
1862/01/01 to 1864/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Charles H. Willis House is one a row of four two-and-a-half storey townhouses. It is located on Bishop Street in Downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia. Bishop Street is named for the succession of prominent Anglican bishops, starting with Charles Inglis in 1787, who lived on the street. Charles H. Willis House is the middle house, closest to Barrington Street and faces the south side elevation of Government House, between Barrington and Hollis Streets. The heritage designation applies to the building and the surrounding land it occupies.
Charles H. Willis House is valued for its combination of Late Victorian Plain and Halifax House architectural styles, its location within a row of four townhouses, and for its association with its original occupant.
Charles H. Willis House was built between 1862 and 1864 as part of a four-unit townhouse, known as Fraser Terrace, named for an original owner and occupant. This unit was named for Charles H. Willis, a rigger, who lived there from 1888 to 1911.
Architecturally, Charles H. Willis House is valued for its combination of Late Victorian Plain style, characterized by its relatively unadorned façade and bay window (generally Late Victorian Plain homes were built for the working class and therefore simple when compared to the commonly known Victorian style with excessive decorative elements) and the local Halifax House type that is a local style characterized by the presence of five sided Scottish dormers, gable roof with a flat peak, and an asymmetrical front entrances, all of which are present in the Willis House. It is the western middle unit of the building and features a side hall plan entrance and a flat façade. The architectural style of Fraser Terrace, including the Charles H. Willis House, gives the townhouses a degree of graciousness that compliments Government House across the street. Willis House and the entire row of townhouses have changed very little since its construction.
Source: HRM Heritage Property File: 5178 -5180 Bishop Street, Charles H. Willis House, found at HRM Planning and Development Services, Heritage Property Program, 6960 Mumford Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia
The character-defining elements of Charles H. Willis House include:
- two-and-a-half storeys;
- medium pitched truncated gable roof;
- center unit;
- flat façade;
- Scottish dormers;
- side hall plan entrance with front steps and door paired under a large simple pediment with adjoining unit;
- wood shingle cladding and simple wood board trim;
- below grade unit with window and stairway and side hall plan entrance.
Local Governments (NS)
Heritage Property Act
Municipally Registered Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Multiple Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
HRM Planning and Development Services, 6960 Mumford Road, Halifax, NS B3L 4P1
Cross-Reference to Collection