Description of Historic Place
South Park Victorian Streetscape includes six grand Second Empire and Queen Anne style houses. The house at corner of Morris and South Park Streets is separated by a non-registered property. The houses are located on one block of South Park Street in Halifax, Nova Scotia, beginning beside a cemetery on the corner of South and South Park Streets and ending at the corner of Morris and South Park Streets. The streetscape features a wide sidewalk with a treed buffer from the traffic along this major artery. The heritage designation applies to the buildings and the land they occupy.
South Park Victorian Streetscape is valued for its age, architecture and its associations with its builder and architect.
The homes that make up South Park Victorian Streetscape were built between 1877 and 1897 and boasts an interesting collection of houses built in the Queen Anne and Second Empire styles. These styles were common in Nova Scotia for a large number of private houses, regardless of scale.
Architecturally the streetscape contains homes that are valued as excellent examples of the Second Empire and Queen Anne styles. Together the houses compliment each other and the two Second Empire Style houses are situated further back from the sidewalk than the other four houses, providing a smooth transition between Second Empire and Queen Anne architectural style. The Queen Anne dwellings are unified through a number of recurring elements, such as the wood shingle siding, swag and wreath motifs on the frieze, stained glass in the top sash of the first storey windows, and the side hall plan with front porches.
The houses were once part of a development conceived by George W. Wright known as “Letson Court.” Wright, a Dartmouth-born and internationally known millionaire publisher and philanthropist, was committed to building better housing for the working class. He hired well-known architect James C. Dumaresq to design the mixed income subdivision. Wright was among the many that died April 15, 1912 on the maiden voyage of RMS “Titanic”.
Source: HRM Heritage File: 1263 - 1283 & 1293 South Park Street, South Park Victorian Streetscape, found at HRM Planning and Development Services, Heritage Property Program, 6960 Mumford Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The character-defining elements of South Park Victorian Streetscape that relate to the Second Empire style include:
- steeply pitched mansard roof capped by a flat top;
- arched cornices combined with brackets and detailing;
- dormers that protrude through eave lines;
- projecting tower;
- bay windows with ornate architectural detail;
- round topped windows;
- two storey wood construction with dramatized details;
- central doorway;
- symmetrical three bay façade.
The character-defining elements of South Park Victorian Streetscape that relate to the Queen Anne style include:
- steeply pitched hip roof with round corner towers;
- prominent projecting dormers;
- swag and wreath motifs on frieze;
- two-and-a-half stories wood construction;
- decorative wood shingle siding and fretwork;
- stained glass in the top sash of first storey windows;
- bay windows with curved ends;
- Palladian windows located in gable ends and dormers.
- side hall plans that include a porch with columns and pediment.