Description of Historic Place
The Rochon Residence is located in Lower Town in Ottawa opposite the large Notre-Dame Basilica, and is part of an early residential area of domestic, religious and commercial buildings. The Rochon Residence is a very small, one-and-a-half storey timber building with a centre door and a gable roof. The exterior is clad in wood siding. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Rochon Residence is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Rochon Residence is associated with the early development of Ottawa. Constructed perhaps as early as 1832, it is a rare surviving example of the traditional house of Lower Town. It was once the home of woodcarver Pierre Rochon, who is the first clearly identifiable occupant. Rochon is known to have carved the stalls and sanctuary of the nearby Notre Dame Basilica in 1844. The National Capital Commission purchased the structure in 1965.
The Rochon Residence is valued for its simple but good aesthetics and its functional design. It is a typical one-and-a-half storey residence of the 1830 -1850 period in Lower Town, Ottawa. So common was this cottage form that historian Michael Newton called it the traditional house of Lower Town. Good craftsmanship is evidenced in the squared timbers linked by dovetailed keys that constitute the exterior walls.
The Rochon Residence reinforces the residential/commercial character of the streetscape setting and is a familiar regional landmark known to local inhabitants, pedestrians and passing motorists.
Sources: Martha Phemister, Rochon Residence, 142-44 St. Patrick Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Heritage Buildings Review Office, Report 88-070; Rochon Residence, 142-44 St. Patrick Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 83-070.
The character-defining elements of the Rochon Residence should be respected.
Its good aesthetic design, functional design, and good craftsmanship, for example:
- the one-and-a-half storey massing of the small residence with gable roof and gable-end chimney;
-the exterior walls of squared timber linked by dovetailed keys, (piece-sur-piece technique);
-the principal, asymmetrical façade and placement of exterior openings, including the two windows that flank the front door;
-the restrained ‘eyebrow’ detailing, with decorative carving over the front door;
-the side gable and the rear addition;
-the interior spatial arrangement and the plank floors.
The manner in which the Rochon Residence reinforces the residential / commercial character of its streetscape setting and is a familiar landmark as evidenced by:
-its small scale, design and materials which maintain a visual and physical relationship with the street boundary, the neighbouring Valade House, the former Archbishop's Palace and Grey Nun's residence and Notre Dame Basilica;
- its location near the major intersection of Sussex Drive and St. Patrick Street, which makes it a familiar local landmark.