Description of Historic Place
President’s Cottage is a 2-story residence with an ell located among the large stone structures on the Mount Allison University campus. It is the oldest building on campus which predates Confederation. It served as the home of university presidents since its construction in 1857 until 1957.
President’s Cottage is designated a Local Historic Place for its association for being the home of several presidents, for many years the centre of official hospitality and for its architecture.
For many years on graduation day, a reception for every senior on the campus occurred at “The Cottage”. When built, the structure was located in the centre of the Mount Allison University campus in close proximity to the main women’s residence. It was built by the first president Dr. Humphrey Pickard, and was occupied successively by six presidents who served Mount Allison University over a period of 100 years.
A major renovation occurred in 1903 that saw the president’s residence, which was a story and a half cottage, changed into a two story building with a two story bow added to the eastern end. By 1958, Mount Allison University needed more space for women students and so the President’s cottage, a historical 14-room cottage in the centre of the university proper, was overnight changed into accommodation for 25 students.
In 1965, the cottage was almost torn down to make room for the new Chemistry building. Due to the work of R.J. (Max) Hickey in 1967, the house was restored as Mount Allison University’s Centennial Project. It was felt that the building, one of the oldest on campus, had great historical significance, and was an authentic piece of domestic architecture, and could be put to good use as a faculty club. The second floor was renovated for academic space that has included The Rural and Small Town Programme, a research project that helps develop sustainable rural communities and small towns.
The President's Cottage is a good example of domestic Greek Revival architecture. Its rectangular massing, gable roof and bays all indicate this style.
Source: Town of Sackville, Historic Places Filing Cabinet, President's Cottage File Folder
The character-defining elements that relate to President’s Cottage include:
- the cottage site overlooking the Academy on opposite side of the Academy Stretch, known as Main Street;
- elements of the Greek Revival style with simple panelled door, centrally placed, with rectangular transom and panelled sidelights still present in the original 1 ½ story building;
- front dormer, in the Greek Revival style, with very large window with 16 panes;
- white clapboard covering with prominent front veranda;
- addition in 1903 becoming a house with two stories with addition of two story bow on eastern end;
- new 1 1/2 story ell featuring attic story windows, scaled down version of those seen on first floor.