Description of Historic Place
Henry A. Dickie House is a single-storey side-gabled house in a basic Tudor form, with a dominant front cross gable, and containing strong elements from the Craftsman style of architecture. The house is located at the top of Wimburn Hill in Truro, NS, where Exhibition Street intersects with Douglas Street. Both the building, which was built in 1917, and the surrounding property are included in the heritage designation.
Henry A. Dickie House is valued as an early example of an architectural style that was born out of the Eclectic Movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Rather than the free admixtures of styles that characterized late Victorian Architecture, the Eclectic Movement stressed the pure forms of earlier traditions, in this case a simplified Tudor form, to which more modern elements from the Craftsman and Prairie styles could be applied. The roof extension over an earlier porch is a modern alteration, but it actually serves to restore and emphasize the pure lines of the underlying Tudor form.
Two decades later, post World War II, this style reappeared as the lower-cost, mass-produced suburban bungalow or ranch house. Even though there are superficial similarities, it is important not to confuse this house with its later generation versions.
Henry A. Dickie House is valued for its historical association with barrister Henry A. Dickie, a member of the locally prominent Dickie family, who built this house. The site is also valued for its historical association with Dr. Errol E.I. Hancock, a veterinarian of national stature who was instrumental in establishing Nova Scotia's first animal pathology laboratory in Truro. He was also involved in one of the first artificial cattle breeding facilities, the first tuberculosis testing of cattle, the recognition and reporting of cobalt deficiency in cattle, and the establishment of several veterinary programs for Nova Scotia farmers.
Source: Planning Department, Town of Truro, file 10MNS0055
External elements that define the heritage character of Henry A. Dickie House include:
- all original or historic building elements, such as: a basic form and massing in the Tudor Eclectic style, with a lower front cross-gable; roof extended past the cross-gable with an eyebrow-shaped eaveline over the front entrance; wide overhanging eaves with exposed rafters in the Craftsman style; central chimney, centrally placed;
second floor solarium; wide shed-roofed dormer on the eastern roof, raising the effective height of the house on that side to two storeys.
- all original or historic door and window elements, such as: double-sashed 6 over 6 and 6 over 1 windows on the sides and upper storey; multi-paned picture windows, and matching door with sidelights; moulded door and window surrounds.
- all original or historic building materials, such as: wood shingle cladding; wooden trim elements painted a contrasting colour.
- all historic site elements, such as: placement high above the street on a two-level landscaped platform, next to a steep cliff overlooking historic Victoria Park; formal approach to the main entrance of the house up two flights of stairs from the street; mature trees on all sides; placement of the house facing Douglas Street, giving a superb panoramic view of the site from that direction.