Jane Pryor House
William DeBlois House
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The William DeBlois House is one of three, two-and-a-half storey, Georgian townhouses on Hollis Street in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia. The house complements the streetscape, where there is a high proportion of early nineteenth century houses of stone construction. The heritage designation applies to the building and the lot it occupies.
The William DeBlois House is valued for its association with its early residents. The building is one of three townhouses built circa 1817-1819 by John Pryor for his three daughters: Jane, Marion, and Rebecca. Pryor was a successful West India merchant, shipping company owner and Member of Legislative Assembly for Halifax.
The southernmost of these, the William DeBlois House, was home to Jane Pryor and her Loyalist husband William Minet DeBlois, a merchant. The house was sold in 1874 and used as an income property by its new owner, William H. Newman, jeweller, watchsmith and prize medalist at the 1862 International Exhibition in London, England.
The house is also valued for its respresentation of residential ownership trends in downtown Halifax. The area was first settled by wealthy merchants with positions in goverment who resided in the neighbourhood until the end of the 1800s. When commercial activity on the waterfront increased, wealthy residents left this area, and the neighbourhood was used by middle-class residents until the 1940s. At this time, many of these homes were converted into rooming houses and apartments. Revitalisation of downtown Halifax in the 1970s was the catalyst for the restoration of this block.
The William DeBlois House is also valued as an example of Georgian townhouse architecture. It is also one of the earliest buildings on which the five-sided Scottish dormers appear that would later become a common feature of Halifax architecture.
Source: HRM Heritage Property File: 1472 Hollis Street, Black-Binney House, found at HRM Planning and Development Services, 6960 Mumford Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The character-defining elements related to the William DeBlois House's Georgian townhouse architecture include:
- two-and-a-half storey building with raised basement;
- building located with no setback from the street and flush with its neighbours;
- side hall floorplan;
- exterior front with a granite foundation and dressed standstone on upper storeys;
- exterior rear constructed of ironstone with brick trim around the window openings;
- large end chimney;
- truncated slate gable roof;
- Scottish dormer on the front roof slope, with six-over-six windows;
- six-over-six windows on first and second storeys with sandstone sills;
- eight-over-eight windows with granite sills at basement level;
- sandstone string courses define first and second storeys;
- wooden storm porch with simple wide board trim and steps with traditional wooden railing;
- location completing and complementing the streetscape, which has a high concentration of early nineteenth century stone houses.
Local Governments (NS)
Heritage Property Act
Municipally Registered Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
HRM Planning and Development Services, 6960 Mumford Road, Halifax, NS B3L 4P1
Cross-Reference to Collection