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West-Buley House

2146 Brunswick Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3K, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1992/04/16

Front elevation, West-Buley House, 2146 Brunswick Street, Halifax, NS, 2006.; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2006.
Front elevation, West-Buley House
North elevation, West-Buley House, 2146 Brunswick Street, Halifax, NS, 2006.
; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2006.
North elevation, West-Buley House
West-Buley House (right) and West-Osler House (left), 2146 and 2140 Brunswick Street, Halifax, NS, 2006.

; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2006.
West-Buley House (right), West-Osler House (left)

Other Name(s)

West-Buley House
Universalist Church

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1878/01/01 to 1878/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/05/16

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The West-Buley House is located on Brunswick Street in the north end of Halifax, Nova Scotia. This two-and-a-half storey brick masonry, Gothic Revival style building was built in 1878. The West-Buley House occupies the right side of a double house, with the other side occupied by the West-Osler House, also a designated property. The building and property are included in the designation.

Heritage Value

The West-Buley House is valued as it is a rare example, in Nova Scotia, of the Gothic Revival style in brick masonry for terrace housing. It is also valued because of its importance to the heritage character of Brunswick Street.

The Universalist Society in Halifax dates from 1837. One of the most notable founding families of the church was the West family. Conrad West held the mortgage for the Society's Church, the Universalist Church of the Redeemer, erected in 1874. The comfortable circumstances of the West family allowed them to contribute substantial funds to the church; Conrad's sons, William and Nathaniel, neither of whom had children, were particularly generous.

In the same year as the church was opened, William West turned over the Manse (today 2138 Brunswick Street) to the church, in return for an interest bearing note for $10,000. In 1875, West purchased land adjoining the parsonage and advised the church to build on this land a double house of brick, similar in design to the Manse. The representatives of the church vestry then applied to William's brother, Nathaniel, for money on a mortgage to build the brick house. Nathaniel agreed but advised against building in brick as he thought it would involve the church in difficulties. Two years later, Nathaniel died, and with some of the money he left to the church, the vestry paid off the debt to the Manse. With the death of Nathaniel's wife in 1880, the church then paid off the bond on the adjoining double house.

The architectural firm of Elliot and Busch designed the double house (today 2140 and 2146 Brunswick Street), with the West-Buley House occupying the right side of the house. The firm had already provided the plans for the Manse. Henry Stephen Elliot of the partnership was a member of the Universalist congregation which no doubt explains the involvement of his firm.

The double house was built as an income property for the church and served this purpose well into the twentieth century, though as Nathaniel had foretold, their brick construction created major maintenance problems. The economic decline of the Brunswick Street area caused the church to sell the double house in the early 1940s and for much less than they had paid to construct it in 1878. It had survived the 1917 Halifax Explosion, which had heavily damaged much of the north end of Halifax, with minor damage.

This brick masonry building continues the lines and detailing of the adjoining Manse. The resulting effect is reminiscent of the terrace housing being built in British and some other North American cities during the late nineteenth century. In Halifax, however, this building type, in brick, is quite rare.

The Gothic Revival details of the exterior provide an interesting image and are well executed. Most notable is the second floor window arcade with pointed arches, stone archivolts and wooden tracery.

With the revival of Brunswick Street in the 1980s, the Manse and the double house have become important buildings in this process. They are critical to retaining the street’s heritage character, which is what initially inspired the economic revitalization of the street.

Source: Provincial Heritage Program property files, no. 153, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax, NS.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements relating to the Gothic Revival style of the West-Buley House include:

- two-and-a-half storey brick masonry construction;
- mansard roof, with truncated dormers and original slates;
- second floor window arcade with pointed arches, stone archivolts and wooden tracery;
- interior finishes such as high ceilings, deep cornices and fireplaces;
- its continuity with the attached West-Osler property and the surrounding streetscape.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Province of Nova Scotia

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Provincially Registered Property

Recognition Date

1992/04/16

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Philosophy and Spirituality

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Residence
Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer

Henry Stephen Elliot

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Provincial Heritage Program property files, no. 153, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax, NS.

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

00PNS0153

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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