Henry-Stuart House National Historic Site of Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Henry-Stuart House is a small, romantic 19th-century brick cottage set in a picturesque garden at 82 de la Grande Allée West, Quebec City. The irregular, 1,528.3 sq. m site survives as an oasis of the past in a prestigious urban residential area. The designation refers to grounds, house and furnishings surviving from the Stuart family occupation. Henry-Stuart House is now operated as a museum.
Henry-Stuart House was designated a national historic site in 1999 because:
- it is a remarkable example of the Québec ''cottage orné'', a type of small house associated with the picturesque movement,
- the furnishings and objects associated with the house comprise part of its value and its authenticity because they provide witness to the bourgeois lifestyle in Quebec into the 20th century,
- despite its present urban environment, its location on a wooded site replete with gardens continues to evoke its 19th-century picturesque character.
The heritage value of Henry-Stuart House lies in its illustration of 19th and early 20th-century bourgeois aesthetics and lifestyle in urban Quebec. In this case, the aesthetic reflects the picturesque sensibilities favoured by British settlers. These values are carried by specific elements of the grounds, house, and furnishings that have survived from the 19th century. Henry-Stuart House was built by a Quebec entrepreneur for his daughter, Mary (or Maria) Curry Henry in 1849. In 1918 it was purchased by the sisters Adèle-Maud and Mary-Lauretta Stuart who continued to own the house until Adèle's death in 1987. In the almost 70 years they owned the property, the Stuart sisters restored and supported its 19th-century picturesque character. In 1997, the Conseil des monuments et sites du Québec purchased the property in 1997 in order to preserve it as a public resource.
Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, 1999; Commemorative Integrity Statement, December 2003.
Key elements that contribute to the heritage value of this site include:
- the location of the property on the Grande Allée in what, at the date of construction, was a semi-rural suburb;
- the siting of the house in the midst of a treed and landscaped garden;
- the fencing and access gates which define the proprety;
- the continued existence of a garden surrounding the house, particularly based on evidence of original support structures, pathways, landscaping and plant species;
- the ''cottage orné'' house design, defined by its square one-and-half-storey massing under a hip roof that extends beyond the walls to create a deep wrap-around verandah, the five-bay façade with regularly spaced French windows and central, side-and top-lit door;
- the picturesque design elements including the enlivening of the roofline with a central chimney and irregular dormers, the deep verandah acting as an intermediary between garden and house and creating a play of light and shade, the long French windows that provide easy access to and from the verandah, the low foundation, ensuring that the house is part of the landscape;
- the variety of materials, including fieldstone foundation, brick walls, metal roof, and wood framing and detailing;
- the surviving original interior layout and finishes;
- the furnishings, art and accessories original to the Stuart family.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
1849/01/01 to 1987/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection