Description of Historic Place
177 Victoria Street East, also known as “Victoria,” is an elegant two-and-a-half-storey residence located on the south side of Amherst, Nova Scotia’s main street. Built in 1907, it stands in an up-scale residential district surrounded by other grand homes built in the same era. The building and property are included in the municipal designation.
177 Victoria Street East is valued an excellent example of Queen Anne Revival architecture, and because it has been altered very little since it was built. Value is also found in its connection with the history of Amherst.
Architectural Value: “Victoria” exemplifies the core elements of the Queen Anne style with its asymmetric front, large verandah, tower, and contrasting surfaces. The characteristic wrap-around verandah draws your eye to the large, two-storey curved bay rising to a third storey turret topped with a conical roof. A conical roof also tops a bay on the west side and a bartizan projecting from the east side. The house is covered with a variety of surfaces including plain and scalloped white wooden shingles, and irregularly shaped stones in a variety of sizes and shades of grays and browns. The multi-paned windows are a variety of shapes and sizes.
Historical Value: “Victoria” was designed by Willard M. Mitchell, an accomplished architect and award-winning artist. He was Amherst’s town architect from 1904 to 1923, and, during these years, he designed many homes, churches, and schools for Amherst and the surrounding area. The home was built by Silliker and Company Ltd. Clarence J. Silliker was an Amherst carpenter, lumberman and land developer who greatly influenced the architectural face of Amherst and the surrounding region. “Victoria” was owned and lived in by Amherst barrister Edgar Hewson, who was the brother and partner of industrialist Harvey Hewson. The two men owned and operated Hewson Woolen Mills Ltd., a very successful Amherst business between 1902 and 1914 that produced wool of the highest quality, which was shipped across Canada.
Source: “Heritage Properties Amherst, 177 Victoria Street East” File, Cumberland County Museum
Character-defining elements of 177 Victoria Street East include:
- original size and massing;
- location in neighbourhood with other heritage homes of similar size and era.
Character-defining Queen Anne Revival elements of 177 Victoria East include:
- asymmetric shape;
- large wrap-around verandah;
- tower, turret and bays;
- third storey turret on northwest corner;
- conical roof on turret, bartizan and west bay;
- contrasting surfaces, including stones in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours, and scalloped and plain wooden shingles;
- variety of window shapes and sizes.
Character-defining Neo-Classical elements of 177 Victoria Street East include:
- columns on the verandah;
- bracketed pediment on second storey;
- pilasters on the dormers.