Description of Historic Place
Located at 324 Millard Avenue, the Schmidt house is an outstanding example of the Prairie or Craftsman style. Built in 1922, this low-slung, one-and-a- half-storey house, with its hipped and gable roof and its deep porch, is constructed of red brick and rests on a concrete foundation.
The Schmidt House has been designated for its historical and architectural significance by Town of Newmarket By-law 2006-63.
Robert Schmidt was a long-time manager of Office Specialty Manufacturing Co. Ltd., a major source of employment for Newmarket's residents and responsible for the growth and economic prosperity of the town. He built this house in 1922 to reflect his position within the company and the town.
The one-and-a-half-storey residence is constructed of red clay brick that rests on a poured concrete foundation wall. This house exemplifies the key elements of the Prairie or Craftsman style, also known as the “modern” style of housing which was popular throughout North America until the 1930s.
Its gable and hipped roof combination is enhanced with a large central dormer at the front of the house and smaller dormers on each remaining side of the house. The low slung roof extends over a deep porch wrapping around the north and west elevation. The porch, very deep and private, is supported by heavy, yet simple, brick square piers at each corner, embellished with a clean cut railing and balustrades.
The emphasis on simplicity and modernism is enhanced through details such as the use of coloured glazing, the geometric door design and the leaded windows. The majority of the windows are original. In addition, the stone lintels and sills for all the windows are original to the house. There is also a stained glass window at the main entrance and a row of stained glass windows on the east side of the house. The appropriate windows have been fixed to provide for lower heat loss.
With an “L” shaped floor plan, the longer portion of the building faces Lorne Avenue (East) where the garage is located, while the main entrance to the building faces Millard Avenue (North). The dining area has a porch that has steps down into the backyard. There are two chimneys, one located at the kitchen and one at the living room.
Sources: Town of Newmarket heritage designation By-law 2006-63, April 24, 2006 and Heritage Newmarket file: 324 Millard Avenue.
Character defining elements which illustrate the heritage value of the Schmidt house include the:
- building as a reminder of the contribution of Robert Schmidt and his importance in the development of Newmarket through the Office Specialty Manufacturing Company, which was a major source of employment for local residents and responsible for the growth and economic prosperity of the town
- Prairie or Craftsman style with a “L” shaped floor plan
- gable and hipped roof combination with a large central dormer at the front of the house and smaller dormers on each remaining side
- two chimneys
- low slung roof that covers the deep porch that wraps around the north and west elevation
- brick faced, square piers at each corner that support the roof
- railing and balustrades along the porch
- stained glass window at the main entrance and a row of stained glass windows on the east side of the house.