Description of Historic Place
The John C. Graham House, built in 1902 and expanded in 1906, is a 2 1/2-storey wood-frame structure in the south Winnipeg district of Fort Rouge. The City of Winnipeg designation applies to the building on its footprint.
The John C. Graham House is a good example of the kind of large, cordial homes that were erected in comfortable Winnipeg neighbourhoods around the turn of the twentieth century for families associated with the city's burgeoning professions, businesses, public services and skilled trades. Set on a prominent corner site just a few blocks south of the Assiniboine River and downtown Winnipeg, the large Queen Anne Revival-style house was built for John C. Graham of the J.C. Graham Lumber Co., which supplied special glass and finished wood products across the West. The dwelling's exemplary styling, the only known surviving local design by W.B. Lait, incorporates various ornamental devices, such as carved trims and decorative glass, which pay homage to Graham's livelihood. After the Graham family left the house, around 1923, and a period as a boarding house, this structure has been significantly rehabilitated for commercial use.
Source: City of Winnipeg Committee on Planning and Community Services Minutes, May 15, 1989
Key elements that define the heritage character of the John C. Graham House site include:
- the visible corner location at northwest Scott Street and Stradbrook Avenue in the Fort Rouge area
- the building's placement, facing east from within a yard enveloped by a decorative iron fence and mature trees
Key elements that define the dwelling's Queen Anne Revival architecture include:
- the L-shaped form, 2 1/2 storeys high and extended by a rear addition
- the materials and construction type, including the broken-course stone foundation, wood-frame structure with horizontal clapboard siding and steeply pitched hip roof interrupted by east and south gables, north and west dormers, a brick chimney, etc.
- the one-storey wooden porch wrapped around the east and south sides, with tapered plinths, segmental-arched openings supported by simple rounded twin columns, a modestly sloped roof, etc.
- the ample and orderly fenestration throughout, including segmental-arched and flat-headed windows, mostly double-hung, all in simple wood surrounds painted to contrast with the siding and some with delicately carved sills; also, the smooth-curving bay window projecting on to the porch, etc.
- the leaded- and stained-glass windows depicting framed torches, including the parlour and two oval windows with inset red and clear artificial gems
- additional details such as dentilled banding below the eaves, elongated paired brackets, decorative return eaves on the east gable end, two east entrances, etc.
Key elements that define the dwelling's fine interior layout, finishes and details include:
- the formal side-hall plan
- the entrance vestibule, including the striking wooden staircase with an ornamented newel post and elegant balustrade
- the parlour's sophisticated framed entrance, intricately carved wooden fireplace with tile surrounds, etc.
- the details and finishes, including some plank floors, period hardware, cast-iron radiators, carved wooden door frames, accents and trim, etc.