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Gorman House

42 Pleasant Street, Chester, Nova Scotia, B0J, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1994/01/04

Projecting cross gable and main entrance, Gorman House, Chester, Nova Scotia, 2007.; Heritage Division, Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2007.
Projecting Cross Gable
Pleasant Street and eastern profile, Gorman House, Chester, Nova Scotia, 2007.; Heritage Division, Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2007.
Side and Front Elevations
Eastern elevation, Gorman House, Chester, Nova Scotia, 2007.; Heritage Division, Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2007.
Eastern Elevation

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/03/26

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Built circa 1830 the Gorman House is a Cape Cod style home with additional vernacular and Gothic architectural elements. The home is built into the side of a small hill on Pleasant Street in Chester, Nova Scotia with its front elevation facing the street. The Municipal Heritage Designation applies the building and surrounding property.

Heritage Value

The Gorman House is valued for its age, historical associations and architecture. Built circa 1830, the home is a "house in a hill"- its western elevation was built into the side of the small knoll. The home was built by Edward Gorman, a well known Chester merchant. The home continued to be owned by descendants of the Gorman family for over a century, including Thomas Gorman (1865-1875) who was also a respected merchant in the area. The home’s association with the Gorman family ended in 1937.

The Cape Cody style home also possesses a number of vernacular influences and has had several additions since it was constructed. One major variation from the Cape Cod style is the projecting centered cross gable on the front elevation. The main entrance of the home is located in the cross gable and with a wooden paneled door topped by a simple moulding. A modified six-over-six window with a Gothic Revival influenced triangular upper sash is located in the peak of the gable and has a simple triangular window hood that meets the plain frieze in the peak of the gable. The cross gable forms part of a symmetrical three bay façade and is flanked by a single six-over-six window on each side at the first storey. An interesting feature of the home that is somewhat unique to the area is the presence of a wide wooden construction water table board on the front elevation placed approximately where the ceiling of the basement would begin. The water table helps to keep water from running onto the basement windows at the lower corner of the front elevation, but more importantly it preserves the homes symmetrical appearance by separating the first storey from the basement, which disrupts the elevations’ symmetry.

The original portion of the eastern elevation is also symmetrically designed. This elevation features a basement door flanked by single six-over-six windows at ground level. At the first storey level two windows featuring the same six-over-six designs are slightly inset from the lower windows and are offset from the doorway. In the peak of the gable at the one-and-one-half storey level a single six-over-six window is located directly over the basement door.

The additions to the home have been made on the northern elevation. The first was constructed in 1971 and is a large cross-gable extension. A smaller addition was added to the home in 2002 and is a gabled extension off the 1971 addition. The architecture themes of the original portion of the home such as narrow eaves have been replicated in the additions preserving the home’s architectural integrity.

Source: Municipality of the District of Chester Heritage Property Files.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Gorman House that relate to its Cape Cod style architecture include:

- symmetrical design;
- steep roof pitch;
- narrow eave overhang;
- simple mouldings over windows;
- plain corner boards and frieze;
- symmetrical design of eastern elevation featuring
- single six-over-six window in peak of gable
- two offset six-over-six windows in first storey;
- three bay façade at ground level consisting of a central door and a pair of six-over-six windows;
- two-over-two storm windows;
- wooden shingle cladding.

The character-defining elements of the Gorman House that relate to its vernacular architecture include:

- front elevation featuring a centrally located projecting cross gable flanked by single six-over-six windows;
- main entrance composed of a paneled wooden door located at base of projecting cross gable;
- Gothic Revival inspired modified six-over-six window above main entrance with a multi-pane triangular window in the upper sash and topped by a simple triangular window hood;
- wooden water table on front elevation;
- paired six–over-six windows directly under water table on the eastern edge of front elevation at the basement level;
- stone basement;
- built into knoll with exposed foundation on eastern side;
- two-and-one-half storey wood frame construction.



Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NS)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Municipally Registered Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type



Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer



Gorman, Edward

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Municipal Heritage Property Files, Municipality of the District of Chester, 151 King St, Chester, NS, B0J 1J0.

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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