Chipman Hill Properties
1, 5, 9 Chipman Hill, Saint John, New Brunswick, E2L, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Chipman Hill Properties consist of three circa 1854 Neoclassical brick townhouses situated at 1, 5 and 9 Chipman Hill in Saint John. The building at 9 Chipman Hill is a two-and-a-half storey structure, while the others are three-and-a-half stories in height.
Chipman Hill Properties are designated a Provincial Historic Site for their architecture. They illustrate the typical upper-middle class urban housing typology in Saint John during the mid-19th century when the city was at its economic peak. The rectangular massing, low pitch gable roofs and classic entrance details of these buildings are good examples of elements from this style. However, it was their brick construction that enabled these homes to survive the great fire of 1877 and prevented its spread, thereby saving a large part of the city.
Certain interior elements of 1 Chipman Hill are also significant. Built circa 1854 with interior renovations likely in the 1870’s, 1 Chipman Hill contains a remarkable variety of decorative trompe-l’oeil wall and ceiling paintings portraying illusionary three-dimensional effects reflecting High Victorian taste. Combining inspiration from antiquity, the Renaissance and 18th century France, representations include illusionary three-dimensional sculpture and wall paneling, materials and textures. These works are a rare and early surviving example of artistic painted decoration in a Canadian home.
Source: Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport - Heritage Branch - Site File: Vol. III - 12845-5, 34.
The character-elements that define the site of Chipman Hill Properties include:
- setting of the buildings, tightly placed together with their formal frontal orientation to the street.
The character-defining elements that describe the exterior of the Neoclassical style of 1 and 5 Chipman Hill include:
- ordered three-bay construction;
- asymmetrical placement of front doors;
- red brick exterior wall construction on sandstone bases of smooth coursed ashlar;
- simple stone lintels spanning the basement window openings;
- smooth stone belt courses delineating the first floor;
- typical low pitched gable roofs enclosed by horizontal brick cornices;
- simple centrally located shed roof dormers;
- smooth cut stone quoins;
- 6 over 6 single-hung wood windows of varying dimensions throughout;
- entry porches comprising an elegant triangular pediment and ornate entablature supported by two original unfluted Ionic wood columns;
- original ornate front doors carved in a Rococo style motif from a solid block of oak by John Rogerson, New Brunswick’s finest carver of ship figureheads.
The character-defining elements that describe the exterior of the Neoclassical style specific to 9 Chipman Hill include:
- two symmetrical brick chimneys on each side façade;
- gable roof;
- red brique exterior walls;
- cut stone sills and lintels at the window openings;
- main entry with its double door, full transom and sidelights, and angled stone lintel on the uphill side façade;
- tripartite second floor window above the main entry;
- a pair of thin 4 over 4 windows.
The character-defining elements specific to 1 Chipman Hill include:
- rear brick and stone ell facing Union Street containing the former stables/garage;
- spatial arrangement of the interior plan ;
- variety of decorative trompe-l’oeil wall and ceiling paintings throughout the main floor;
- elaborate painted plaster crown moulding and ceiling moulding throughout the main floor, including ceiling roundels at the room corners, all maintaining their original decorative treatment and colour schemes;
- original sweeping curved staircase with winding wood railing the full height of the house, turned balusters and handrail;
- deep window and door trim throughout the main floor;
- gilded Corinthian columns at the edge of the wide opening between the main floor parlours, and squared Corinthian pilasters at the rear parlour windows;
- large stained glass windows at each floor facing Union Street;
- ornate marble fireplace mantels on the main floor;
- basement scullery with its original built-in iron stove and original cooking vessels & domestic implements.
Province of New Brunswick
Historic Sites Protection Act, s. 2(2)
Historic Sites Protection Act – Protected
1877/01/01 to 1877/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Multiple Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Department of Wellsness, Culture and Sport - Heritage Branch - Site File: Vol. III-12845-5, 34
Cross-Reference to Collection