Description of Historic Place
Situated on a rise of land, looking down a narrow curving drive surrounded by trees, Inverarden House is a simple, one-and-a-half storey, rough stone structure, set on a high basement and sporting a truncated hipped roof. Its main façade, flanked by pyramidal roofed wings, contains casement windows on either side of its elegant central doorway, which is in a temple-like entrance porch. There is a decorative cornice at the roof level. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Inverarden House is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
Inverarden House is a very good illustration of the re-creation of the genteel lifestyle by middle and upper class British immigrants of the 19th century. By virtue of his status as land owner, employer and Justice of the Peace, the designer, North West Company fur trader retiree John McDonald became important in the community, and his home reflected his social standing and recalled a genteel, upper middle class, British Lifestyle.
Inverarden House is an excellent example of design based on picturesque early 19th century British country estates. Its value lies in its formal symmetry and classically derived detailing. These are featured in the façade’s symmetrical arrangement of casement windows on either side of the classically inspired doorway accentuating its simple form, in the subtle colouring of the roughcast stucco walls, and in the decorated cornice and detailed woodwork found in the structure.
The location of Inverarden House on a rise of land, looking down a narrow curving drive flanked by trees, toward the St. Lawrence River contributes to the picturesque character of its country estate setting. Its simplicity of form, delicacy of detail and subtlety of colour enhance, and are enhanced by, its wooded setting. It is the only building at the site and is an integral component of its setting.
Sources: Kate McFarlane, Inverarden House, Cornwall, Ontario,Federal Heritage Building Report 94-066; Inverarden House, Montreal Road, Cornwall, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 94-066.
The following character defining elements of Inverarden House should be respected.
Its superior example of design based on early 19th century British picturesque country estates, formal symmetry and classically derived detailing as manifested in:
-its simple design and form consisting of a one and one-half storey, truncated hipped roof structure with flanking wings, set on a high basement;
-the symmetrical arrangement of the main façade with its pyramidal roofed entrance porch with a classically inspired central entrance, flanked by casement windows;
-the placement of multi-paned windows representing an important design element of picturesque villas as the windows afforded carefully planned views;
-the decorative cornice at the roof line, as well as the detailed woodwork of the front entrance with its sidelights and fan; and,
-its construction of randomly coursed rubblestone clad in subtly coloured roughcast stucco.
The manner in which Inverarden House contributes to the wooded picturesque character of its country estate setting.