Description of Historic Place
Hamilton Place, located at 165 Grand River Street North, is situated on the northeast corner of Grand River Street North and Emily Street, in the former Town of Paris, now the County of Brant. The property consists of a three-storey cobblestone building that was designed in the Greek Revival style and was constructed between 1839 and 1844.
The property was designated, in 2001, by the County of Brant for its historic or architectural value or interest, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 163-01).
Hamilton Place is one of the most historically important residences in the former Town of Paris. It was built and occupied by Norman Hamilton, a wealthy local industrialist, miller and brewer. Norman Hamilton's son-in-law, Paul Giovanni Wickson, is also associated with the house. Wickson lived at Hamilton Place and was an artist, who specialized in painting animals and rural scenes. He is considered to be the best known artist to have lived in the former Town of Paris.
Hamilton Place is one of the most architecturally important residences in Paris. Norman Hamilton commissioned the American architect Andrew J. Minny to design Hamilton Place. It is a fine example of Greek Revival architecture, as it embodies all the features of the style at the height of its expression, in North America. Hamilton Place is a three-storey house, but it appears to be only one-and-a-half stories in height. The deep cornice above the square pillars of the porch, the simulated cornices and the triple hung windows are typical of the best buildings, of the period. The second storey windows are set in light-wells, in the verandah roof, and are concealed from view by the deep architrave, of the verandah.
Hamilton Place was built between 1839 and 1844 by Levi Boughton, a local builder, who emigrated from Albany County in Upper New York State. This date of completion is marked by a date stone over the door. Boughton brought with him the cobblestone building technique used in Hamilton Place and is responsible for building the unique cluster of cobblestone buildings, in the Paris area. Hamilton Place is unusual because the entire house is built of cobblestone, rather than only the walls facing the street, which was the more usual practice.
Source: County of Brant By-law 163-01
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of Hamilton Place include its:
- cobblestone construction style associated with Levi Boughton, the builder
- three-storey cobblestone size and massing
- 1844 date stone, over the front door
- deep cornice and architrave, above the verandah
- square pillars and simulated cornices
- triple hung windows
- projection above the verandah, housing the second storey windows