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Former Warden's Residence

555 King Street West, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1990/08/30

View of the Former Warden's Residence, showing its flat roofed porch with round-headed arches supported by piers faced with pilasters and stepped capitals, 1989.; Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, 1989.
Front elevation
View of the Former Warden's Residence, showing its squared, uncoursed limestone rubble walling and detailing, inclusive of squared rubble quoins and external dressings of cut Ohio sandstone, 1989.; Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, 1989.
East elevation
View of the Former Warden's Residence, showing its square plan with an asymmetrically located projecting bay and rear service wing, 1989.; Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, 1989.
Rear elevation

Other Name(s)

Former Warden's Residence
Building A1
Bâtiment A1

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1871/01/01 to 1873/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/10/07

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Former Warden’s Residence, also known as Building A1, overlooks Kingston Penitentiary from its location outside of the precinct’s walls. Designed in the Italianate style, the residence has a square plan and features a projecting bay, a classically detailed stone porch and a hipped roof with an array of ironwork and decorative detailing. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Former Warden’s Residence is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.

Historical Value
The Former Warden’s Residence is associated with the development of the Canadian Penal System and also illustrates a phase when non-guard staff were hired to administer the institution. The heads and deputy heads of the institution were senior members of Kingston’s society. The construction of the Former Warden’s Residence outside of the enclosure of the penitentiary complex reflected the intended expansion of the prison, and represents a significant phase in the development of the community of Portsmouth.

Architectural Value
The Former Warden’s Residence is a very good example of a formal but individualized treatment of the Italianate villa style, which flourished in Upper and Lower Canada between 1850 and 1870. The building also demonstrates strong functional qualities since it has been easily adapted for various uses over the years. The craftsmanship and choice of materials exhibit a high degree of skill. The Former Warden’s Residence is the work of architect Edward Horsey (1809-1869).

Environmental Value
The Former Warden’s Residence is compatible with the present character of its residential neighbourhood setting outside the walls of Kingston Penitentiary. The building is a well-known landmark in the area.

Sources: Dana Johnson, Kingston Penitentiary, Kingston, Ontario, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report 89-032; Former Warden’s Residence, Kingston Penitentiary, Kingston, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 89-032.

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of the Former Warden’s Residence should be respected.

Its Italianate architecture, functional design and very good craftsmanship, for example:
- its square plan with an asymmetrically located projecting bay and rear service wing;
- its heavily bracketed, gently pitched hipped roof truncated to form a roof walk with protective ornamental iron railing;
- its combination of segmental and round headed windows with distinctive surround treatment;
- its flat roofed porch with round-headed arches supported by piers faced with pilasters and stepped capitals;
- its squared, uncoursed limestone rubble walling and detailing, inclusive of squared rubble quoins and external dressings of cut Ohio sandstone;
- its traditional centre hall plan accommodating a service wing, porch and verandah;
- its finely detailed, open, dog-leg stair, and the concentration of distinguished interior joinery in the centre hall.

The manner in which the Former Warden’s Residence is compatible with the present character of its residential neighbourhood setting outside the walls of Kingston Penitentiary and is a familiar landmark, as evidenced by:
- its generous scale and stone construction, consistent with many of the residential structures in the neighbourhood;
- its high visibility and familiarity given its location on high ground outside the walls overlooking the institution and its use as a museum about Canada’s correctional history;
- its axial alignment with the north gate and monumental stairs which identifies the residence with the penitentiary.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date

1990/08/30

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Architect / Designer

Edward Horsey

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

3674

Status

Published

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