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Lawson House

653 King Street, Windsor, Nova Scotia, B0N, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2000/04/14

Front elevation of the Lawson House, Windsor, NS, 2008.; Heritage Division, NS Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2008
Front Elevation
Arched veranda detail, Lawson House, Windsor, NS, 2008.; Heritage Division, NS Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2008
Veranda Detail
No Image

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1898/01/01 to 1898/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/03/19

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Lawson House is located at the southeast corner of the intersection of St. John and King Streets in the town of Windsor, NS. Set among several grand historic homes on King Street, Lawson House stands out as a distinctive part of the streetscape. The land and building are included in the municipal designation.

Heritage Value

Lawson House is valued as one of two buildings in Windsor designed by William Critchlow Harris and for its association wtih prominent Windsor residents H.B. Tremain and W. Medford Christie. It is one of the first buildings where Harris incorporated round towers with conical roofs - a later trademark of his style.

On October 20, 1897, the "Hants Journal" reported the advance of a great fire that ended with Walter Lawson's house on King Street. In 1898 Lawson, a banker, commissioned Harris to design a new home to be built on the same site. Harris was also working on St. John's Roman Catholic Church and Presbytery further north on King Street.

In 1903 the house was sold to Hadely Brown Tremain, a barrister and Member of Parliament for Hants (1911 to 1921). Tremain is credited with having the 112th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces stationed at Fort Edward, Windsor.

It was circa 1898 that Harris began to incorporate towers in his designs. The towers, along with the arched veranda, decorative scalloped shingles on the second storey, the large hipped dormer and decorative leaded and stained glass windows distinguish Lawson House from any other dwelling in Windsor. In 1907 Lawson House was sold to W. Medford Christie, a Town Solicitor and the house remained in the Christie family until 1971.

A third tower was added with a single storey addition on the south end of the house in the 1980s. While this tower is sympathetic to the original design in its use of decorative shingles and an archway, it does detract from the symmetry of the original design.

Source: Windsor-West Hants Joint Planning Advisory Committee Heritage Property files

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of Lawson House include:

- wood frame construction;
- original location;
- two original round towers with conical roofs;
- clipped gable roof;
- wood shingle exterior with scalloped shingles on upper storeys;
- large hipped dormer;
- central doorway;
- partially enclosed veranda with archways.



Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NS)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Municipally Registered Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1985/01/01 to 1989/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling


Architect / Designer

Harris, William Critchlow



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Windsor-West Hants Joint Planning Advisory Committee 76 Morrison Drive Windsor, NS B0N 2T0 902-798-6900

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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