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Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Millar Residence is an Italianate post-Great Saint John Fire, two-storey house located on Princess Street in a closely-built residential area of the Central Peninsula of Saint John.
The Millar Residence is recognized for its architecture and for its association with past residents, including an immigrant and a real estate developer, both representing significant activities in the history of the city.
This residential structure, with its wooden structure and ornamentation, classical entablature entranceway ornament and regular façade, is a good example of the Italianate architecture employed during the rebuilding process between 1877 and 1881 following the Great Saint John Fire. The fire, which destroyed two-thirds of the City of Saint John in 1877, would prove to be one of the most catastrophic in the history of Canada. The elements and design in this building, as well as in the rest of the buildings in the area, demonstrated that the city was going to rebuild as well as, if not better than, what was destroyed in the fire. The resilient architecture of this building symbolizes the strong will of the residents of Saint John to rebuild the city.
This home was built for customs house employee Joseph Millar shortly after the fire. Millar died here in 1891 and the home remained in his family until the 1930's. Millar came from Scotland and worked in the Marine Department of the Customs House for 18 years. His daughter, Annie, married William J. B. Bingham and they took up occupancy of this home until his death in 1933. Bingham came to Saint John in 1889 and became a telegraph operator with Western Union Telegraph Company that same year. At this time, the telegraph was one of the most important factors in the development of social and commercial life in North America. Upon superannuation in 1928, when the Western Union lines were taken over by the Canadian National, he, with other local employees entitled to pension, retired. Bingham and a fellow telegraph operator then became involved in real estate and their retirement concentrated upon residential construction. Mr. Bingham’s special holdings were on Clifden Avenue and the Bingham Apartments on Princess Street in Saint John. It was stated upon his death that his enterprising spirit left the people of Saint John with a legacy of advancement in home building and civic improvement.
Source: Planning and Development Department – City of Saint John
The character-defining elements of this two-storey Italianate dwelling include:
- rectangular two-storey massing;
- window placement and proportions;
- vertical sliding wood windows with wooden frames;
- Roman arch windows on the first floor;
- window entablatures;
- wooden cladding;
- wooden corner boards, plinth band, and cornice elements;
- decorative cornice with paired scrolled brackets supporting a wide eave;
- fascia with square motifs between each pair of brackets.
The character-defining elements of the entranceway include:
- wooden double door with lights;
- segmented arch transom with heavy mouldings;
- pedimented entablature supported by ornate brackets above door.
Local Governments (NB)
Local Historic Places Program
Municipal Register of Local Historic Places
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
- Developing Economies
- Communications and Transportation
- Peopling the Land
- Migration and Immigration
Function - Category and Type
- Multiple Dwelling
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Planning and Development Department - City of Saint John
Cross-Reference to Collection