Description of Historic Place
Located at 15 Trafalgar Street, in a beautiful neighbourhood, just south of St. Catharines' downtown core, the Burgoyne House is an impressive home designed in the Classical Revival style. Situated just outside the boundary of the Yates Street Heritage District, the Burgoyne House complements the well-maintained old neighbourhood, which is comprised of an eclectic mix of homes built in various time-periods in various styles.
The property has been designated for its heritage value by the City of St. Catharines By-law 2001-141.
The Burgoyne House had a century long association with the Burgoyne family, as well as several other prominent families. The Burgoyne House was constructed, in 1870, for Calvin Brown, a local barrister and the first mayor of St. Catharines. Brown owned the home for a few short years before selling it to James Taylor of the Taylor and Bates Brewing Company, in 1874. Mary Lavina Burgoyne purchased the property in 1890, thus beginning the Burgoyne family's 106 years of ownership. At the time of the purchase, the property included the adjacent parcel of land, now recognized as 17 Trafalgar Street. The last Burgoyne to own the property was Henry B. Burgoyne, president and publisher of the St. Catharines Standard; who sold the property in 1996. The front façade of the home does not face onto Trafalgar Street, but rather onto Ontario Lane. Ontario Lane now ends at Trafalgar Street, but would have, at one time, passed right in front of the home. Due to these alterations, the home is only accessible from Trafalgar Street, which runs perpendicular to the house, giving the home an increased sense of status and privacy.
The beauty of Classical Revival style can be seen in the detailing of a building's doors and windows. The Burgoyne residence is a two-storey brick house with Classical Revival influences most prominent in the home's massive panelled front door which has a high entablature and dominates the frontispiece that rises to a gable. Situated at the top of the gable is a two-section window with four lights in each section, limestone lugsills, round heads topped with brick voussoirs and flanked by original decorative shutters. To one side of the main entry, at a height that sits between the first and second floor windows, is a multiple-light oriel window which, from the interior, provides for a lovely view from the landing of the grand staircase. Narrow, multi-light rectangular windows are also located in the sides of the frontispiece. The remaining windows, which are double hung six-over-one sash construction, are all decorated with contrasting stone lugsills, shutters, and elaborate brickwork at the heads. An exceptionally tall window located to the right of the front entry, crafted in the same style, dominates the northwest corner of the first floor. Each of the building's two end gables incorporates a chimney and cornice.
Contextually, the Burgoyne Residence located immediately outside of the Yates Street Heritage District boundary, is a strong focal point in the neighbourhood that is situated on the periphery of the downtown core. The historical development of this district has strong ties to the first Welland Canal and the Merritt Family, one of the founding families of St. Catharines. Within the context of the greater neighbourhood, the Burgoyne Residence adds to the heritage value of the district, which is made up of an eclectic mix of homes in various styles and from various time-periods.
Source: The City of St. Catharines By-law 2001-141.
Character defining elements that reflect the heritage value of the Burgoyne House include its:
- location immediately outside of the Yates Street Heritage District
- location within the downtown district and close to the site of the First Welland Canal
- long association with the Burgoyne Family, the first mayor of St. Catharines, and one of the original owners of a local brewing company
- classical revival elements, which include the panelled front entry, classical mouldings, high frontispiece, oriel window, vestibule side rectangular multi-light windows, six-over-one sash windows with limestone lugsills, and decorative heads, front gable with two-section four light windows with brick voussoirs, two end gable with cornice and chimneys, use of brick and contrasting local limestone
- irregular placement of the home, at the end of Trafalgar Street