Description of Historic Place
15-17 Lisgar Road is a two-storey red brick house of conservative Queen Anne design with a steeply-pitched hip roof and relatively restrained but attractive wood detailing. It is surrounded by mature plantings and trees, and a small lawn. It faces an intricate wrought iron and stone fence that marks the boundary of the estate. The house is a fairly typical design for the last quarter of the nineteenth century in terms of its style, decoration, materials and its slightly asymmetrical plan and irregular distribution of windows and doors.
15-17 Lisgar Road is designated a ‘Recognized’ Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations and its architectural and environmental values.
Constructed in 1876, 15-17 Lisgar Road is a good example of Rideau Hall development during a period when the Governor General’s estate underwent a significant expansion (spanning the last quarter of the nineteenth century to the first half of the twentieth). The building contributes to the character of Rideau Hall official estate, which is one of Canada’s most important picturesque landscapes. The building has been used as staff residence, laundry, and office space over the years, and continues to provide service functions to the Governor General’s estate today.
15-17 Lisgar Road is a good example of transitional late 19th Century Queen Anne style, displaying very good materials and craftsmanship. While it served as a laundry at some point, it is currently configured into a duplex, which houses a private apartment, four offices and work spaces. The layout is organized around the central stair hall with two stairwells, resulting in good functional design. A well integrated addition was built and modifications made in 1912 when the neighbouring house was built. These changes, including the kitchen, are compatible elements of its evolution.
The landscaping surrounding the building consists of a pathway connecting the front, side, and rear entrances; a roadway connecting it to the estate; mature trees, plantings and a small lawn. Aside from the lean-to at the back of the building, the site of 15-17 Lisgar Road has retained its original character.
The picturesque landscape of Rideau Hall is defined by different zones, each distinct in their topography, planting, functions, and architecture. This building contributes to the character of the Farmland and Operations Area of Rideau Hall. It is one of the few buildings within the estate that is visible from the public streetscape, thereby providing a public face to the Governor General’s estate on Lisgar Road. Due to its residential character, residential landscaping qualities, and its proximity to the adjacent 9-11 Lisgar Road, it also reinforces the character of the adjacent residential neighbourhood despite being separated from it by an intricate wrought iron and stone fence. 15-17 Lisgar Road is familiar within the Rideau Hall Estate community and the immediate surrounding residential community.
The character-defining elements of 15-17 Lisgar Road that should be respected include:
The modest, conservative features of the Queen Anne style as seen in:
— the asymmetric composition with irregular distribution of doors and windows;
— the multi-pane wood windows with prominent keystones above;
— the L-shaped, two-storey form with squared stone foundation surmounted by a smooth sandstone band;
— the steeply-pitched hip roof with its eaves and symmetrically placed brick chimneys;
—the carved wood porches with low railings.
The very good materials, craftsmanship and high degree of refinement as seen in:
— the very competent red brickwork which includes subtle ornament and two monochromatic courses of raised and patterned detailing;
— the restrained but attractive wood elements and detailing.
Its interior configuration and detailing as seen in:
— the spacious central stair hall that connects the two floors;
— the elaborately carved wood banister, newel posts and small corner brackets;
— the remaining original details, such as vent-covers, mouldings and other fixtures.
Its site and picturesque landscape qualities, which help contribute to its residential character while distinguishing it as a part of the Rideau Hall estate:
— the wrought iron and stone fence;
— its mature trees, plantings and small lawns;
— the pathways surrounding the building and the roadways connecting it to the estate.