Description of Historic Place
The Peters House consists of a three-story red brick and pink sandstone Romanesque Revival styled dwelling located at 35 Highfield Street in Moncton. Originally a residence for Alfred E. Peters and his family, the structure has served as the YWCA of Moncton at this location since 1920.
The Peters House is designated as a Local Historic Site because it is a good example of the Romanesque Revival architectural style and for the level of preservation.
Designed by local architect René-Arthur Frechet, construction of this red brick and pink sandstone residence began in 1903 and was completed in 1905. The sandstone, obtained from what is now called the Mount Allison University Quarry, is rough-cut and used throughout the exterior, providing interesting architectural detail. Perhaps the most striking feature of the house is the decorated ‘beehive’ turret above the main entrance.
The Peters House is also designated for its association with its original owner, Alfred E. Peters, and its current occupants, the YWCA of Moncton.
Alfred E. Peters’ contributions to industry in Moncton are significant. He established The Peters Combination Lock Factory. Many of his brass designs for this company inspired elements of his residence such as hinges, doorknobs, back plates and even the parapet of the west-facing dormer. Also, Peters’ venture with stove and furnace manufacturing with the Record Foundry was very successful.
In 1920, he sold his residence to the newly established YWCA of Moncton. Since then, the YWCA has occupied the residence and has contributed immeasurable resources to the women of Moncton
The Peters House was designated as a Moncton Heritage Property under By-Law #Z-1102 in 1996.
Source: Moncton Museum, Moncton, New Brunswick - second floor files –“35 Highfield”.
The character-defining elements of the Peters House as an expression of the Romanesque Revival architectural style and for the level of preservation, and its association with its original and current occupants include:
- red brick, mostly stretcher bond with various horizontal masonry bands and parquet patterns;
- continuous label mould trim over north-façade windows on first and second stories;
- second story label mould trim with red brick dentil details;
- corbel cornice with dentil band;
- corbel band on central chimney;
- first floor plain lug sills and second story continuous sill in pink sandstone;
- rounded portico with pink sandstone, keystone roman arch and red granite Doric pillars;
- two 2-story bay windows capped with dormers located on west and north sides; - west-façade gable dormer with decorated parapet resembling interior brass work plates of Peters’ design;
- roman arch window in west dormer;
- hip dormer over north bay windows;
- flat voussoir head trim (jack arch) on windows;
- round ‘beehive’ turret with red brick parquet patterns;
- stained glass on transom of many first-floor windows;
- rectangular windows of various sizes with simple frames.
The structural character-defining elements include:
- asymmetrical massing of the overall structure;
- irregular roof shape with steep pitch;
- rough-cut pink sandstone used in broken course bond around the foundation.
The character-defining relating to the interior of the structure include:
- wide stairway to the second floor with carved newel posts, spindles, plain and beaded wood panels on walls and hanging wooden pendants;
- hardwood floors throughout;
- brass doorknobs, plates and hinges reflect Peters’ industrial designs;
- original oak and cherry wood on doorways, windows and fireplaces, most of which has never been painted;
- five working fireplaces;
- elaborately etched stained-glass windows and transoms of library windows;
- wooden sliding pocket doors with windows;
- transoms on dining room, foyer and living hall windows are convex and feature inset prisms;
- some interior doors have boxed corner trim and plain or decorated entablatures;
- original light fixtures with ceiling medallions;
- elaborate staircase;
- original plaster work and extensive ceiling moulding throughout.