Description of Historic Place
Located on a hill beside the La Peche River, the Maclaren House is a L-shaped, two-storey red brick structure resting on a stone foundation with a truncated hipped roof with deep overhanging eaves and a two-storey gabled roof wing at the rear. The large gable roofed frontspiece that divides the front façade symmetrically, is flanked by identical verandahs. The verandahs’ roofs are slightly bell-cast and supported by square wooden posts with decorative fretwork. The windows on either side of the frontispiece are segmentally arched, double hung sash windows with stone sills and contrasting yellow brick trim. The side elevations of the house have repeated plainer segmental arched windows with four evenly spaced windows on the north façade and five on the south. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Maclaren House is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values
Maclaren House is a very good illustration of the settlement of the Gatineau area and the eventual dominance of the business of the area by the Maclarens. The Maclaren family acted as community leaders to spearhead settlement and development of the area. They owned the general store and the largest industrial complex in the area that provided farmers with a conveniently close outlet for their agricultural surplus in addition to providing jobs. Since the house is located in the township of Masham, immediately adjacent to the township of Wakefield, the building’s history is closely associated with the development of both of these townships.
Maclaren House is a good example of an Italianate villa. Its significant architectural features that express this style are: Its two storey rectangular massing with its shallow roof, deep overhanging eaves, prominent projecting frontispiece, flanking verandahs, decorative wood and stone trim, and good craftsmanship. These Picturesque features were intended to add visual interest to an otherwise classical form.
Maclaren House reinforces the present character of its picturesque setting located on a hill beside the La Peche River, together with the simpler cottage of the miller that remains and the grist mill located slightly downstream on the other side of the river. It is a prominent Gatineau River valley landmark and maintains a physical and historical relationship with the grist mill also a landmark within Gatineau Park.
Sally Coutts, Maclaren House, Wakefield, Quebec, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report 84-026; Maclaren House, Gatineau Park, Wakefield, Quebec. Heritage Character Statement 84-026.
The character defining elements of Maclaren House should be respected.
It’s picturesque Italianate design as manifested in:
-its two-storey, L-shaped, red brick structure resting on a stone foundation with a truncated hipped roof, deep overhanging eaves, large gable roofed frontispiece and a rear two-storey gable roofed wing;
-the symmetrically divided front façade with two identical verandahs flanking the frontispiece;
-its segmentally arched, double hung sash windows, the carved vergeboard, and the decorative fretwork on the verandahs wooden posts and slightly bell-cast roof trim.
-its polychromatic brickwork on the main facade laid in a pattern radiating from the arch.
The manner in which Maclaren House reinforces the present character of its picturesque setting located on a hill beside the La Peche River, adjacent to the townships of Wakefield and Masham.
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection