Description of Historic Place
The Brouse Building stands on the north side of Sparks Street in the core of the Ottawa business district. It is a striking, three-storey, red brick building with stone trim, distinguished by arched windows, sandstone columns and ornate, decorative brickwork. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Brouse Building is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Brouse Building is associated with the commercial development of Sparks Street westward towards Bank Street in the late-19th century. A speculative construction by Ottawa grocer Henry Brouse, its use over the years involved changing clientele and a number of shifts in function, for example as a hotel to retail space.
The Brouse Building is a very good example of an imaginative design combining Romanesque and Italian detailing. Its three-storey construction had been a popular configuration for commercial premises during earlier decades and this is a late example. This functional structure exhibits good craftsmanship and materials.
The Brouse Building reinforces the character of Ottawa’s central business district in the commercial core and is familiar to local residents, people working in the vicinity and pedestrians.
Dana Johnson, Brouse Building, 181-183 Sparks Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 85-028; Brouse Building, 181-183 Sparks Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 85-028.
The following character-defining elements of the Brouse Building should be respected:
Its Romaneque and Italianate design elements, good quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
-the three-storey massing of the symmetrical façade;
-the first floor featuring three Romanesque arched windows with stone imposts and sandstone columns with carved capitals;
-the brick corbelling and stone stringcourse above;
-an upper arcade of five windows decorated with unusual surrounds including sandstone columns, brick corbelling, carved capitals and hood moulds;
-the octagonal insets with sandstone centres topped by a tier of corbelling under the metal frieze and projecting cornice.
The manner in which the Brouse Building reinforces the character of the commercial centre of downtown Ottawa and is a familiar landmark as evidenced by:
-its scale, design and materials that maintain a visual and physical relationship between the surrounding buildings and the Sparks Street streetscape;
-its familiarity to visitors, passing pedestrians, and local residents.