Description of Historic Place
The Admiral’s House, located on one of the most attractive residential streets in Halifax, is a two-and-a-half storey, wood frame house. Built in the maritime Queen Anne Revival style, it features double-height bay windows that flank the main entrance and wrap around the corner of the building. The house also exhibits Colonial Revival characteristics such as the simple verandah on the front façade. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Admiral’s House is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Admiral’s House is associated with residential development inspired by principles of the early City Beautiful movement in Canada, and the growth of the elite south-end Halifax suburbs. It also illustrates the widespread impact of military activities on the city. The aesthetic development of its street, Young Avenue, was regulated by provincial legislation dating from 1896 and is linked with the economic upturn of Halifax after the mid-1890s. Constructed as a rental property, the house was moved in 1915 and had two notable tenants: first, the Canadian National Railway Company (CNR) which used it for its regional superintendents between 1924 to 1940, second, the Department of National Defence when it was acquired by the Royal Canadian Armed Forces in 1941 as part of the massive expansion of operations of the Eastern Air Command.
The Admiral’s House is a good example of a house designed in the maritime Queen Anne style as evidenced in the centrally placed entry, symmetrical double-height bay windows, and the asymmetrical wrap around bay window. Adapted after its move to a more classical design, the building’s new features include the simplified two-storey verandah across the main façade. However, classically oriented features such as the gable roof, gable dormers and sash windows are characteristic of both styles.
The Admiral’s House, located on a street designed according to City Beautiful planning principles at the turn of the century, reinforces the character of its residential streetscape setting and is a familiar building in its neighbourhood.
Sources: Edgar Tumak, Admiral’s House, 770 Young Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report 90-047; Admiral’s House, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Heritage Character Statement, 90-047.
The character-defining elements of the Admiral’s House should be respected.
Its maritime Queen Anne Revival style and Colonial Revival style, for example:
- its two-and-a-half storey, rectangular and near symmetrical composition;
- its centrally placed entry, symmetrical double-height bay windows, and the
asymmetrical wrap-around north bay window;
- its gable roof with gable dormers;
- its wood frame construction;
- its prominent two-storey verandah across the front façade;
- its sash windows;
- its interior classic, centre-hall plan.
The manner in which the Admiral’s House reinforces the character of its residential streetscape setting and is a familiar building in the neighbourhood, as evidenced by:
- its aesthetic appearance and overall design which harmonizes with its adjacent homogeneous grouping of similar structures located on an elite residential street consisting of uniform setbacks, gardens and boulevards;
- its known status as one of the residences located on one of the most notable and visually attractive residential streetscapes in Halifax.