Description of Historic Place
79 Charlotte Street in Sydney, Nova Scotia is a one-and-one-half storey wood framed residential building with a gable roof, and center hall floor plan. The residence is located on north Charlotte Street in a residential area, surrounded by many other heritage properties and is adjacent to the street. Both the building and surrounding property are included in the municipal designation.
The heritage value of 79 Charlotte Street, as recognised by its municipal designation, is in its age, blend of both the Neo-classical and Gothic Revival styles, and associations with the Reverend Ranna Cossit.
79 Charlotte Street was built in 1787 as an unornamented, Neo-classical house. It is one of the oldest surviving residential buildings constructed during the founding and Loyalist settlement of Sydney. The house retains many of its original Neo-classical elements such as a gable roof, and has its original south façade with six-over-six windows and surrounds, and gable bargeboards. The house originally resembled, and a is a near duplicate of its neighbour, 75 Charlotte Street (Cossit House Museum).
The house was built in 1787 for the Reverand Ranna Cossit, who was one of hundreds of Loyalists who came to Nova Scotia in the 1780s to escape the American Revolution. Cossit was the first Anglican minister assigned to Sydney and he played a key role in the political and social development of the colony of Cape Breton Island. Since its construction the house had a number of owners and remodelling.
The house is a good example of the evolution of the Neo-classical Loyalist style in Sydney. In the 1870's, the front façade was remodelled in the Gothic Revival style with two-over-two windows and surrounds on the first storey, and three cross gable dormers with windows and surrounds on the second storey were added, altering its original appearance. The interior of the house retains its original center hall plan, wood paneled walls in the front hall, wood trim and door with hardware, and central staircase with turned newel post. The house also retains its two original chimneys, the north one situated halfway to the end wall chimney containing five fireplaces, one of which is a cooking fireplace with beehive oven located in the basement, and the south end wall chimney containing two fireplaces.
Source: CBRM Heritage Property Files: H 6, CBRM Planning Department, 320 Esplanade, Sydney B1P 7B9
Character-defining elements of 79 Charlotte Street include:
- wooden cladding;
- all Neo-classical elements including, one-and-one-half storey, gable roof, and original south facade with six-over-six windows and surrounds, and gable bargeboards;
- all Gothic Revival style elements of the front facade, including two-over-two double hung windows and surrounds on first storey, and three cross gable dormers with two-over-two windows and surrounds on second storey.
- close proximity to the street;
- full rubble stone foundation.
Character-defining elements original to of the interior of 79 Charlotte Street include:
- basic structure and layout of a center hall plan;
- paneled walls of front hall;
- wood trim and doors with original hardware;
- central staircase with turned newel post;
- original chimneys, the north situated halfway to end wall chimney with five fireplaces, one of which is cooking fireplace with beehive oven in basement, and south end wall chimney with two fireplaces.