George Ogilvie Leask House
Links and documents
1910/01/01 to 1911/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Kingsmount is a stone clad, three storey residence with full basement on a large and manicured treed lot located on the northeast side of Gonzales Hill. Its high street frontage exhibits British Arts and Crafts style with a picturesque silhouette, tall chimneys and prominent front entrance.
Kingsmount is valued as an outstanding example of British Arts and Crafts residential architecture and for its association with its architects, D.C. Frame and Samuel Maclure.
Built between 1910 and 1911, Kingsmount was designed by David Cowper Frame (1882-1960) for civil engineer George Leask. Frame was a versatile designer whose career spanned the decline of traditional architecture and the rise of Modernism. Between 1905 and 1908, he apprenticed under Victoria-based architect F.M. Rattenbury, architect of the British Columbia Parliament Buildings. This placement put Frame in a position to expand his social and professional network, garnering him a number of residential and commercial commissions, some of which he partnered with prominent local architects. His work was eclectic and varied, but Frame established himself in the English Arts and Crafts genre that he employed at Kingsmount.
Samuel Maclure (1860-1929) was commissioned to design a new wing, built between 1925 and 1928 for the French Count Jean de Suzannet and his family. The addition included a new drawing room, two bedrooms and an additional wraparound stairway in matching granite. A native British Columbian, Maclure's name is virtually synonymous with the predominantly British Arts and Crafts style of domestic architecture he designed for prominent businessmen on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland. He gained international recognition during his forty-year career, with nearly five hundred commissions. Many of Maclure's buildings, with their beautiful and functional interiors, have been recognized as masterworks and are part of the cultural heritage of British Columbia.
Kingsmount is valued as an outstanding example of the British Arts and Crafts style in its principled use of materials, such as random rubble stone in this rocky location, its high standard of craftsmanship and prominent siting. The common living areas were situated at the back of the house for full command of the spectacular views towards Mount Baker across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The rooms retain their original configuration and in many instances, their original use, such as the linen room, nursery and music room.
Considered an architectural landmark that completes the vista along Denison Road, Kingsmount is a significant component of the Gonzales Hill neighbourhood.
Source: Corporation of the District of Oak Bay
Key elements that define the heritage character of Kingsmount include its:
- spectacular view across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Mount Baker and the surrounding environs of south Oak Bay;
- setting on the apex of Sylvan Lane at the base of Denison Street on a large lot amongst other heritage homes;
- original Arts and Crafts butterfly plan with two angled symmetrical wings from the central axis
- form, scale and massing;
- picturesque roof silhouette;
- stone foundation, random rubble walls and chimneys, rough-dressed granite quoins;
- style details such as use of local materials, the horizontality of the massing and exposed rafter tails;
- exterior architectural elements: five stone chimneys (3 internal; 2 external), arched principal entrance with sidelights;
- regular fenestration: recessed multi-pane, multiple assembly casement windows, stained glass;
- interior features of both the initial construction and the 1920s addition including: original room configuration and use, 10 foot ceiling height, radiators, millwork including exposed ceiling beams, built-ins, balustrade and newel posts, bathroom tile and plumbing fixtures, ornate fireplaces with firedogs, tile, cast iron and woodwork, furnace from 1910, annunciator, marble and granite wraparound staircases;
- landscape features: prominent coniferous and deciduous trees
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.954
Community Heritage Register
1925/01/01 to 1928/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Corporation of the District of Oak Bay
Cross-Reference to Collection