Description of Historic Place
The Ernest G. Henderson House, situated at 803 Victoria Avenue, is a two-and-a-half-storey residence constructed in the Arts and Crafts, Tudor Revival architectural style. It is located on the west side of Victoria Avenue, between Elliot and Erie streets in downtown Windsor.
It is recognized for its heritage value by the City of Windsor By-law 6961.
Victoria Avenue was intended to be a gracious, residential street. The Windsor Land and Building Company placed conditions on buyers of building lots, which stipulated a minimum setback of twenty feet, a house value of at least $3000.00, and an assurance that any business carried on would not be deemed a nuisance. As a result, the earliest houses (built between 1890 and the Stock Market “Crash” of 1929), show diversity of design, quality of material, and fine workmanship. They were the valued residences of some of the community's most influential and respected families during the middle period in Windsor's development. Victoria Avenue, from Wyandotte Street East to Erie Street, is a designated “heritage area” in Windsor's Official Plan. The Ernest G. Henderson House located within the heart of this area.
The Ernest G. Henderson House speaks to the prosperity of those who resided on Victoria Avenue in the early part of the twentieth century. It is associated with prominent Windsor citizen Ernest G. Henderson. Mr. Henderson was born in Holywood, County Down, Ireland, in 1858. He worked as a civil engineer for the Belfast and County Down Railway and later the Great North Railroad of Ireland. In 1883 Mr. Henderson moved to Canada where he began working for the Canadian Pacific Railroad. In 1888 he was appointed to the position of Assistant Engineer. Mr. Henderson moved to Windsor when the opportunity to supervise the construction of the Windsor Salt Works came about; he eventually rose to the position of president. Mr. Henderson was also very involved in the community. He was President of the Windsor Board of Trade, a member of the School Board, and he held various offices in the Provincial and General Synods of the Anglican Church. During his presidency at Windsor Salt Works, Mr. Henderson had this stately home built for him and his wife Agnes Quinn, also from Ireland. He had four children; however, both of his sons died while on duty during WWI. The Henderson's remained in the home until Mr. Henderson died in 1920 at the age of 62. The house was purchased by Dr. C. L. Fuller, a local surgeon, in the 1940s. He converted the house into a five-unit apartment building and this use continues to today.
The Ernest G. Henderson house constructed between 1899 and 1900, is an excellent example of an Arts and Crafts, Tudor Revival style residence. The house exhibits fine workmanship, proportion and detail in its windows, carved vergeboards, and massing of forms. It is built of English Bond Brick, and features half-timbered, carved verge boards. It also features detailed brickwork on the front porch, which itself is secured by square wooden columns.
Sources: City of Windsor By-law 6961.
Character defining elements that express the heritage value include its:
- two-and-a-half-storey massing
- use of English Bond brick with stucco and half-timbering (on the upper level)
- bevelled leaded glass windows
- frosted glass window with 40 small panes on the north side of house
- large brick chimney
- covered porch with paired square wooden columns and small gable over the steps and topped by a decorative verge board and finial
- wooden front door flanked by sidelights and original bronze screen