159 Cook Street, Victoria, British Columbia, V8V, Canada
Hampton Court Apartments
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Hampton Court is a wood frame three-storey apartment building in the Arts and Crafts Tudor Revival style, located across from Beacon Hill Park in Victoria's Fairfield neighbourhood.
The historic place, built in 1913, is valued for its architecture, its builder/designer, its original owner, what its construction says about the decline of the economy just before World War I, and the value of citizen action to save a historic resource.
Hampton Court is an outstanding example of an Arts and Crafts Tudor Revival style apartment building. At the time of its construction, it was considered the most elegant apartment block in the city and attracted several prominent citizens as tenants. Shaped like an English manor, the building presents a monumental face to Beacon Hill Park, to which it has an uninterrupted view. A half-timbered projection extends from the ground to the roof gable. The symmetry of the facade is achieved by matching tiers of bay windows, enhanced by half-timbering and diamond-paned windows over large single-pane lights in both double and triple registers.
Following the subdivision of Fairfield Farm on the east side of Cook Street and the extension of the streetcar service south to Beacon Hill Park and along May Street in 1912, the price of real estate soared. A year later, when the economy went into a decline, prices dropped. It was then that Dr. Arthur Pallant, a retired dentist, engaged George Mesher, a local contractor and a personal friend, to build Hampton Court. The building was to serve as an investment and a home.
There is value in the association with George Mesher. He was engaged by wealthy clients to build mansions, including The Laurels (Rockland Avenue and Langham Court) for Robert Ward and Gyppeswyck for the Spencer family (now part of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria). Mesher was also responsible for a number of Arts and Crafts style residences in the Fairfield and Rockland neighbourhoods. During the great building boom of 1907-1913, Mesher worked more as an architect than a builder; he designed almost all of the major buildings he built during this period. Hampton Court was one of three apartment blocks he built - and is the most prominent.
The building is further valued as an example of citizen action to save it. When Hampton Court was threatened with demolition in the 1970s, Violet Mesher, daughter of the architect, and other tenants lobbied against its destruction. It was renovated in the early 1980s and is now a strata-titled building.
Source: City of Victoria Planning Department
The heritage character of Hampton Court is defined by the following elements:
- characteristics of the Arts and Crafts Tudor Revival style, including half-timbering in full-height projection, tiers of bay windows enhanced by half-timbering and diamond-paned windows, symmetrical facade, inset balconies, central doorway between pillars, and stucco finishing
- location across from Beacon Hill Park
- corner location
- built right to lot lines with little setback
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.967
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Multiple Dwelling
Architect / Designer
George Mesher & Company
George Mesher & Company
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Victoria Planning Department
Cross-Reference to Collection