Heritage Application for 825 Young Ave.

Below is the Heritage registration submission for 825 Young Ave by Young Avenue District Heritage Conservation Society/Save Young Avenue. The Property is Well Documented, and the Submission is well researched. It is very likely that the Staff report will recommend registration. (Assuming the building is still Standing) This was posted to the Save Young Ave. Facebook page.

From: Young Avenue District Heritage Conservation Society/Save Young Avenue
To: Maggie Holm, Heritage Planner III, City of Halifax
CC (by email): Mayor Savage, Councillor Mason, Jacob Ritchie, Jason Cooke and others of HAC
RE: URGENT REQUEST, Application for Heritage Registration,
825 Young Avenue, Halifax (George S. Campbell/Fram Estate)
This memo to the Heritage planning staff, city council and Heritage Advisory Committee urgently requests that the city take immediate action to carry out a Heritage Registration of an important Heritage property at 825 Young Avenue. The house on this property dates to 1902 and has many important historical connections. This house is now threatened with demolition and proposed infill with a subdivision, which, if successful, will obliterate all evidence of the history of this property, joining the fate of its adjacent neighbor at 851 Young Avenue which was recently demolished, and further eroding the fabric of this historic streetscape.
Many factors contribute to the rationale for this application:
Historical Associations:
1. The architect (Edmund Burke, in partnership with JCB Horwood). Architect Edmund Burke was one of Canada’s pre-eminent architects. He designed such Toronto landmarks as the Simpson department store (1st curtain wall construction in Canada), Jarvis Street Baptist Church, the Bloor Street Viaduct and McMaster Hall (now Royal Conservatory of Music) among many others. He was one of the three founding members of the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada. Burke proposed the resolution that established the Ontario Association of Architects in 1889, which he later led as its president in 1894 and 1905-1907. His domestic works often drew upon the ideas of British architect Richard Norman Shaw, designed to conserve heat and oriented to catch sunlight, with an air of serenity and quiet homely charm. Burke introduced to the practice of architecture in Canada new vocabularies and technologies then current in the United States. Burke’s partner, J.C.B. Horwood was born in Quidi Vidi, Newfoundland. He trained at the architectural firms of Langley, Langley and Burke, in Toronto (from 1882 to 1887) and Clinton and Russell in New York City (1889-1894). Horwood strongly associated himself with the Arts and Crafts movement in the late 1890s, and this was reflected in many residential commissions. He partnered with Edmund Burke in 1894. Well known for the Chicago style steel-frame construction and fire-proof materials they adopted for large commercial buildings, Burke and Horwood’s projects included office buildings, retail stores, sanatoria and residences in Toronto’s affluent Rosedale area. Major projects included various Toronto Baptist and Methodist churches, the Toronto West-end and Central YMCA buildings, various Hudson Bay Company department stores throughout Canada, as well as additions to Osgoode Hall and renovation of the Robert Simpson Company department store in Toronto.

2. The original owner. George S. Campbell was born in Edinburgh in 1851 and educated at Edinburgh Scotland, the youngest son of Duncan Campbell, the journalist and historian who wrote the History of Nova Scotia and the History of Prince Edward Island. Campbell was brought up in Halifax and eventually went into shipping. In June 1857 he married Helen Kennedy daughter of David Kennedy of Edinburgh Scotland. George Campbell owned GS Campbell & Co, Steamship agents, the Halifax Tow Boat Co, and Halifax Salvage Association. He was Chairman, Point Pleasant Park and President, Halifax Board of Trade (1901-1902). He was also Director of Eastern Trust, Director of Nova Scotia Steel and Coal Company, and Director (1899-1927) and President, (1923-1927) Bank of Nova Scotia. Campbell was Governor, and then Chairman, Dalhousie Board of Governors, 1908-1927. Campbell oversaw the purchase of Studley Campus, and hired renowned Toronto architect Frank Darling and well-known local architect Andrew Cobb to design some of the first buildings on the new campus. As well, Campbell was influential in persuading the Dalhousie board to take over the Halifax Medical College and the creation of Dalhousie’s Medical Faculty in 1911. Campbell did much to forge links between Dalhousie and the city. His presence as such an active working chairman attracted others. Campbell negotiated a deal with R.B. Bennett’s law firm (Bennett eventually became prime minister of Canada), to buy and convert E. P. Allison’s mansion on Oxford Street in Halifax to become Dalhousie University’s president’s home which remains today. During WWI he acted as Chairman of the Patriotic Fund for the Province, providing funds for the care of dependants of those on the firing line (his son was killed in action). Campbell died suddenly of a heart attack on November 21, 1927 at the age of seventy-six, still president of the Bank of Nova Scotia, and still chairman of the Dalhousie board. His passing resulted in an outpouring of tributes for his life and contributions.

3. Subsequent owners. The house remained in the Campbell family until the death of his wife, Helen Kennedy Campbell, in 1941. It was inherited by Margaret William (later Dawson). It was then leased to the Navy League of Canada as the Naval Officers Club. 47,115 naval officers visited the club and 29,704 meals were served there. Margaret Dawson converted it to 5 rental units after the war. The property was acquired by the Fram family in 1961.

4. Historical Periods.
1. City Beautiful Movement and Point pleasant Park. This property is associated with Young Avenue which was created under the influence of the City Beautiful Movement, an important international planning movement of the late 1800s. Young Avenue was the first City Beautiful initiative in Halifax, and was begun in 1886 with the erection of the gates at the south end of the avenue. The street that was created – Young Avenue – was named after Sir William Young, who donated the ‘golden gates’ (designed by Edward Elliot, a noted local architect). The avenue was to be an extension to, and main entrance (a grand allee) for, Point Pleasant Park. The consequence of the City Beautiful Movement coupled with important 1896 legislation (see below) attracted prominent residents and renowned architects to design the grand homes, many of which still remain on the avenue, shaping its overall design and becoming the city’s boulevard to the park. As noted in the Canadian Register of historic Places, “Designed according to City Beautiful planning principles, at the turn of the century, Young Avenue is the most cohesive example of an elite residential street of the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Halifax…one of the most notable and visually attractive residential streetscapes in Halifax.”
2. 1896 Provincial Young Avenue Legislation. This legislation was intended to define and strengthen the beauty and grandeur of Young Avenue, as the main entrance to Point Pleasant Park, and restrictions were placed on minimum value of houses to be built, as well as set back from the street (40 feet), and how close non-compatible construction could be built (180 feet).

Relationship to Surrounding Area

Architectural Style. This home at 825 Young Avenue is a major contributor to the overall composition and ambiance of the street. Along with other original grand homes, Young Avenue provides a variety of styles and diversity of monumental homes not found elsewhere in the city on a boulevard of this nature. The George S. Campbell House at 825 Young Avenue is an eclectic amalgam of American Shingle style and Arts and Crafts style, with some Queen Anne elements, also in vogue at the time. As noted in Wikipedia: “The Shingle style is an American architectural style made popular by the rise of the New England school of architecture, which eschewed the highly ornamented patterns of the Eastlake style in Queen Anne architecture. In the Shingle style, English influence was combined with the renewed interest in Colonial American architecture which followed the 1876 celebration of the Centennial. The plain, shingled surfaces of colonial buildings were adopted, and their massing emulated. Aside from being a style of design, the style also conveyed a sense of the house as continuous volume. This effect of the building as an envelope of space, rather than a great mass, was enhanced by the visual tautness of the flat shingled surfaces…and the emphasis on horizontal continuity, both in exterior details and in the flow of spaces within the houses”. It incorporates Arts and Crafts elements both inside and out: natural materials such as stone and wood, thick and squared porches, exposed beams in the living room, and brackets and timber detailing under exterior porches and gables, a single broad gable with elongated bays, lines of horizontal delineation, and its foundation anchored to, and an extension of the ground.

Character Defining Elements. As noted in the accompanying photographs, the house has many character defining elements characteristic of this informal and relaxed style:
-Asymmetrical front elevation with stacked bay window and wrap around porch
-Front gable capped by projecting attic gable extension supported by brackets
-Ornamental posts at front verandah supporting corbels under the roof overhang
-Massive chimney with ornamental chimney pots
-Palladium window in attic centred in dominant side projecting gable supported on multi-storied bays
-Continuous window sill moulding extending along wall surface to provide horizontal emphasis
-Shingle sidewalls above cove profile clapboard siding, further emphasising horizontal connection to the ground
-Sandstone/ironstone garden walls extending from foundation as a further connection to the earth
-Ornamental rain water scupper at the juxtaposition of multiple gables, north elevation
-The entrance consists of a large door with three small arched windows
-Numerous and varied window details: A window to the left side of the door has nine panes while the bay window on the right features eight-over-one windows flanking a single ten-over-one window. To the right of the first floor a three-sided bay window mimicking the bay window on the second level. There is a single window with vintage leaded Harlequin glass to the right of the ground level bay. The second floor has a single eight-over-eight window above the front entry and a three-sided bay window with two eight-over-one windows on each side of a single ten-over-one window. The third floor windows are divided into thirds featuring six-over-one panes under an overhang.

Character Defining Landscape Elements. Character defining elements for its grounds include:
-Picturesque garden setting and mature trees (such as the few remaining majestic pine trees which once graced the entire avenue), giving a sense of the pastoral suburbia that Young Avenue’s legislators were so determined to assure and preserve
-Decorative 3 level vintage fountain, similar to a vintage fountain in the Public Gardens
-The front of the property is defined with massive sandstone corner posts/gate posts and cast iron gates
-Garden walls, using Shediac sandstone and local ironstone are extensions of the foundation and serve to anchor the house in its landscape
-Current rear lot line (185′) corresponds well with dimensional restrictions outlined in the 1896 provincial legislation.

Architectural details: Attached are photographs showing some of the architectural details, character defining elements, and historic photographs.

Site plan: Attached, including legal description.

As per HRM Heritage By-law H-200, and the Heritage Property Act, we ask that you take necessary steps to table this request with the HAC at its next meeting on July 27, and that you seek council direction to prioritize and expedite your review of this endangered property, and that you further seek HAC approval of this application so that council may then serve (Form A) notice on the registered owner of the committee’s recommendation, thereby preventing demolition, pending council’s final decision. It is understood the current owner, in conjunction with a developer, has a demolition permit to destroy this majestic home, which has significant historical connections and is part of a diminishing stock of important architecture, on Young Avenue. So that the intent of the original designers and legislators who created Young Avenue will continue to be respected, these properties need protection. The adjacent historic property at 851 Young Avenue was recently demolished by the same developer, at the same time an application for registration was under review by the city. Any further losses cannot be sustained.

As a result of the loss of 851 Young Avenue, a recent motion was passed at council (May 10, 2016): “THAT Halifax Regional Council request a staff report recommending best options to establish protections to the heritage and character of historic Young Avenue, including but not limited to: 1. Changes to the Land Use By-law related to lots size, coverage, frontage and dwelling count 2. Establishing a Heritage Conservation District or Heritage Streetscape. MOTION PUT AND PASSED UNANIMOUSLY”. The pending demolition of this historic building, unless stopped, will be a significant blow to conservation efforts, and contrary to the spirit of the recent motion.

The Young Avenue District Heritage Conservation Society wishes to work with the municipality to establish this area as a cultural landscape/streetscape worthy of protection, consistent with the objectives of Chapter 7 of HRM Planning Strategy, recent amendments to the Heritage Property Act, and the City Centre Plan, but because of the imminent and very real risk to this property and the streetscape, this application needs to be processed with the utmost urgency.

Attachments: Application form
Deed description and site plan
Supporting Appendices with miscellaneous source material

Sources and Research (G. Shutlak, B. Copp and A North):
Drawing of G. S. Campbell House, August 1902 Ontario Archives copies at NSA on MFM 952
Photographs ca. 1903 A. R. Cogswell Collection Nos 73, 217, 218,255, 256 and 270
Registry of Deeds, Halifax County
Annals of the North British Society 1768-1903 p. 594-5
Halifax: The Capital of Nova Scotia, Canada, Its Advantages and Interests, 1909, p. 45, p. 52
Canadian Men and Women of the Time, 1913 Henry J. Morgan, p. 192
Who’s Who in Canada 1923/24 p 1251
Ships Mean Security: The Navy League of Canada see East Coast Port on PANS web site
Annals of the North British Society 1904-1949 p. 34-5
The Lives of Dalhousie University, P. B. Waite, Volume 1, p. 196
The Scotiabank Story: A History of the Bank of Nova Scotia 1832-1982 by Joseph Schull and J.
Douglas Gibson
Edmund Burke: http://www.biographi.ca/…/b…/burke_edmund_1850_1919_14E.html
Edmund Burke: http://dictionaryofarchitectsincanada.org/node/1678
J.C.B. Horwood: http://dictionaryofarchitectsincanada.org/node/1530
Duncan Campbell (G.S’s father): http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/campbell_duncan_11E.html
George S. Campbell tribute: https://dalspace.library.dal.ca/…/dalhousiegazette_volume60…
Point Pleasant Park: http://www.halifax.ca/PointPleasantPark/History.php
City Beautiful: http://academic.csuohio.edu/…/artsheritage/p61anoverview.pdf

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