Legal description: Part Lot 23, Plan 37
The designation includes all exterior stone walls of the building; all carved stone ornamentation on the Albert Street façade; all door and window openings located on the designated stone exterior walls, excluding the modern windows and frames and the door.
The designation excludes the more modern front and rear porches, the westerly board and batten addition and the building’s second storey, roof and dormer.
It is intended that any non-original features may be returned to documented earlier designs or their documented original form without requiring City Council permission for an alteration to the designation.
Built circa 1856 by Matthew Bell, local stone carver and mason, this one-and-a-half storey dwelling is one of a number of richly ornamented stone houses built in Guelph by Matthew Bell and his sons during the period 1850 to 1880. A native of Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, Bell distinguished himself not only for the well-proportioned elegance of his buildings, but also for the finely carved stone embellishments on many of their facades, including neighbouring stone dwellings at 96-98 Water Street and 40 Albert Street. Of particular note on this building are the carved bracketed lintels over the two front windows, embellished with wreaths and rosettes within a recessed panel, supported by double scroll brackets terminating in acanthus leaves. Carved embellishments surrounding the front door are also of significance, particularly the fluted pilasters and the decorated pediment again displaying carved wreaths and a central lamb’s head. The design is very similar to the decorative carvings found on the portico of “Moreton Lodge”, built by Bell for Guelph businessman and stockbreeder F.W. Stone and now standing on the University of Guelph’s front campus.
The house was occupied by Bell and his family to 1857, when it was sold to James Cain, a high constable with the local militia, who occupied the dwelling for over ten years. Other owners included James Hodgson, a skilled knitter and weaver, whose wife Agnes operated a small convenience store at the house and provided refreshments to local workers in the “Brooklyn” neighbourhood. The Hodgson family occupied the dwelling from 1874 to 1902. The house was also used for a number of years as the Brooklyn Mission Sunday School until 1905 when a larger mission was constructed on Albert Street.
Elements of the building being designated include all exterior stone walls of the dwelling, including all carved stone ornamentation on the Albert Street façade. Also included in the designation are all door and window openings located on the stone exterior, excluding the modern windows and frames and the door. The more modern front and rear porches, westerly board and batten addition and the building’s second storey, roof and dormer are not included in the designation.