Cork Street West – 57-59

By-law: (1995)-14961

Legal Description: Part Lot 977, Canada Company Survey

Designated Portions

The designation includes:

  • The three storey stone façade, the westerly and easterly stone walls and the rear stone wall of the building where exposed;
  • The roofline over the stone building, including the bracketed eaves;
  • All original door and window openings on the designated stone exterior including the main door frame and its fanlight and sidelights;
  • Inside, the designation covers the complete, main wood staircase

Later additions of brick and wood to the rear and on the easterly side of the stone dwelling are not included in the designation.

It is intended that non-original features may be returned to documented earlier designs or to their documented original form without requiring City Council permission for an alteration to the designation.

Property History

This unusual three storey limestone dwelling was constructed in 1878 for Guelph Township farmer John Murphy. Local mason John Pike was responsible for the fine stone work. The building features a centre gable, bracketed eaves and curved-top window openings with cut stone lintels and window surrounds. The main entrance, on the second floor, is highlighted by a fanlight and sidelights. A unique interior feature of the house is the centre hall plan with a bifurcated staircase on the second and third floors.

A native of Ireland, John Murphy came to Guelph Township in 1871 from the County of Lennox and Addington, where he was Reeve for nineteen years. He purchased Lot 977 at the corner of Dublin and Cork Streets in 1875 for development purposes. Initially he erected the limestone semi-detached dwelling at 78-80 Dublin Street in 1876, followed by this large stone building, which functioned as a duplex, in 1878. Both dwellings were leased to a variety of tenants until the lot was sold and divided in 1894-1895. In 1899 the property was purchased by banker Charles E. Howitt who also leased the house until it was sold in 1920 to printer Frank Adams.

The designation covers the three storey stone façade, the west and east stone walls and the rear stone wall of the building, where exposed, including all original door and window openings and the main door frame with its fanlight and sidelights. The roof line and bracketed eaves of the building are also included in the designation. Inside, the entire main staircase is covered by the designation. Later additions of brick and wood to the rear and on the easterly side of the stone dwelling are not included in the designation.