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HILL RESIDENCE

Lethbridge

Other Names:
Danielson Residence
EB Hill Residence
Hill Family

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The Hill Residence is a two-and-a-half-storey residence situated on a landscaped corner lot in Lethbridge. Clad in clapboard and wood shingles, the house is dominated by a large wraparound verandah on its west, north and east elevations and by the three-storey, polygonal tower with an octagonal roof at the north-east corner. The building also features an irregular roofline, Palladian windows in the gables and tall brick chimneys.

Heritage Value
The heritage value of the Hill Residence lies in its identity as an excellent example of Queen Anne architecture in Alberta. This style of residential architecture was popular in Alberta during the early decades of the twentieth century.

The Queen Anne style of architecture is named for Anne Stuart, Queen of England from 1702 to 1714. The flamboyant style arose in England during the 1860s as part of an architectural revival movement. Based largely on the estate homes of English nobility and influenced by Dutch architecture, the Queen Anne style featured a variety of design elements that builders and designers could select from, resulting in a range of different houses all animated by the same spirit. This high level of adaptability meant that the style was not restricted to the wealthy, but was accessible to a wide range of home owners. Typical design elements of the style included complex rooflines with prominently placed, massive chimneys; a mixture of exterior finishes; large wraparound verandahs, often with curved corners; and circular and polygonal towers with conical, pyramidal or polygonal roofs. Trim work, often in copious quantities, was an essential element of the Queen Anne style and included all manner of wooden scrollwork, pendants, finials, columns and metal or wood cresting. In the Queen Anne style, windows were not simply functional elements, but important decorative features as well. Palladian windows were particular popular. Bay windows, often extending for two-storeys and oriel windows were also frequently used. Different glass treatments, such as stained glass, bevelled glass and curved panes, were also integrated to add an element of further sophistication. The style made its way to North America by the 1880s. Examples began to appear in Alberta around the turn of the century and it reached the height of its popularity in the province during the years just prior to the First World War.

The Hill Residence was built over 1910 and 1911 for Edgar B. Hill, who was a partner in a family-owned grocery business in Lethbridge. The home’s picturesque composition, irregular roofline, projecting features, and colourful exterior distinguish its as an excellent example of Queen Anne residential architecture, as does the comfortable interior adorned with stained glass and dark wood finishes. Unlike central and eastern Canadian examples of the style, which were typically executed in brick, the E.B. Hill House was constructed of wood, a common western Canadian variation of the style, and massed more compactly to deal with the harsh prairie winters. The E.B. Hill House remains one of the largest and best examples of Queen Anne domestic architecture remaining in Alberta.

Source: Alberta Culture, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 1560)


Character-Defining Elements
Key elements that define the heritage value of the Hill Residence include such elements as:

Exterior
- exterior walls clad in clapboard, except for the upper portion of the tower’s third storey, which is clad in wood shingles;
- hip roof with two street front gables with slightly flared eaves;
- Palladian windows of a central arched window flanked by two flat head windows located in the gable ends;
- two substantial brick chimneys projecting through the roof;
- wrap around verandah on the west, north and east elevations with railing and a curved northeast corner;
- sets of two and three wooden columns supporting the roof of the verandah;
- three-storey, polygonal tower with a steep octagonal roof located on the northeast corner;
- main entry located on the east elevation, surmounted by a pediment;
- decorative brackets supporting the eaves;
- extant original windows and frames;
- extant original windows with stained glass and leaded bevelled glass on the ground floor;
- situation on a landscaped corner lot with numerous deciduous trees, bordering hedge and a wrought iron entrance gate with concrete and iron pillars with lanterns.

Interior
- extant original lath and plaster walls and ceilings;
- wood tongue and groove flooring on the main floor;
- wood trim work on the baseboards, door and window frames;
- pocket doors separating the dining room and sitting room;
- extant original lighting fixtures;
- extant original cast iron radiators;
- fireplace with wood mantle, brick surround and built-in cabinetry;
- front entry door flanked narrow rectangular, stained glass windows, all surrounded by a wood frame;
- wide, wood framed, open entry with wood pillars leading from the hall to the sitting room;
- extant original wood staircases with banisters;
- extant original wooden interior doors.


Location



Street Address: 702 - 11 Street South
Community: Lethbridge
Boundaries: Plan 5728 S, Block 5, Lots 5 and 6
Contributing Resources: Building
N/A

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
4
21
8
31
7 (ptn.)

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
5728 S
5728 S
5
5
6
5



Latitude/Longitude:
Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
49.689024 -112.830355

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type

Recognition

Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Provincial Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2013/07/02

Historical Information

Built:
Significant Date(s) 1911/01/01
Theme(s) Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life : Architecture and Design
Historic Function(s): Residence : Single Dwelling
Current Function(s): Residence : Single Dwelling
Architect:
Builder:
Context: HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE

E. B. Hill, along with his mother, arrived in Lethbridge in 1889 as a child of seven to join his father who had arrived in 1885 to establish a grocery store. Lethbridge was an appropriate location for such a business venture given the rapid growth of the community as a result of the development of the local coal reserves by the North West Coal and Navigation Company.

The general prosperity permitted Hill to construct a three-storey building on Third Avenue South across from the Galt Gardens. The grocery store operated by Hill later expanded into a general store which sold men and ladies wears, dry goods and furniture.

Young Edgar B. Hill worked first for his father on the delivery wagon and later as a clerk. Having completed his training he became a partner with his father in the family business. When his father was approaching retirement, Edgar junior became ill with sciatica. Just prior to the final stages of his retirement, Mr. E.J. Hill passed away, and his son closed the business due to his own poor health.

Edgar B. Hill married Jean O'Hagen of Lethbridge, and their first home was at 416, 6 Street South, across from where Eaton's stands today. The Hill residence at 702 11 Street South was built in 1910-11 by a contractor named Alexander Smith, who was a partner in the firm of Smith Brothers and Wilson, with headquarters in Regina. Smith had previously worked for the International Coal Company and had been responsible for the erection of two hundred buildings in the town of Coleman, prior to his move to Lethbridge in 1905. He was also responsible for the construction in Lethbridge of the Court House, the C.P.R. station, the Number 1 Firehall, the Sherlock building and is credited by a contemporary writer with having built every school in the city that was erected since his arrival.

After completion of the Hill house, which at the time of construction was on the outskirts of the city, he built a smaller version of the same design on the southwest corner of 8 Street and 6 Avenue South. This second house was later to become part of the Y.W.C.A. complex, and was eventually demolished to make way for the new Y.W.C.A. building.



ARCHITECTURAL SIGNIFICANCE

The Hill residence represents one of the popular housing styles in Alberta between 1910 and the late 1920s, particularly in more affluent neighbourhoods. The Queen Anne Style was particularly suitable in the relatively rural setting of a young city, for it was a style that was originally derived from the stately rural English country houses of the Elizabethan period. The features of the Hill residence that reflect this style include the irregular roofline, prominent gables, the octagonal tower and the wrap around veranda. Finally, small-scale classical detailing applied in a limited fashion both in the interior and on the exterior further illustrates its Queen Anne Style origin. Small columns, for example, support the porch and paladian windows have been used in the dormers.

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-0592
Designation File: Des. 1560
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File: HS 9948
Website Link: N/A
Data Source: Alberta Culture, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 1560)
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