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Annandale Residence


Other Names:

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
Annandale is a two and one-half storey, wood-frame residence. It is clad in wood siding and shingles and has a hipped roof with north and east facing hipped-roof dormers, two large brick chimneys and a hipped-roofed main entry porch with a recessed entry and half-circle arched openings. The house is situated on a large, landscaped corner lot and is located in the City of Lethbridge at 1280 – 4th Avenue South.

Heritage Value
The house known as Annandale in Lethbridge has heritage value as it speaks to the developing state of architecture in Alberta during the early years of the 20th century, particularly the adoption of more sophisticated styles and design preferences amongst the upper middle-class and professional ranks of society.

Annandale was built for and named by Lewis Martin Johnson in 1909. A promising, young, Lethbridge-based lawyer, Johnson had the house built near other large homes owned by similarly placed professionals. The house features architectural and ornamental elements characteristic of a number of different styles. Annandale’s generally rectangular footprint; hipped roof; centrally-located dormer windows; wide eaves and covered, off-centre porch are reminiscent of a basic, if larger than typical, American Foursquare style home, which was popular throughout western Canada during the period. However, it is in the detailing and ornamentation of the home where the eclectic nature of the building comes out. The massing of the building, rooflines, and the location of the dormers speak to classical revival styles, while the wide-flared eaves and the rounded arches on the recessed corner entry express an Italianate or Romanesque Revival pedigree. Some stylistic elements of the Arts and Crafts movement are also incorporated, notably the use of both wood siding and wood shingles as exterior cladding, flared eaves and roofline, exposed rafter ends and brackets, tapered dormer windows, a two-story bay window, and the decorative, upper window panes and transoms. Altogether, Annandale can be best described as being of the Queen Anne Style. This style, popular in North America around the turn-of-the-century, was created by borrowing elements from other architectural styles to create picturesque, complex and usually ornate residential buildings. Although Annandale does not possess the same obvious characteristics of more classically-appearing Queen Anne homes, such as Lethbridge’s E. B. Hill Residence, Calgary’s Nimmons Residence or the Cronquist House in Red Deer, the combination of the design and decorative elements, coupled with the monumental brick chimneys and the overall high level of craftsmanship throughout, place it almost by default in the Queen Anne category.

Annandale’s eclectic mixture of styles is indicative of the fluid nature of residential architecture in Alberta in the early 1900s, particularly regarding the design of larger homes. Around the turn of the century in Alberta, the relatively simple and often rustic appearing houses of the previous decades were falling out of favour and community leaders, or people desiring to be seen as community leaders, wanted larger and more ornate homes to communicate their professional and social standing. Lacking exposure to or training in specific types of architecture, home owners, designers and builders often adopted aspects of a variety of architectural and design styles popular in other parts of North America. They combined elements of these styles to create eclectic appearing homes, such as Annandale, that cannot be definitively described as belonging to a particular style or genre.

Source: Alberta Culture, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 1424)

Character-Defining Elements
Key elements that define the heritage value of the Annandale house include such elements as its:

- two and one-half storey form;
- rectangular footprint of the main portion of the original building;
- hipped roof;
- wide, flared (bell cast) eaves with decorative wood brackets;
- north- and east-facing, slightly tapered, hip-roofed dormers;
- hip-roofed porch with columns and a recessed entry way located at the northeast corner;
- recessed entryway with wide, half-circle arches and decorative keystones;
- two-storey bay window on the west side of the north (front) elevation;
- two large, corbelled brick chimneys;
- main floor exterior walls clad in horizontal wood siding and the upper storey and dormers clad in wood shingles;
- original wood windows, including distinctive upper lights with diagonal muntins.

-historic floor plan with public rooms on the main floor and the private areas of the house on the second floor;
- extant historic elements of the main staircase, including the over-the-post rail, detailed newel posts, portions of the balustrade and under-stairs storage closet;
- less detailed servants staircase to the second floor from the kitchen area;
- extant historic wood trim, such as window and door frames, plate rails, baseboards, and wainscoting, with greater amounts and more pronounced details on the main floor;
- two main floor brick fireplaces.

Landscape and General
- location on a large landscaped corner lot in a residential neighbourhood.


Street Address: 1280 - 4 Avenue South
Community: Lethbridge
Boundaries: Lots 16 to 20, Plan 206B
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
9 (ptn.)

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
206 B
206 B
206 B
206 B
206 B


Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
49.694664 -112.824571

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type


Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Provincial Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2015/06/23

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)
Historic Function(s): Residence : Single Dwelling
Current Function(s): Residence : Single Dwelling

The Annandale residence was given its name by its original owner, Lewis Martin Johnston, K.C., who occupied the house from the date of its construction in 1909 until his departure for Vancouver Island in 1935. It was constructed during a period of economic expansion for Lethbridge that was reflected in the many fine residences of the London Road district, where the prominent citizens included W.D.L. Hardie, Superintendent of the Galt Coal Mines and Mayor of Lethbridge. Johnston was a founding partner in the law firm of Hucksalle and Company and was active in the community, serving as Vice-President of the Chinook Club in 1909.

From 1935 to 1937 the house was rented by the Bank of Nova Scotia for use by its local manager. In 1937 it was purchased by George G. Ross who operated a 250,000 acre ranch in the Letbridge area and was active in many community, provincial, national and international affairs. He was one of the founders of the Community Auction Sales Association, one of the oldest members and a past president of the Western Stock Growers' Association, a past chairman and director of the Canadian Council of Beef Producers, both national and western section, and a charter member of the Flying Farmers of Alberta.

In 1940 the Annandale residence was sold to George Rice, another lawyer. Rice had originally arrived in Lethbridge in 1914, and practised in partnership with G.C. Paterson at the time of the house purchase. After the Rice family sold the house, it was used by different individuals in a series of functions: a private dwelling, an apartment house, a rooming house and a halfway house.


The Annandale Residence represents a variation on the Georgian Revival style of architecture, which was popular for residences in Alberta from the 1860s until 1915. Its main source of ideas was the architecture of colonial America although it also drew upon English architecture of the same period. These neo-colonial buildings are strictly regular in plan, with a minimum of minor projections, and have strictly symmetrical facades. Roofs are hipped and their eaves are detailed as classical cornices. Chimneys are placed to contribute to the overall symmetry.

Elements in the Annandale Residence that reflect the Georgian Revival influence include its hipped roof, the shed dormers on three sides of the roof and the wide eaves with the large brackets underneath.

It deviates from this style in its lack of symmetry, which is particularly evident in the design of the front entranceway. The front entranceway is incorporated into the northeast corner of the building rather than being in the center of the front facade. The front veranda is small and located to one side of the entranceway rather than along the full length of the front facade. Nor is the two-storey bay window on the north facade centered. These asymmetrical aspects may reflect the influence of the Queen Anne style that was also popular at the time, and illustrate an eclectic approach to residential design that was an important feature in the Alberta tradition of substantial houses.

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-0593
Designation File: DES 1424
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File: HS 19800
Website Link:
Data Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 1424)
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