Lady Meredith House
|Lady Meredith House|
Lady Meredith House, Montreal
|Former names||Andrew Allan House, H.-Vincent Meredith House, Ardvarna|
|Architectural style||Queen Anne style architecture|
|Location||Golden Square Mile|
|Address||1110, Pine Avenue
|Owner||The Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning (McGill University)|
|Landlord||Sir Vincent Meredith|
|Floor area||1,253 m2|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Edward & William Sutherland Maxwell|
|Official name: H. Vincent Meredith Residence National Historic Site of Canada|
Lady Meredith House is located at 1110 Pine Avenue West at the corner of Peel Street, in what is today known as the Golden Square Mile, Montreal, Quebec. It is currently owned by McGill University. The house was designated as a National Historic Site of Canada November 16, 1990.
The land on which the house stands was originally part of the estate of Simon McTavish in the Golden Square Mile. In 1860, his heirs subdivided the land and sold it off in several large plots. The shipowner and financier, Andrew Allan, purchased one these plots just south of the fourteen acre plot purchased by his brother, Sir Hugh Allan, on which Ravenscrag was completed in 1863. Using the same architects as his brother, Andrew Allan built Iononteh, a greystone mansion completed in 1865 that dominated Upper Peel Street, but which has since been demolished. In 1888, Andrew Allan gave a parcel of this land to his youngest daughter, Isabella Brenda Allan (1867–1959), on the occasion of her marriage to Sir Vincent Meredith, who would become the first Canadian-born President of the Bank of Montreal and in 1916 was created the 1st Baronet of Montreal. Meredith's brother, Charles, lived in the house immediately to the west of his home and their cousin, Frederick Meredith, lived only a few houses further down from them, also on Pine Avenue.
After their marriage, the Merediths lived on Sherbrooke Street in the house next door to the Van Horne Mansion. In 1894, they commissioned the architects Edward & William Sutherland Maxwell to build them a house on the land gifted to them by Mrs Meredith's father on Pine Avenue at the corner of Upper Peel Street. Their home, that they named Ardvarna, was completed in 1897. In 1941, Lady Meredith gave the house and its land to the Royal Victoria Hospital for use as a nurses residence. McGill University acquired the house in 1975, although it was shared with the hospital for several years afterward. In 1990, the McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics, and Law moved into the residence. Following an attempted arson on January 7 1990, the house was thoroughly renovated by architects Gersovitz, Becker, and Moss.
The house is considered to be an example of Queen Anne revival-style architecture, with some features resembling Richardsonian Romanesque. The garden surrounding the house was designed by landscape architects Olmsted & Eliot. In 1914, a large addition was made to the west of the central tower, again completed by the Maxwell brothers. The property also included a coach house, to the south of the main house, but in the same style and colour. Originally, the grounds included three levels of terraces, rosebeds, perenniels, climbing vines and a kitchen garden, which have all now been replaced by a car park, as was the wrought iron gate in the style of Georgian Dublin. The two open-air verandas at the rear of the house, that gave uninterrupted views down over Montreal, the St. Lawrence River and onto the Green Mountains of Vermont, were filled in with windows sometime after 1941. In 1987, the house was described by Francois Remillard in his book Mansions of the Golden Square Mile, Montreal 1850-1930:
This is one of Edward Maxwell's most successful designs. It was constructed in 1894, and designed in Richardsonian Romanesque. However, even a cursory examination of its facade reveals a multitude of architectural influences making it an admirable example of Victorian eclecticism. With its towers, stepped windows and high chimneys Lady Meredith House befits the dramatic landscape of the slopes of Mount Royal. It is faced in brick, sandstone, granite and terra cotta, all red. The brickwork is excellent and in evidence on all four sides of the house. Such elaborate craftsmanship would be well-nigh impossible to replicate in our days.
- Notman House, another historic house in Montreal built 1843-45 for Meredith's father's first cousin, Sir William Collis Meredith
- Ravenscrag, another historic mansion in Montreal built 1860–63 for Lady Meredith's uncle, Sir Hugh Allan
As seen from the perimeter of Ravenscrag
- H. Vincent Meredith Residence. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved July 31, 2011.
- Maison Isabella Brenda Allan Meredith at IMTL.org
- The architecture of Edward & W.S. Maxwell - Edward Maxwell, William Sutherland Maxwell, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1991
- McGill Centre for Architecture
- "Meredith (Lady) House "Ardvarna"". Canadian Architecture Collection. McGill University. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- "H.V. Meredith House (Ardvarna)(1894)". Canadian Architecture Collection. McGill University. Retrieved 21 August 2012.