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Angel House Registered Heritage Structure

Angel House, St. John's, NL
Angel House, St. John's, NL
Angel House, St. John's, NL

Statement of Significance

Formal Recognition Type

Registered Heritage Structure

Description of Historic Place

Angel House, located on Hamilton Avenue in the west end of St. John’s, is a two storey, timber framed house built in the Second Empire style. Built in 1878-1879, Angel House was the ancestral home of the Angel family until 1997. The designation includes the house, carriage house, stable, grounds and the iron fence that delimits the property.

Heritage Value

Angel House has been designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador for its architectural, historic and environmental values.

Angel House is architecturally valuable as a good example of the Second Empire style of architecture. The house features a mansard roof, eaves brackets, and a double bay which are all characteristic of the Second Empire style. In addition to the house, there is a one storey wooden garage on the property that is similar in materials to the main house. Angel House is also valuable as one of the few remaining houses with a five-sided Scotch dormer. Angel House is much larger than many of the houses in the surrounding area and this is a reflection of the affluence of the Angel family.

Angel House is historically valuable for its association with the Angel family. This house served as the ancestral house of the prominent Angel family for over 100 years. Built by the Honourable James Angel in 1878-1879, this house is a reminder of early ironworks in Newfoundland. James Angel and his father John Angel came to Newfoundland in 1848 and built and operated Newfoundland’s first ironworks, United Nail and Foundry Company. ‘Angel’ soon became a name synonomous with ironworks in Newfoundland. James Angel quickly became a prominent member of Newfoundland society. In 1889 he was appointed to the Legislative Assembly in William Whiteway’s administration. He chaired the Methodist Orphanage Committee and was a founder of George Street United Church. After the death of James Angel in 1918, Angel House was taken over by his son, Frederick Angel. Frederick Angel was an engineer and worked for both the Reid Newfoundland Company and became the Chief Engineer at the Wabana Mines in 1901. Frederick Angel was succeeded by John Bartlett Angel who was also an engineer and was prominent in a number of northern expeditions during the 20th century. The Angel family was a prominent family in Newfoundland’s history and this longstanding association with the family is very important to the history of the house.

Angel House sits on almost an acre of land in the west end of St. John’s. The grounds are delimited by a wrought iron fence and a pillared entranceway which gives the house an estate-like feel. The house is set back on the property which also contributes to the estate feel of the property. The well-manicured gardens of mature trees and formal gardens are a further reminder of the affluence of the Angel family.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “St. John's - Angel House - FPT 1486”

Character Defining Elements

All those elements that are representative of the Second Empire design including:
-mansard roof;
-eaves brackets;
-five-sided Scotch dormer;
-double bay on east side of house; and,
-narrow clapboard sheathing.

All those features that relate to the outbuilding on the property including:
-narrow wooden clapboard;
-double doors;
-height of building; and,
-massing and dimensions of building.

All elements that define the land and location of the building as a landmark including:
-well-manicured grounds;
-ornamental iron fence delimiting grounds;
-pillared entrance to grounds;
-set back of house; and,
-location of house within St. John’s.

Location and History

Community St. John's
Municipality City of St. John's
Civic Address 146 Hamilton Avenue
Construction 1878 - 1879
Style Second Empire
Building Plan Rectangular Long Façade