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 1879-1880, 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.
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Registered Heritage Structure
Angel House has been designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador for its aesthetic and historic value.
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 1879-1880, 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:
-number of storeys;
-chimney style and placement;
-narrow wooden clapboard sheathing;
-wooden corner boards;
-size, style, trim and placement of front porch topped by five-sided Scotch dormer;
-size, style, trim and placement of 2 two-storey bay windows on east side of house;
-size, style, trim and placement of other original bay windows;
-size, style, trim and placement of wooden windows;
-size, style, trim and placement of exterior wooden doors;and,
-dimensions, location and orientation of building.
All those features that relate to the outbuilding on the property including:
-narrow wooden clapboard;
-height of building; and,
-massing and dimensions of building.
All elements that define the land and location of the building as a landmark including:
-ornamental iron fence delimiting grounds;
-pillared entrance to grounds;
-set back of house; and,
-location of house within St. John’s.
Location and History
City of St. John's
146 Hamilton Avenue
1879 - 1880
Rectangular Long Façade