The Neil MacQuarrie House is a fine example of High Victorian architecture located at the corner of Granville and Belmont Streets in Summerside, PEI. The designation includes the house and its large, landscaped lot.
Why is this place important?
The community of Summerside values the Neil MacQuarrie House because of its connection to two prominent citizens. The house was built for Neil MacQuarrie, a successful lawyer, between 1890 and 1892. MacQuarrie became one of the most distinguished members of the legal profession in PEI and was appointed Judge of the County Court of Prince County in 1915. When MacQuarrie died in 1928, the house was sold to Wilfred Lecky, one of the town's successful fox breeders during the prosperous silver fox industry era. In honour of this connection, the house was renamed the Silver Fox Inn when it became a bed and breakfast in 1981.
Further heritage value lies in its association with William Critchlow Harris. Harris was a Canadian architect of considerable merit who was raised in Prince Edward Island and apprenticed in the field of architecture with David Stirling of Halifax. Harris was a High Victorian Gothicist whose style was both distinctly personal and continually evolving. The Neil MacQuarrie house is a good example of his style as it emerged in the 1890s. The house is one of three Harris-designed homes in Summerside and was heralded by a local newspaper as "a model of architectural beauty and convenience."
Source: City of Summerside Heritage Property Profile
The house is a fine example of William Critchlow Harris's 1890's High Victorian style and as such the following elements are important:
- rectangular plan
- major and minor "transepts" on the front elevation (Harris's design has been compromised by a 20th century addition of a front porch and Doric-columned balcony on the front fašade)
- variety of triangular gables and peaks
- paired and stacked bay windows on the north elevation and the single stacked bay on the south elevation
- variety of siding materials used, including cedar shingles on the main floor, a board and batten string course between the first and second storeys, scalloped shingles on the second floor and board and batten in the third storey gables
- decorative trim, including under eave brackets and bargeboards with holes to create patterns of light and shadow