Hollis/Morris Apartment Building(Victoria Apartments)/Houses

 

1267-1285 Hollis St./5142-5144 Morris St.

 

 
This area of town is about to change.  With the construction of the new NSP headquarters a block away on Lower Water Street and the proposal for this site, there will certainly be more activity in the area. According to the HRM Planning website, the proposal for this site,,,

... is to redevelop the properties into a single 10-storey mixed use commercial/residential building with ground floor retail, 84 dwelling units, and underground parking. 

LINKS

 

For an excellent article of the history of this building, see Garry Shutlack's article City Rambles - The New Victoria Hotel in the March 2002 edition of The Griffin, available online at the link below:

 

http://www3.ns.sympatico.ca/heritage.trust/pdf/Griffin/G0203-1.pdf

 

Check out this great compilation of pre-demolition images:

 

http://www.youtube.com/user/syndic3d#p/a/u/1/OLuczvRIq8k

 

For photos taken during the demolition:

 

http://www.youtube.com/user/syndic3d#p/a/u/1/OLuczvRIq8k

 

For a video of the move of the Charles Morris house:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuCQXFM5mOo&feature=youtu.be&a

 

 

I would like to thank Nadine Purdy for allowing me to publish the 12 pictures immediately below:

Photo above courtesy of Nadine Purdy

Photo above courtesy of Nadine Purdy

Photo above courtesy of Nadine Purdy

Photo above courtesy of Nadine Purdy

Photo above courtesy of Nadine Purdy

Photo above courtesy of Nadine Purdy

Photo above courtesy of Nadine Purdy

Photo above courtesy of Nadine Purdy

Photo above courtesy of Nadine Purdy

Photo above courtesy of Nadine Purdy

Photo above courtesy of Nadine Purdy

Photo above courtesy of Nadine Purdy


Photo above taken October 24, 2009

Photo above taken October 24, 2009

Photo above taken October 24, 2009

Photo above taken October 24, 2009

Photo above taken October 24, 2009

Photo above taken October 24, 2009

Photo above taken October 24, 2009

Photo above taken October 24, 2009


Photo above taken September 12, 2008

Photo above taken September 12, 2008

From the June 2009 HRM Council Report:

"The house on the separate property, 1267 Hollis Street, is known as the Ruhland House and it is thought to have been constructed around the time of confederation"

Photo above taken September 12, 2008

Photo above taken September 12, 2008

Photo above taken September 12, 2008

A historical perspective - here we see 1273 Hollis Street in a photo taken in April 1953 when it was a rooming house ("Harbour House")

 

Contributed by John van Gurp

Photo above taken September 12, 2008

From the June 2009 HRM Council Report:

"Charles Morris I was one of Halifax's original settlers and with the arrival of Edward Cornwallis in 1759 was responsible for the laying out of the "town of Halifax".  That year he was appointed "Chief Surveyor of the Lands of this Province" and throughout his life he held prominent judicial positions.  The building housing an office and store owned by him was originally located at the corner of Hollis and Morris streets.  This building, 1273 Hollis Street, still stands, having been relocated to the southern part of the property some time around 1897"

Great News for heritage preservation: This building was spared from the wrecking ball.  On December 21st, the house was moved to a temporary location.  For more information and a video of the move, please check out the links below:

 

Video: 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuCQXFM5mOo&feature=youtu.be&a

 

HRM Press Release:

 http://www.halifax.ca/mediaroom/pressrelease/pr2009/091221CharlesMorrisOfficeBuilding.html

 

Photo above taken September 12, 2008

From the June 2009 HRM Council Report:

"Charles Morris III, also a surveyor, constructed a building in 1820 facing Morris Street, civic no. 5142, which was later substantially modified and incorporated into the abutting Victoria Apartment building.

The Victoria Apartment building, 5144 Morris Street and 1275 through 1285 Hollis Street, was originally built as a hotel in 1897 and as noted above was joined to the Charles Morris III building.  It is architecturally notable from a heritage perspective for its verandah, which is a rare feature in downtown Halifax."

*The Hotel referred to above was the Victoria Hotel*

Photo above taken September 12, 2008

Photo above taken September 12, 2008

Photo above taken September 12, 2008

Former civic number (18) still visible above door

If anyone knows the purpose of the red light on the upper right hand side of the entrance, email me (webmaster@halifaxhistory.ca)

 

 

Update:

Many people have written to say the light is a relic from the building's days as a reputed brothel. If you have any details, anecdotes, etc. please email me.

 

Update2:

Mike H. wrote to advise that the red  light was in fact "put in at the insistence of the Halifax Fire Department as a part of the an electrical upgrade sometime in the late 70's."  Mike, whose parents were caretakers of the building from the 50's through to the 70's, recalls shoveling coal into the furnaces in his early years there:

 

"The furnaces were converted to oil around 1957 I believe. The coal was delivered in truck loads then and put into bins located on the east side of the building. Much of the soil in the back yards in that area is old coal dust from both the power plant and the building itself."

 

 

Photo above taken September 12, 2008

Former civic number (19 ) still visible on transom

Photo above taken September 12, 2008


 

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