In 1975, the Ontario Heritage Act was introduced and passed. This Act gave municipal councils the authority to establish heritage committees advising Municipal Councils on the architectural and historical significance of properties in their municipalities. The Committee name was LACAC –Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee.(Sometimes, community residents who disliked committee recommendations called the committee – Quackquacks). Kitchener’s LACAC began in 1979. Its members developed an inventory of 790-800 properties based on accounts in the Waterloo Historical Society (WHS), local historian knowledge and Waterloo Township/Waterloo County records.
What information did the inventory of a property provide – date of building, municipal address –both original and updated street address, architectural style, title search, and for some properties historical notes about the owners and occupations.
Members of LACAC understood the need for promoting the importance and awareness of Kitchener’s heritage buildings in the inventory.
In 1981, LACAC member Wendy Collishaw worked with the Editor of the Real Estate Section of the KWRecord. Houses with significant heritage and architecture were featured on the front page of the Real Estate Section. Bert Williams, a local watercolour artist, was approached by Collishaw to paint these selected houses which then would appear on the front page. Before the painting of the house was published in the Real Estate Section, Mr. Williams would approach the owner for his or her approval. And the owner had the opportunity to purchase the painting.
The next year 1982, the promotion material was the calendar.
Jean Haalboom provided the 1982 calendar from which the following images and descriptions originated.
January, 132 Queen Street North, 1876, built by John Dauberger, a brick-mason by trade; he owned the brickworks across the street from this property and used the bricks to build this neo-classical style home.
February, 209 Frederick Street, 1866, built on the Samuel Brubacher farmstead; frame Regency cottage; it soon became part of the bustling town life at the “Five Points”; in the 1980’s it was demolished and today at Lancaster and Frederick, one sees its replacement a large office building.
March, 55 Margaret Avenue, 1879, built for Judge Anthony Lacourse; its Renaissance Revival style with its two-storey bays, pointed gables with decorative pairs of brackets, two-storey bay windows commands a second look by passers-by; note the use of red brick for cladding.
April, 137 Queen Street North, 1852, built by Nicholas Zeiger, a brickmason who established his factory in his backyard; in 1858, John Dauberger bought the property and covered the original frame cottage home with bricks made by hand on the site.
May, 460 Queen Street South, 1820, built by the Joseph Schneider family upon their arrival in the area; clearing the land, Schneider used the timber to build this Waterloo County Georgian style house, a Mennonite tradition brought to Waterloo County from Pennsylvania, the family’s place of origin.
June, 128 Queen Street North, 1857, built for Dr.C.J. Scott(a former town mayor) ; originally, the house was a Regency style cottage clad with coral brick from the Zeiger brickyard; in 1875, John S. Hoffman owned the property; he added a second storey and chose to use bricks from the Bramm brickworks of Weber Street; the house now demonstrates the influence of the English Georgian style.
July, 25 Maynard Avenue, 1872, built for Berlin’s Chief Constable John Klippert; the house demonstrates a formal Classical Revival Style; note the return eaves of the roofline, the formal arrangement of window above window and window above door, the window design of six panes over six panes, the door with its transom and sidelights, and the porch copying the elements of the roofline of the house supported by classical style columns; the window in the gable fits well with the design.
August, 883 Doon Village Road, 1863, built for Benjamin Burkholder, one of the first licensed teachers in Waterloo Township; the house is a fine example of the Waterloo County Georgian style set on a very large lot with the farm remnant of a stone building which housed the pigs and hens; note the chimneys on either end of the roof, pairs of windows in three bays along the facade, two bays deep with tiny gable windows, the main floor door with transom and sidelights… all demonstrating this style; the full front verandah enhances the countrylike feel of the setting; the bricks for the structure were hauled up the hill from the Tilt brickyard about ½ mile away; Burkholder provided education in his home for local children such as Homer Watson, Canada’s first international landscape artist.
September, 108 Queen Street North, 1874, built for Louis Breithaupt and his wife; a classical style house highly suited for the life of a politician and industrialist; the house came to be known as ‘Sonneck’ or sunny place; in its early years, one could admire the outstanding design features such as brick quoins, elaborate bay windows, brick window headers, decorative wooden brackets under the eaves, formal wooden porches, double storey side porches and interior stained glass windows; its setting is a large corner lot.
October, 379 Queen Street South, 1878, built for Jacob Staebler; its many owners include J.M.Schneider; note the multiplicity of lines and curves, verticals and horizontals, crisscrossing at uneven levels to completely absorb our view; in former years; it was known as’Buena Vista’; the fountain on the front lawn is from ‘Waldeck’ the home of Louis Breithaupt, now demolished.
November, 5 Maurice Street, 1856, built for Jacob Shantz a leading Berlin businessman and his wife Mary; later his son, Jacob Y. Shantz took over the property; this ‘Waterloo County Georgian’ style house was set high upon one of Berlin’s famous sandhills; a frame structure of 1836 was attached to the main building, known as the doddy house, and later removed.
December, 51 Ahrens Street, 1867, built for The Rev. Franz Herlan, an itinerant minister who spent some time preaching in New Hamburg before he made his home on Ahrens Street; in Berlin, he ministered the congregation at Zion Evangelical Church; this tiny clapboard cottage reflects gothic features with added features such as a porch and side and rear additions; it is said to be one of the only surviving wooden structures from the great Berlin fire; and a souvenir of our Confederation year 1867.