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CHNS - Willowbank - Queenston, ON
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
N 43° 10.064 W 079° 03.379
17T E 657996 N 4781275
Quick Description: Willowbank, a lovely historic mansion in Queenston, Ontario, is a designated Canadian National Historic Site. It is now the home of the School of Restoration Arts.
Location: Ontario, Canada
Date Posted: 10/30/2011 5:54:57 AM
Waymark Code: WMCZF7
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member monkeys4ever
Views: 14

Long Description:
An historical marker near the mansion reads:

"An outstanding example of Classical Revival architecture, this stately home was begun in 1833 and completed some two years later. It was erected by Alexander Hamilton (1794-1839), Sheriff of the Niagara District and fourth son of the powerful Upper Canadian businessman, Robert Hamilton, and it possesses a formal elegance befitting the affluence and prominence of the Hamilton family. Constructed of fine quality grey stone, Willowbank is distinguished by four pairs of tall white pillars surmounted by a handsome portico. The classic proportions of the structure are enhanced by its majestic setting in spacious grounds on a rise over-looking the village of Queenston. Owned by the Hamilton family until 1934, Willowbank remains little altered from its original appearance."

The following additional information is from Wikipedia:

"Willowbank is a mansion in Queenston, Ontario, Canada.

Willowbank is a National Historic Site of Canada. It possesses in its exterior architecture and landscape the qualities of the Romantic fusion of Classical Revival architecture and the Picturesque style of landscaping.

Willowbank is named after magnificent willow trees that once graced its grounds; it is an elegant example of the rural estates of the wealthy settlers of early 19th century Upper Canada. The mansion was built between 1832 and 1834 for Alexander Hamilton, sheriff of the Niagara District. Alexander Hamilton was the third son of the Honourable Robert Hamilton, one of the founders of Upper Canada. Constructed in the Greek Revival style of architecture then at its height in North America for such grand houses, Willowbank is regarded as one of the finest remaining examples of such buildings on the continent.

Designed by renowned architect, John Latshaw, and built of local Whirlpool Sandstone, the building is characterized by the rare features of eight hand-carved columns running its full two-story height, and by a front doorway considered to be a masterpiece of Greek design.

Another unique feature of the mansion is that it is set in a picturesque landscape which, like the exterior of the building, is designated and has remained essentially unchanged. The house sits prominently on its lawn hillside, overlooking the village of Queenston. Viewing Willowbank from the base of the slope,one sees the thick foliage of untended trees which surround the large, tended lawn. The old carriageway winds up the slope, allowing only glimpses of the building until it comes into full view. Individual trees are interspersed in an unplanned fashion on the largely open lawn of the estate. There appear to be no prescribed garden features in the landscape; it would seem that the existing natural state of the property was used to create the setting for this imposing mansion, a constant reminder, like the nearby Brock's Monument, of our roots that lie deep in the rich soil of Upper Canada and in the place where the Canadian nation was born.

Willowbank is well protected from inappropriate alteration to the exterior of the building and its landscape, by legislation. It is designated under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act, it is a designated National Historic Site, and is further protected by a heritage easement granted to The Ontario Heritage Trust."

Classification: National Historic Site

Province or Territory: Ontario

Location - City name/Town name: Queenston

Link to Parks Canada entry (must be on www.pc.gc.ca): [Web Link]

Link to HistoricPlaces.ca: [Web Link]

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