The Power Cottage Conservation Project By Halifax’s DSRA Architects

DSRA’s restoration of the Halifax Public Gardens offices, coined the Power Cottage, is now a polished gem and one of Halifax’s greatest treasures.





In 1902, architect J.C. Dumarseq designed this two-story house inspired by the Queen Anne Revival and Classical Revival styles.

The windows, projecting dormers, and gables depict the Queen Anne Revival style, whereas the cornices and front entrance columns are from the Classic Revival. These features exhibit fine masonry, metalwork, and woodwork which earned the house a heritage status in 1989. (Canada's Historic Places)





It was home to Richard Power, the first superintendent hired in 1872 to design and maintain the Public Gardens. During his reign, he built raised beds, planted trees and flowers, and intensively pruned vegetation. His work created the park’s signature symmetry and refined elegance. (The Friends of the Public Gardens





Considering the site’s long history, DSRA Architects started their 2011 restoration project with a structural assessment. This led to the construction of a new roof and the discovery of mold and asbestos rotting the house’s wood frame. The team proceeded by rebuilding the balloon framing as well as removing, cleaning, and re-laying the red brick walls and multi-coloured brick foundation. (DSRA Architecture)






The wooden Palladian-style windows were restored, as were the metalwork on the dormers and cornices. Past historical features such as black mortar and a curved front staircase were reintegrated into the building. The restoration was completed in 2015 and received recognition from the province by winning the 2016 Lieutenant Governor’s Design Awards in Architecture. (DSRA Architecture)





The restoration of the Power Cottage has revived the playful contrast between the wooden teal-painted stairs, gables, windows, and dormers with the red brick. The cornices of the whimsical home now crown the house as the storyteller of Halifax’s prized Public Gardens.  


All images from DSRA Architecture.

To learn more about their impressive designs, visit DSRA Architects.


If you love Canada's architectural heritage, check out these past posts on

An Ontario Gothic Revival Cottage In Downtown Toronto

Guelph Ontario Homes: Set in Stone

Rideau Hall In New Edinburgh, Ontario

The Heritage Buchanan House In Montreal, Quebec

The Stodders House - A Queen Anne Revival In Manitoba

On Sod Houses and Rammed Earth

The Grange In Toronto, Ontario

The Berry House, Manitoba

Manitoba’s Concrete Houses

The Town Of Corner Brook, Newfoundland

Vancouver Heritage Foundation Homes


Researched and written by Kate Macmillan studying at Dalhousie University in the Bachelor of Community Design program. 

Posted In: Nova Scotia

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