Description of Historic Place
Located at 24 Burgar Street, the Glasgow-Fortner House is a three-storey residence constructed around 1859 in the area now known as downtown Welland. Built in the Queen Anne Revival style, it features an asymmetrical form, round turret and whimsical detailing around the windows, porch and balconies. This property was designated by the City of Welland for its historical value under By-law 8205.
The building's historical value is expressed through its connection to many of Welland's prominent residents, including the Burgars, Glasgows and the Fortner sisters. Thomas Burgar, the first postmaster for the Village of Welland, was an early owner of the subject property and it is presumed that Burgar Street was named after his family name. The original house on the property was built by Thomas' son, George H. Burgar, who succeeded his father as postmaster in 1874. George played a significant role in the political development of Welland, serving as Alderman from 1871 to 1912, and Mayor in 1893 and 1894. The property was used by Dr. William E. Burgar to begin his medical practice in 1878, and it is believed that a major addition to the house took place in 1884 under Dr. Burgar's direction. The property was purchased in 1889 by Nancy Glasgow, whose husband, Dr. Sinclair H. Glasgow, served the political community as both an Alderman and Mayor of the Town of Welland, and was also the medical officer of health for Crowland. Aside from a residence and site for medical practice, this house has more recently been used as a fine dining restaurant, retaining the historical charm of this riveting design.
The three storey frame structure is valued for its architectural significance as an excellent example of the Queen Anne Revival Style, characterized by its asymmetrical composition and whimsical detail which is evident in its turret, window gables, dormer, porches and balconies. This period also delighted in exploiting fine materials in a creative offbeat manner, quite obvious in the original interior finishes of fine wood, unusual mouldings, panels and the handsome stairway. At one time, the carved glass window and mirror at the front entrance allowed a clear southern view down Burgar Street. The unusual half-circle motif of the stair balustrades, which appears to be a fine cherry or mahogany, would be typical of this period.
The contextual value of the Glasgow-Fortner House lies in its location in a historically-rich area of Welland. It sits within short walking distance from many other heritage sites, including Court House, Farmer's Market Building, Central Fire Hall and Lawrence-Singer House. This network of historic buildings contributes to the overall heritage character of downtown Welland.
Sources: Report on Glasgow-Fortner House, Nora Reid, Heritage Welland Committee, 2006; "A Stroll into Yesterday" Robert J. Foley, Regional Shopping, March 14, 1990; City of Welland By-law 8205.
Character defining elements that reflect the historical value of the Glasgow-Fortner House include:
-connection to the Burgar family, including Thomas and George H. Burgar, postmasters for the Village of Welland and the latter an Alderman and Mayor, and William E. Burgar, medical practitioner
-association with Nancy Glasgow, wife of well-known Dr. Sinclair Glasgow, who served as Alderman and Mayor of the Town of Welland and was the medical officer of health for Crowland
Character defining elements that reflect the architectural value of the house, particularly its Queen Anne style, include:
-whimsical detail evident in its turret, window gables, dormer, porches and balconies
-use of fine materials in a creative offbeat manner, obvious in the original interior finishes of fine wood, unusual mouldings, panels and the handsome stairway
-carved glass window and mirror at the front entrance
-unusual half-circle motif of the stair balustrades, which appears to be a fine cherry or mahogany
Character defining elements that contribute to the contextual value of the Glasgow-Fortner House include:
-location in Welland's downtown
-proximity to numerous other heritage sites, including the Court House, Farmer's Market Building, Central Fire Hall and the Lawrence-Singer House