The Chipman Hill Suites property at 1 Chipman Hill is a three-storey, brick, side-gabled, neo-classical residence with an off-centered entrance. It was built circa 1850 as part of a group of three pre-fire brick buildings on Chipman Hill in Saint John. Only a few buildings which pre-date the Great Saint John Fire of 1877 remain standing.
This building is called Pratt House. It is designated a Local Historic Place for its architecture, for its survival against two separate incidents of near loss and for its association with early occupant Charles Pratt.
The simple symmetrical style of these three older neo-classical brick buildings provides a stylistic contrast to the more ornate late-Victorian styles found in the adjoining post-fire district. Pratt House has a steep side gable with no roof overhang. Aside from the entrance, ornamentation is limited to a slim string of dentils at the roof-line cornice and quoins along the edges of the exterior walls. The entrance is the prominent feature of this home with its beautiful hand carved door, sidelights and transom. As well, the entryway features the original trompe l’oeil paintings on the walls. Ionic columns support a pedimented entablature above the entrance. The foundation of ashlar masonry that descends with the grade of Chipman Hill also adds to its heritage value.
The lots containing this home and its sister homes were once part of the Ward Chipman estate. Ward Chipman was an important lawyer and politician in early Saint John. The street is still named for him, although his own grand residence on the other side of Union Street was demolished to make way for the Carnegie Library and the YMCA.
Whether it’s for a night, a week, or an extended visit, let your stay in Canada’s first city be as unique as Saint John itself.