2009 Heritage Award Sentwood Mercer The Tannery Cottage

76 Mowat Avenue, “The Tannery Cottage”, Portsmouth

Certificate of Commendation: Nicholas Woolley and Wing Lee, owners. Certificates of Appreciation: Mac Gervan and Associates, Project Manage; Sentwood Mercer, Ltd., Carpentry; and Michael Turkington Construction, Masonry.

76 Mowat Avenue/Paul Christianson
Citation: A designated building, the Tannery Cottage was built circa 1844 for Hugh McManus, a tanner and Irish immigrant. When Ying Lee and Nicholas Woolley bought the property in December 2004, it was subdivded into two attached unites: an owner-occupied suite and a rental property. Over the years, the house had been patchily maintained, with little attention paid to the heritage elements: the siding has been replaced picemeal and was rotten in parts; the two-over-two windows were in poor operation and comprimised by aluminum stormsl the window trim had been replaced with inappropreiate decorative woodwork; and the front door frame had been filled in to accommodate a smaller steel door. The interior of the house was devoid of any original trim or other heritage details.

Over the years, as the road level became higher, the sill plates sank below grade. Also, the original chimneys were in poor repair and supported by metal brackets attached to the ceiling of the first floor. This weight was bearing down heavily on the frame: the joists neared to the chimneys were six inches lower than elsewhere in the house.

The project began with the removal of whatever was in poor repair and/or clearly not part of the original cottage. During demolition, one of the crew was able to pull the bricks of the original chimney apart with his hands like blocks of Lego! Michael Turkington sourced replica bricks and used a heritage mortar mix to build the chimneys anew.
76 Mowat Avenue; raised foundation/Nicholas Woolley