Mount Allison University recently completed a conservation project on the Hammond House, Sackville’s only registered National Historic Site, one of only 63 such sites in New Brunswick, and one of fewer than 1,000 in Canada. As a result, the Hammond House will resume its former role as the University President’s residence.
The Hammond House, also known as the Black House, was acquired by the University in 1958, and served as the President’s residence until 1975. After that it was occupied by a vice-president for several years, and was finally used as an office building until 2009.
The President’s home hosts more than 60 public events each year, involving members of the University and larger communities. These events provide unparalleled social and intellectual opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and alumni, opportunities which enhance the experiences that the University is known for. The President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Robert Campbell, and his wife, Dr. Christl Verduyn, are eager to carry on the long-standing tradition and contribution the home provides to the community.
“Christl and I are pleased that we will be able to welcome members of the University and Sackville communities to the Hammond House. This building has been important to Sackville, to Mount Allison, and to the larger community for well over a century,” said President Campbell.
The conservation project was largely one to preserve the architectural features of the House as they existed when it was built in 1896, and to restore those features that could not be preserved.
As a result, most of the project involved work on the exterior of the House to prevent further deterioration of the building, and to restore the features that had already been lost. The project has also improved the energy efficiency of the building, updated its mechanical and electrical systems, and made the building accessible to those in wheelchairs.
Mount Allison has also announced the sale of Cranewood, which has served as the President’s residence since 1975. The sale of this downtown building will reduce the University’s operating costs, environmental footprint, and maintenance responsibilities.
The cost of the Hammond House conservation project is being covered with the proceeds from the sale of Cranewood along with a donation that has been pledged for the project. At the request of the donor, this donation has yet to be announced.
About Hammond House
Hammond House, located at 82A York Street, was designated a National Historic Site on the recommendation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada in 1990. The Queen Anne Revival-style home has a long and storied history. It was originally built for noted Canadian artist John Hammond, who was the first head of the University’s Fine Arts department, and the first head of the Owens Art Gallery, the oldest university art gallery in Canada. He held these positions from 1893 until 1916. Several murals painted by Hammond remain in the home. Hammond House later became the home of businessman Frank B. Black, who served as mayor of Sackville, as a member of the New Brunswick Legislature, and as a Canadian Senator.