Another Heritage Advisory Committee meeting. Another Dalhousie University building.

The committee met virtually Wednesday and recommended in favour of an addition to the heritage registry: 1460 Oxford St.

“The property contains an 1868 Italianate mansion which is known as the Dalhousie President’s Residence and was utilized as the home of the Dalhousie University president for much of its history,” planner Jenny Lugar wrote in the report to the committee.

“The property has several noteworthy historical associations with prominent members of the merchant, political, and academic classes in Halifax. It has retained much of its architectural integrity, only having undergone modest changes.”

The Halifax Military Heritage Preservation Society submitted a third-party application for the Dalhousie-owned property near the corner of Oxford Street and Coburg Road in January 2022.

It’s the third such application for a Dalhousie building to come before the committee this year. Council voted to register 1245 Edward St. after a contentious heritage hearing this month. And the committee has recommended heritage registration for 1322 Robie St.

The committee also voted in favour of a plan to systematically register dozens of other Dalhousie buildings. The university argues it’s been a good steward of its historic properties, and opposes any registrations. It did not, however, submit any correspondence for or against Wednesday’s proposal.

The committee scored the property 64 out of 100 points, within the staff-recommended range of 49-66.

The committee broke with the staff recommendation in awarding one point for the significance of the architect or builder, both of whom are unknown. Staff recommend zero points.

Coun. David Hendbsee argued that just because the architect or builder is unknown doesn’t make them insignificant.

Lois Yorke agreed.

“In the days when it was built, it wouldn’t have been given to any inferior local builder. It would’ve been given to among the best,” Yorke said.

The committee’s scoring triggers a recommendation to council to include the building in the municipal heritage registry. Council will hold a heritage hearing to allow Dalhousie to make a case for or against registration before voting.

“I’m sure the property owner will be very happy with this development,” committee chair Patrick Connor said after the vote.

Zane Woodford is the Halifax Examiner’s municipal reporter. He covers Halifax City Hall and contributes to our ongoing PRICED OUT housing series. Twitter @zwoodford

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