Bellevue House

Bellevue HousePinterest
Bellevue House, 35 Centre St. Source: photo by Jennifer McKendry.
Bellevue HousePinterest
A Villa in the Italian Style. Source: A.J. Downing, Victorian Cottages, 1842.

In the early 1840s, the style of Bellevue House was unusual in the Kingston area and, in fact, in all the province, as a moderate-sized house in Italian or Tuscan style with the picturesque composition centred on a tall campanile (bell tower) derived from medieval villas in Italy. Owner Charles Hales, a Kingston merchant, likely called upon architect George Browne for this unusual form and he, in turn, found a model in an 1842 American architectural pattern book by A.J. Downing. One tenant, John A. Macdonald, teasingly dubbed it Tea Caddy Castle in 1848. Sadly, his stay was marked by tragedy when his baby son died in the house.