"What a magnificient place to call our 'Temporary Home.' Wonderful, comfortable, beautiful!"
- from our Guestbook
The Rayski House
211 Old Post Road, Grand Pré, NS
Wilhelmus and Paulien Peters
Wilhelmus and Paulien Peters were awarded the 2012 Joyce McCulloch Award in the residential built-heritage category for their complete restoration of a circa 1880 home of Second Empire style in Grand Pré. It was in parlous condition when the Peters purchased it and would have been considered a tear-down by many. Wilhelmus had fallen in love with the house years ago and, when it came on the market, he seized the opportunity to bring it back to its former glory. The two-storey shingled home has a symmetrical three-bay façade with central entrance, mansard roof with dormers and an open verandah. The first persons known to have lived in the house were two granddaughters of Nathanial Brown, a Massachussetts Loyalist who settled in Grand Pré. It is evident from the foundation that this is the second or possibly third house built on the site.
Doing much of the labour themselves, with all of the family contributing, it took the Peters over 2 years to complete the project. Much effort went into the preservation and restoration of original elements including the embossed hot water radiators, which were refurbished by a Montreal company. Replacement materials were carefully selected to match the form and material of the original. Hardwood floors were taken up, refinished and re-installed. Modern updates have been added without detracting from the heritage character. The home has been decorated in keeping with the period and furnished with antiques and is now available as a short to medium term rental. This beautifully restored elegant home lies within the boundaries of the newly designated UNESCO World Heritage Site of Grand Pré. The Rayski House is named in honour of the previous owner Krystyna Rayski-Kietlicz.
See this article in the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia website