Monday, February 15, 2021 - 10:00 AM

172 Campbell Avenue

Porch 172 Campbell Avenue

Standing at the corner of Campbell Avenue and Ropewalk Lane and looking at the beautiful, blue home at 172 Campbell is like being transported back to St. John’s in the 1930s. At the time, the City was being to expand up and away from the downtown, and this property is one of the last remaining original dwellings making the march uptown.

Built in the Colonial Revival style, this striking two-storey features a square footprint with a hipped roof, a prominent front portico with pediment and columns, a porch which spans the entire front façade, symmetrical, single-hung windows, a centered front door with sidelights and transom and narrow clapboard. Typical of Colonial Revival, there is limited ornamentation, but the house does include small modillions beneath the eaves, stained-glass windows on the side porch, and some decorative woodwork on the corner boards and window trims. 

The original owner and builder, William Duff, ran a well-known commercial garage next to the property, which was then called Mundy Pond Road. Mr. Duff and family lived above the garage from 1932 to 1937 while he built their home during his free time. 

The Duff family included William, his wife Catherine Duff and their three children, William Jr., Mary Catherine, and Elizabeth. 

Elizabeth (Bettie) made significant impacts in the province and was a pioneer for the woman’s movement in Newfoundland and Labrador. Ms. Duff served a long career as a civil servant, starting as private secretary to Premier Joseph Smallwood. In 1977, she was appointed the Clerk of the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly, a position which she held until retiring in 1991. She was the first female Clerk of the House of Assembly and the first female clerk of any legislative body in Canada. Ms. Duff lived at 172 Campbell Avenue until her death in 2016 at age 90. 

The structure has been renovated over the years but remains generally unchanged. Recent upgrades to the windows and cladding replicate the original home, and all concrete and masonry were repaired using original moulds.

The City of St. John’s Heritage Designation was passed by Council on October 5, 2020.