Laurier House dates back to the late 1870s, built in the Second Empire style for an Ottawa jeweler, and was originally called Kininvie. It became home to Wilfred and Zoe Laurier some twenty years later as a new residence for the Liberal prime minister, and would remain their Ottawa quarters for the remainder of their lives. It was willed to William Lyon Mackenzie King, who'd been a young Liberal member of Parliament in Laurier's day, and would end up being our longest serving Prime Minister. King in turn willed it and his weekend retreat in the Gatineau Hills to the country. Today Laurier House is preserved and open for visits in season as a national historic site, with items of these three people to be found throughout the rooms. The public spaces take up much of the building, while private spaces, today used by Parks Canada staff, take up the bedrooms and working space that would have been used by household staff in the days of the Lauriers and King.
On the ground floor, this first room is called the Morning Room or Reception Room. Zoe Laurier used this room for receiving visitors. King used it as additional space for entertaining.
Across the hall is the dining room, used by both prime ministers to entertain visitors coming for dinner.
The third major room down here is the Drawing Room, used by the Lauriers and King for entertaining, and particularly home to a good deal of art, as well as portraits of visitors. Some of my readers might recognize the family in the third photo down.
The Lauriers and King can be found throughout the building in photographs and paintings. This is a formal portrait of King.
I like the style of the main staircase.
This portrait of Laurier is upstairs, on what is technically the first floor, which was used for private quarters for the families, guests, and household staff. The photo that follows shows differences in rooms between the Laurier and King years.