, , , , , ,

Sonneck House

Sonneck House

Located at 108 Queen Street in the Civic Centre neighbourhood of downtown Kitchener is the Sonneck House, an intricate part of Kitchener’s history. Sonneck is a German name meaning “sunny corner”.

The house was named by Louis Jacob Breithaupt and is thought to have been designed by David Gingerich, the architect of Castle Kilbride in Baden.

Construction of this stately home designed in the Italianate style, began in 1874 and was completed in 1877 for Judge Anthony Lacourse.

The original 1874 street-facing facades include a low pitched roof, detailed woodwork on projecting bay windows, decorative brackets beneath the eaves and multi-paned double hung windows. The exterior of the house was originally red-brick with buff brick window heads and corner quoins.

Louis Jacob Breithaupt purchased the house in 1883 and lived there until 1939. Louis Jacob Breithaupt followed his father’s footsteps by becoming mayor of Berlin (present-day Kitchener) in 1881 and subsequently MPP of Waterloo North.
After his passing, ownership of the home went to his son Louis Orville Breithaupt. It was at this time that the house was turned into an apartment house.

The Smith family gained ownership of the home in 1964 and shared it with another family as well as opening an art gallery in the front portion of the home. The gallery closed and the house fell into disrepair. Demolition and new development have constantly threatened Sonneck house but the urgency was heightened when a demolition permit was presented to Heritage Kitchener for consideration. The committee refused to approve the permit and urgently began to solicit alternatives that would save the home and ultimately a significant portion of Kitchener’s history.