40 Albert Street
The Bell-Carlton House, located at 40 Albert Street, is situated on the east side of the street between Martin Avenue and Gordon Street. This two-storey limestone building is reminiscent of the Greek Revival style and was designed and constructed by Matthew Bell circa 1872. The property was designated by the City of Guelph for its historic and architectural value under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 1979-10058).
The Bell-Carlton House is significant for its association with Matthew Bell, an accomplished local stone carver and masonry contractor from Newcastle, England. Bell built this house for his family, in circa 1872, although there is a possibility that the frame and central section are of an earlier date. 40 Albert Street is one of a series of notable stone houses Bell constructed, in this area of Guelph, which illustrate his fine sculptural decoration. Bell is responsible for the construction and ornamentation of nearby 49 Albert Street, 96-98 Water Street, and 22-26 Oxford Street. 40 Albert Street, however, was the last stone home Bell would build in the neighbourhood.
The Bell-Carlton House is an example of fine craftsmanship and exquisite detail, as is illustrated in the distinguished scale and proportions of the building. The structure's façade has been enriched with fine sculptural details in stone, including the window lintels, the ornate framing of the central doorway, and the three carved stone heads. Great care has been taken in repairing the masonry and in restoring the original architectural fabric of both the interior and exterior of the Bell-Carlton House. The house received the 1977 Award of Merit from the Guelph Arts Council for the quality of the restoration work which was undertaken.
Sources: City of Guelph By-law (1979)-10058; Draft Statements for Discussion, Guelph LACAC, Dec. 13, 1978.