It was a swinging hotspot in the 1920s and ’40s, and now Halifax regional council will decide if 10 Kirk Rd. in Halifax will become a heritage property.
The property called Finntigh Mara, which means “small house on the sea” in Gaelic, is tucked in behind Sir Sandford Fleming Park on the North West Arm.
The owners of the property, Marterra Inc., want the heritage designation on the 3.5 acre-lot because they’d like to build a housing project while leaving the “significant buildings and landscape features intact.”
They will be dividing it into 10 house lots and subdividing the main house on the property into two units.
The main house — an “exemplary example of arts and crafts spaces and detailing,” according to the staff report — was built in 1914 for Halifax eye surgeon R. Evatt Mathers.
Robert Finley grew up in that house and said a number of prominent visitors were entertained there.
“There was certainly a parade of archbishops, lieutenant governors, etc. My own namesake — Commodore ‘Robbie’ Robertson — was quite the Halifax hero for a while and was a constant visitor,” wrote Finley in an email.
Robertson was credited with preventing two possible Halifax explosions. In fact, he was visiting Finntigh Mara in July 1945 when he got a call about a munitions fire in Bedford. Robertson shepherded everyone into the swimming pool before he left “in case it blew up,” wrote Finley.
Council will vote on the heritage property distinction during a meeting tomorrow night.