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picCourtesy: Public Archives of Nova Scotia / Alan Hustak, Canada

Openly gay businessman George Wright was born in Dartmouth in the 1850s. As a young man, Wright embarked on a world cruise and while in Philadelphia in 1876, conceived the idea of publishing an international trade directory. Wright's travels in Asia, Europe, the Pacific and the USA provided much material for this endeavor. By the end of the 1890s, Wright had become a wealthy and prominent member of Halifax society.

The Marble Building and Wright Avenue are properties directly associated with Mr. Wright. The Marble Building, built in 1896, is a registered municipal heritage building, and his home on Young Ave has three levels of heritage designation.

In 1896, Wright commissioned architect James Dumaresq to design the Wright building on Barrington Street, near Saint Paul's Church. A year later, Wright engaged the same architects to design and build an even larger office building within the same block. Also in 1896, Dumaresq designed a series of six large houses in the south end of Halifax for Wright, which were then built as an investment. Wright's patronage continued in 1902, when Dumaresq's firm designed his own residence, this property, on Young Avenue, built by James Dumaresq in 1902-1903 at a cost in excess of $5,000. 1

Throughout his life, Wright maintained well defined views on immorality and intemperance, and often lectured on such topics while traveling. In 1912, Wright traveled to England, and booked return passage on the Titanic, drowning when the luxury liner went down on April 15, 1912. While in England, Wright had revised his will, leaving $226,000 to worthy causes and the two-and-a-half storey, Queen Anne Revival style house on Young Avenue to the Council of Women.

picHome : Young Ave and Inglis

See entries about him and his housing development entry in the Encyclopedia Titanica here and here.

This page is part of the HistoryProject.