Description of Historic Place
The Queen Anne influenced house at 66 Spring Street is a structure with interesting features such as a large verandah and a conical roofed tower which gives it a showcase presence on this lot. It is on the northwest corner of the Spring and Church Street intersection. It was constructed in 1908 by D.R. Morrison for use as his principal residence. The registration includes the building and its lot.
The large dwelling at 66 Spring Street is historically significant because of its original owner/builder, D.R. Morrison, who was a prolific builder and contractor of railroads, public utilities and buildings across PEI and the Maritimes. It also draws heritage value from its longstanding contribution to the historical streetscape that is the area leveled and re-built so magnificently after the Great Fire of 1906. Its Queen Anne architectural influences add to its heritage value. The building also has historical significance as the earliest apartment building in Summerside.
Daniel R. Morrison, or "D.R." as he was commonly known, purchased the lot in June 1907. It was one of many left vacant after the Great Fire of 1906. In the summer of 1907, he built a large barn on the lot and it is assumed he constructed the house soon after. Mr. Morrison, a native of Granville, PEI, was a talented contractor. He spent his early career building pulp and paper mills in Maine and New Hampshire. He settled in Summerside in 1904 and over the next twenty-five years excelled in his profession. Many railroads, utilities, and public buildings in the Maritimes are to his credit. In Summerside, two of his major contracts were the Prince County Courthouse and the 1914 Town Hall.
When D.R. Morrison and his family moved into their new home, he was about forty-five years old. After his death in 1930, Mr. Morrison's son, Theron, also a contractor, renovated it into four apartments and lived in one himself. By the time the roof was lifted to allow for two apartments on the third level, the house was well established as the Morrison Apartments.
Theron (T.D.) Morrison constructed a new residence for his family just north of the house in 1939. He had a successful career, having formed a partnership in 1937 with Fred MacRae to create the firm of Morrison and MacRae Limited, which was responsible for the construction of many Island highways.
Mr. Morrison's widow owned the Morrison Apartment House until 1973. Since that time, two subsequent owners have rented out the units, which have provided dwellings for many Summerside residents over the years.
The integrity of the original house has been altered somewhat with the addition of vinyl siding, but the large property remains an asset to its streetscape.
Source: City of Summerside, Heritage Property Profile
The property's Queen Anne influenced heritage value is exhibited by the following character-defining elements:
- the two-and-one-half storey house that has a complex roof that combines a steeply pitched gable roof and a small hipped roof section and a tower with conical roof
- the brick chimney
- the cantilevered and pedimented gable on the south elevation with modillion brackets
- the arrangement of the asymmetrical features such as bays and doors and wrap around verandah
- the Queen Anne style unique features such as the predominant corner tower with conical roof
- the windows which appear to be in their original locations
- the front entry via the verandah and porch on the south elevation
- the verandah featuring doric columns and balusters
- the positive contributing factor of the building to the historical Spring and Church Street streetscapes, maintaining the character of this residential area