Description of Historic Place
The large Gothic Revival style one-and-one-half storey building at 205 Church Street (on the northwest corner of Granville) has been a fixture since 1868, when David Rogers, who later chaired the first Town Council, had it built. It features bracketted eaves, bay windows, and a dominant balcony with gothic arch on the facade. Originally a single family dwelling, it is now an apartment building. The registration includes the building and its lot.
The impressive house at 205 Church Street has historical value as the home of former Summerside mayors David Rogers and Edward Manson. It is also significant as an example of the work of one of the town's earliest builders, Thomas Beattie who designed the house in the Gothic Revival style. The house is a survivor, one of those noteworthy structures which survived the northward advance of the Great Fire of 1906. Buildings immediately to the south of it were destroyed.
When the house was built in 1868, David Rogers was thirty-nine years old and was well established as a general merchant, having earlier been in business with James C. Pope. He was active politically and became the first Town Chairman when Summerside was incorporated in 1877, serving until 1879, and again in 1880-1882, and 1886. Mr. Rogers had a seat in the PEI House of Assembly from 1890 to 1893. He was forced to give up the house in March 1903 due to default on a mortgage taken out the previous year.
Thomas Beattie, one of the community's early contractors, built the residence. Like David Rogers, he had come to Summerside in the 1850s when it was known as Green's Shore. Mr. Beattie's work was praised in the local press when a description of the house was printed: "It is certainly a commodious and comfortable house - the material and workmanship are good, and is another proof of the mechanical skill of the architect."
Following the auction of the house, it was occupied by the successful bidder, Mrs. Ella Hacker, who had moved into Summerside from Wilmot following the death of her husband. It is quite probable that during her occupancy the front facade of the house was embellished with the balcony above the front door. In 1914, Mrs. Hacker sold the property and moved across the street to 71 Granville.
The new owner of the house was Edward Manson, a Summerside businessman who became vice-president of Rogers and Arnett Limited, a wholesale firm. He served ten years on the town council and was mayor from 1932-33. After his sudden death in 1937, his widow remained in the house until she decided to sell in 1946.
George Ambrose Coles, a retired farmer from Milton, was the next owner of the property. He and his wife lived in the house, taking in boarders, until 1956. After they moved out, the house was renovated into apartments under the supervision of their son, Laurie Coles. He was a civil engineer who in 1959 formed the consultant engineering and architectural business of Laurie A. Coles and Associates. He sold the property in 1987. It is still being used as an apartment house.
With its many historical associations, the building continues to contribute to the streetscape.
Source: City of Summerside, Heritage Property Profile
The heritage value of the building is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- the one-and-one-half storey massing and form with large steeply pitched roof gable roofs with asphalt shingles
- the brick chimney
- the steeply pitched twin dormer on the east elevation
- the original placement of windows on the east, south and west elevations
- the ground level bay windows that balance each other on east and west ends of the building
- the symmetrical placement of windows and central entryway on south elevations as well as symmetrical placement of windows on the second floor
- the elaborate entryway featuring Gothic arch, mouldings, dentilation and square pillars with ionic capitals on the second storey balcony
- the projecting centre gable with gothic arch, pilasters, and decorative bargeboard trim
- the decorative eave bracketting
- the continuing contribution of the house to the Church and Granville corner