94 Central Street
Percy Tanton House
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
This stately structure on the west side of busy Central Street was one of the many residences built on the sites of early Summerside homes lost in the Great Fire of 1906. Mr. Percy Tanton, a prominent contractor who operated a lumberyard, designed and constructed this Colonial Revival two-storey house for his own family. It features stacked bay and palladian windows, wide eaves, and triangular pediments. The registration includes the building and its lot.
The house at 94 Central is historically significant because it was built as a consequence of the Great Fire of 1906 that left many people homeless. The stately structure also has value as the residence of two generations of the prominent Tanton family.
According to the press of the time, its builder and owner, Percy Tanton, set about to construct a residence "superior in style and architecture" to his first house. He filled in the original cellar that had been closer to the street and moved back and centred the new foundation on the lot. In the summer of 1907, he moved into the house and proceeded to finish it. At the same time, Tanton was taking on contracts for others who needed to rebuild after the devastating fire.
In 1911, Mr. Tanton decided to rent his residence while he took his family out to Vancouver. He lived there until 1913 when he returned to Summerside and moved back into the house where he continued to live until his death in 1937. His son, Ray Tanton, who was also in the lumber business, resided there until he died in 1959. Ray's widow, Marjorie Hunter, daughter of the late James Hunter who had lived next door, sold the house in 1961.
The new owners lived in the residence until 1965 when they sold it to Gerald and Mary Rooney of Alberton who converted it into the Rooney Funeral Home, which later operated as the Grant and Rooney Funeral Home. It was sold in 1981 to the Summerside Funeral Home owned by Robert and Ronald Dawson. After 1984, the house became a commercial building with office space for rent.
The house has a similar look to other houses built by Mr. Tanton. The Colonial Revival design has stacked bay windows to the right side of the centred front entrance, as opposed to the plain windows on the left side of the doorway. This lack of symmetry is counterbalanced by the contrasting rooflines of hip and gable. The small balcony over the front vestibule is fronted by Doric pillars and topped by a pediment dormer, which features a Palladian window. The clapboard found on the ground level is separated from the shingles of the second level by a beltcourse, giving an overall harmonious effect.
Source: City of Summerside, Heritage Property Profiles
The following Colonial Revival influenced character-defining elements illustrate the heritage value of the house:
- the asymmetrical massing of the east façade
- the stacked bay windows on the east elevation
- the corner dormer and the stacked bay on the north elevation
- the central vestibule of the facade with a railed balcony overhead with a pediment dormer featuring a Palladian window
- the irregular roofline
- the decorative bargeboard trim
- the brick chimney
- the beltcourse dividing the two storeys
- the pedimented gables
- the roof dormer of the west elevation
- the modillions or decorative flat brackets under the wide eaves
- the continuing contribution of the house to the post Great Fire of 1906 streetscape of Central Street
Prince Edward Island
City of Summerside
Heritage Conservation Bylaw SS-20
Registered Historic Place (Summerside)
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Office or Office Building
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Summerside, Heritage Property Profiles
Cross-Reference to Collection