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Devon Row Municipal Heritage Building

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, A1C, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1989/07/21

View looking south, main facade of Devon Row, St. John's, NL. Photo taken 2005.; HFNL 2005
Devon Row, St. John's, NL.
View looking west, up Devon Row, St. John's, NL.  Photo taken October 26, 2007.; Deborah O'Rielly/ HFNL 2007
Devon Row, St. John's
Detailed view of the bonnetted dormers located on the quadreplex, Devon Row, St. John's.  Note the original elaborate scrollwork.; Deborah O'Rielly/ HFNL 2007
Detail of dormer windows

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1880/01/01 to 1889/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/11/25

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Devon Row is a late 19th-century, brick row house built in the Second Empire style. Located at 1-4 Devon Row (Duckworth Street) St. John's Newfoundland and Labrador, it consists of four, four-storey residential units. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

Devon Row has been designated a Municipal Heritage Structure for its aesthetic and historical values.

Devon Row is aesthetically valuable because it is an excellent example of a pre-1892 Second Empire brick row house. This building was one of several built by the firm J and J.T. Southcott, purveyors of the Second Empire design in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Southcotts were so commonly associated with this style of architecture that it is known locally as the Southcott Style. Devon Row consists of the concave curved mansard roof, bonnetted dormer windows and two-storey bow windows, three of the main features of the Southcott Style.

Devon Row is historically valuable because of its associations with Anna Mary Mitchell and Rev. Moses Harvey (1820-1901). Ms. Mitchell, suffragist, lived at 1 Devon Row. A meeting at her residence after World War I inspired a group of women to agitate for voting rights in municipal elections and sparked the Votes for Women campaign. In 1921, St. John's City Council enfranchised all female property holders and in 1925 allowed all women over 25 to vote.

In 1892 the Rev. Moses Harvey, Newfoundland historian and resident of Devon Row, helped to save the buildings from the Great Fire. The row houses were in the direct path of this devastating conflagration that burned for a day and a night, and consumed a huge portion of the capital city. Rev. Harvey witnessed the initial stages of the fire and Devon Row was saved almost miraculously by placing blankets at the gable of the westernmost house and keeping them wet. Rev. Harvey compiled a detailed account of the event, giving historians a very personal and heart wrenching version of the disaster.

Source: City of St. John's Council Meeting held 1989/07/21

Character-Defining Elements

All those elements of the building's Second Empire design including:
-concave curved Mansard roof with bonnetted dormer windows and two storey bow windows;
-shape, size and decoration of red brick;
-shape, size and placement of windows;
-original entrance in front facade, wooden door with rectangular windows, and decorative gable hoods;
- slate shingles on concave curved mansard roof;
- four pot chimneys;
- brackets and decorative features found on eaves and bow windows; and,
- ground floor French doors and iron balconies.



Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Authority

City of St. John's

Recognition Statute

City of St. John's Development Regulations

Recognition Type

City of St. John's Heritage Building

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type



Multiple Dwelling

Architect / Designer

James Southcott


J and J.T. Southcott

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of St. John's Archives, Railway Coastal Museum, 3rd Floor, 495 Water Street, P.O. Box 908, St. John's, NL, A1C 5M2

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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