Rennie's Mill Road Historic District
Rennie's Mill Road Historic District National Historic Site of Canada
Arrondissement historique de Rennie's Mill Road
Links and documents
1846/01/01 to 1920/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Rennie’s Mill Road Historic District National Historic Site of Canada is an upper middle-class residential suburb located just beyond the centre of St. John’s, Newfoundland. Comprised of a harmonious group of large, wooden houses from the late 19th to the early 20th centuries, whose owners were for the most part prominent Newfoundlanders, it includes fine examples of Second Empire and Queen Anne Revival-style domestic architecture, set on well-treed lots. The designation refers to the area defined by Rennie’s Mill Road from Military Road running north one block to its termination at Circular and includes all the properties on the road (buildings on the west side numbers 21 to 79 and on the east side numbers 12 to 54 and the open spaces around them), extending to their rear property lines.
Rennie’s Mill Road Historic District was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1987 because:
- it is a remarkably harmonious and homogeneous grouping of upper middle class residences dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries that are, for the most part, closely associated with individuals prominent in the political, financial and social life of Newfoundland in that period.
Built after the Great Fire of 1846, Rennie’s Mill Road Historic District was a safe and tranquil retreat from downtown St. John’s. The heritage value of the district resides in it association with prominent Newfoundlanders and in the physical illustration of a prosperous, stylish suburb of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, November 1987.
Key elements contributing to the heritage value of this site include:
- the continuity of the streetscape without any major gaps;
- the spacious and well-treed lots;
- the consistent scale of the buildings and lot sizes;
- the generally consistent set-back of houses from the street;
- the mixture of single and double houses;
- the predominance of wooden architecture;
- the presence along the front of many lots of low stone walls or wrought iron fences;
- the square massing, hipped roof, and classically-inspired design and detailing of the mid-19th century houses, including numbers 36 to 38, 63 and 69;
- the late 19th-century Second Empire-style houses, with their pavilion massing, steeply pitched mansard roofs, and classically-inspired detailing;
- the Second Empire houses designed by J.T. Southcott, with their bellcast mansard roofs, round-headed dormers, bay windows on the front facade, side entranceway, fine detailing and interior ground floor hallway running parallel to the main facade;
- Park Place, a quadruple residence with a double house flanked by single houses in the Southcott variant of Second Empire style;
- the Second-Empire-style residence at number 49 with its brick construction material, stone trim, and central entrance;
- the Queen Anne Revival-style houses with their rectangular massing enlivened by projecting bays, wings, and towers, high, varied roof lines, deep cornices, fine detailing, clapboard or shingle sheathing, porches, balconies and variety of window types;
- the heritage value of the Queen Anne Revival-style Winterholme National Historic Site of Canada.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
1880/01/01 to 1905/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection