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Rennie's Mill Road Historic District National Historic Site of Canada

21-79,12-54 Rennie's Mill Road, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1987/11/20

General view of Rennie's Mill Road Historic District showing the mixture of single and double houses and the predominance of wooden architecture, 2002.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, J.F. Bergeron, 2002.
General view
General view of Rennie's Mill Road National Historic Site of Canada, showing the continuity of the streetscape without any major gaps, 1993.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1993
General view
General view of Rennie's Mill Road Historic District showing the spacious and well-treed lots and the consistent scale of the buildings and lot sizes, 1994.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, J. Butterill, 1994.
General view

Other Name(s)

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

Construction Date(s)

1846/01/01 to 1920/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/12/15

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.

Heritage Value

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.

Character-Defining Elements

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.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date

1987/11/20

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1880/01/01 to 1905/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Community
Suburb

Architect / Designer

John Southcott

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

243

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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