Description of Historic Place
286 Grafton Street is a wood framed, Georgian influenced, former single family dwelling that has been converted to an apartment building. Now attached to a later building of a different style, it features a gable roof, eave returns and a bay window. The designation encompasses the building's exterior and parcel; it does not include the building's interior.
The heritage value of 286 Grafton Street lies in its association with shipwright, Clement White and its role in supporting the Grafton Street streetscape.
We know approximately when 286 Grafton Street was built because it was referred to as "Mr. White's new building" when Thomas Green was trying to sell the lot next door in 1859. Clement White was a shipbuilder whose shipyard was located east of Charlottetown on the Hillsborough River. A large number of White's ships were bound for the Newfoundland trade, however, some were destined to remain in Prince Edward Island. One of these was the SS Ora, which was used as a ferry between Southport and Charlottetown.
His father, William White, had come to PEI in 1803 from Cornwall, England, and established a farm at York Point, Lot 32.
In 1871, John Robins purchased 286 Grafton Street and although he owned a number of properties throughout the city, he made it his home. Robins was the Manager of the Dominion Savings Bank that, oddly enough, had offices in Province House, the Island's legislature and the birthplace of Canadian Confederation. Robins later moved to Ottawa to work as Dominion auditor until his death in 1885.
286 Grafton Street was originally Georgian inspired, but it has been altered throughout its history. The Georgian style emerged from 18th Century Britain and was intent on expressing confidence, order, and balance. Some features of the style include a gable roof, symmetrical facade, rectangular shape and bays of seven, five or three.
Located among a number of homes built in the 19th century, 286 Grafton Street plays a significant role in supporting the streetscape.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The heritage value of the building is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- the two-and-one-half storey wood frame construction
- the gable roof with eave returns
- the pair of separated brick chimneys
- the central location of the main entrance
- the style, size, and rectangular shape of the rectangular windows
- the bay window
- the verandah over the entrance and bay window
- the location of the building on Grafton Street and its physical and visual relationship to the streetscape.