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Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
73, 75 and 77 Water Street is an 1893-1900 wooden, brick and stone warehouse/ commercial building that extends along east Water Street in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. The building occupies three civic addresses, is bound on one side by Gill’s Cove, on the rear by the St. John’s Harbour and wharf/ parking lot and on the front by Water Street. The designation is confined to the footprint of the entire structure.
73, 75 and 77 Water Street has been designated a Registered Heritage Structure for its aesthetic and historic values.
The aesthetic values can be seen in the design and materials used. Built following the Great Fire of 1892, this structure was erected in 1893 in what was considered non-flammable materials: brick and stone. The Great Fire consumed much of St. John’s’ wooden buildings, leaving devastation and ruin and new laws implemented rules of reconstruction with more durable materials. The structure located at 73, 75 and 77 Water Street was built within these guidelines, constructed almost exclusively of brick and stone. However, the interior beams reveal strong, thick timbers that support the heavy walls.
The design of the structure is unique to the area. Three separate civic addresses are encompassed within the building, and they can be clearly seen on the exterior finishes. A unique, curving, brick stringcourse runs the length of the building, while embossed brick dentils and an eaves band tops the main façade – each address has a different brick treatment. The buildings are further separated by pilasters that extend above the roof in a decorative peaked top. A sill moulding carries across the entire front façade, adding elegance to an otherwise industrial building. Each separate address has been parged and painted in traditional, historic colours, further distinguishing them from each other, and surrounding properties. The roof is flat and cannot be seen from the road. Due to its location on the harbour front, the property is one storey on the front, and two storeys at the rear, following the slope of the land. While modern elements have been introduced over time, such as the windows, the original arched window openings with wide sills and recessed storefront doorways have remained.
73, 75 and 77 Water Street is historically important for its age and location. Situated in the historically industrial area of Water Street east, this property resonates with the commercial atmosphere of harbour front businesses. It is located in close proximity to several historic buildings and sites, notably the War Memorial, King George V Building, the Crows Nest and the S.O. Steele Building. 73, 75 and 77 Water Street adds to the cultural landscape of the area by contributing to a cluster of historic buildings and sites. The 1893 building has been a part of the local viewscape for over one hundred years and is visible in very early images, particularly those associated with the War Memorial.
Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, Minutes #62
Those historic, industrial-style elements that characterize the building, including:
-construction in wood, stone and brick;
-exterior parging, painted;
-brick decorative details, including the curving stringcourse, dentils, sill moulding and pilasters;
-original window and door openings;
-existing original window sills;
-one-storey construction on the main façade; two-storey construction at the rear;
-all other remaining original architectural elements; and
-location in historic area of Water Street, backing on the St. John’s Harbour.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador
Historic Resources Act
Registered Heritage Structure
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, 1 Springdale Street, P.O. Box 5171, St. John's, NL,A1C 5V5
Cross-Reference to Collection