Description of Historic Place
124 Water Street is a two-storey brick and sandstone Colonial Revival home with a hipped roof located near the Charlottetown waterfront in an area where the railway once dominated the landscape. Its features include large bay windows, a denticulated cornice, grouped columns and decorative pediments over the entrances to the verandah. The designation encompasses the building's exterior and parcel; it does not include the building's interior.
The heritage value of 124 Water Street lies in its role as a fine example of a Colonial Revival style Edwardian home; its association with the Grant and Hogan families; and its role in supporting the Water Street streetscape.
Richard Grant had 124 Water Street built in 1902. Well-known contractor, Charles McGregor was hired to build the impressive home. Grant was a wagon and carriage dealer who operated his business from Lower Queen Street. With the advent of the automobile, Grant would follow the trend toward motorized vehicles and act as a dealer for McKay Motor Cars. The McKay brothers, Jack and Dan, began their car company in Kentville, Nova Scotia, in 1908. Production of their first automobiles began in 1910 from components bought in the United States and bodies constructed in their own plant. They only produced about 200 cars before the company went bankrupt before the Great War in 1914 due to a lack of operating capital.
Grant's wife, Clara Hogan was the daughter of prominent builder, M.P. Hogan. Relatives of the Grant family believe that the house was a wedding present for the couple. It has been suggested that the home was built with the intention that it be sold for a handsome price due to speculation that a new railway station would be built nearby. This was completed in 1907. Grant may have had visions of selling the home to a senior railway manager.
In the 1970s, the house was owned by Atlantic Shippers Incorporated who, by 1976, was investigating the possibility of changing the use of the building from residential to commercial. It was unclear whether this aim was accomplished, but the home is currently residential.
124 Water Street was constructed in the Colonial Revival style. The style came to Prince Edward Island because of the Island's familial and economic connections with New England, where it emerged in the 1880s. Based on North American models it was an effort to simplify and adapt the forms of earlier architectural styles to contemporary needs. Popular in Charlottetown from approximately 1890 until 1940, 124 Water Street's Colonial Revival influenced features include the large bay windows, the denticulated cornice, the verandah with grouped columns supporting pedimented gable roofs.
Located in a historic part of Charlottetown, among a number of heritage buildings and former industrial structures, 124 Water Street contributes to its streetscape.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The heritage value of the house is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- the two-storey massing of the building
- the brick and gray sandstone exterior
- the woodwork, particularly the cornices accented with dentil details, and the verandah with pediments over the entrances, decorative balustrade and grouped columns
- the hipped roofline with large centre hipped roof dormer
- the style, size and shape of the windows, particularly the stacked bay windows
- the style, location and shape of the chimneys