Description of Historic Place
The property at 4 Ambrose Street is a wood framed one-and-one-half storey, Colonial Revival influenced house, located on a treed lot in a residential neighbourhood of Charlottetown. Some of its features include a clipped gable roofline, elaborate fanlight and decorative porch with columns and a broken pediment. The designation encompasses the building's exterior and parcel; it does not include the building's interior.
The heritage value of 4 Ambrose Street lies in its association with the Paoli and Reddin families, its role as an example of a well-preserved Colonial Revival house in Charlottetown and for its contribution to the Ambrose Street streetscape.
The house at 4 Ambrose Street was built in 1928 for Simon Paoli and his wife, Agnes Louisa Reddin. The Reddin family owned a number of businesses in the Charlottetown area including a dry goods business at 117 Queen Street. Simon Paoli, and his father Simon Paoli Sr., operated the lumber business, L.M. Poole and Company located on Paoli's Wharf at Water and Haviland Streets.
Shortly after the couple's wedding, the junior Simon Paoli purchased the lot from St. James Presbyterian Church for 750 dollars. McDougall and MacAulay, contractors and builders, were hired to construct the house, which has a number of elements typical of 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, 4 Ambrose Street's Colonial Revival influenced features include a symmetrical facade, the shed dormer, chimneys at the gable ends and a decorative centrally placed porch with columns, a broken pediment and an elaborate fanlight. A small flat roofed sun room on the south side of the home is topped by a railed deck. The home remains remarkably well preserved with most of its original elements retained both inside and out. It is believed that much of the millwork was fashioned by the Paoli business.
The Paoli Family would spend many happy years in the home that they called "Paoli's Nest". Louisa Reddin Paoli discusses them at length in her memoir, Life We've Been Long Together. In 1944, the couple sold the house to the manager of Canada Packers, Walter N. Wilson. Later the home would be sold to the MacKay family.
Located among a variety of heritage homes, 4 Ambrose Street contributes greatly to the 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 sandstone foundation
- the one-and-one-half storey massing of the building
- the clipped gable roof
- the pair of brick chimneys
- the size, shape and centre placement of the entrance with its decorative glazed porch featuring a broken pediment, an elaborate fanlight and decorative columns
- the style, size and symmetrical placement of the windows
- the large shed dormer of the front facade
- the sun room on the south elevation with second storey railed deck