57 Summer Street
J. Leroy Holman House
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
This grand two-storey hipped roof Colonial Revival style house was originally a single family dwelling, but now contains apartments. It features gable dormers and wide eaves with modillion brackets. The exterior is clad in wide white shingles. It is located immediately north of City Hall on the southeast corner of the Summer and Church intersection. A small lawn leads up to the original elegantly flowing front verandah staircase which is one of the more impressive in the City.
The imposing residence at 57 Summer Street has historical significance as the home of Mr. and Mrs. J. Leroy Holman. They inhabited the home from its construction in 1914 to their respective deaths in 1949 and 1964. Leroy Holman was part owner of the Summerside based mercantile company of R.T. Holman Limited and along with his brother Harry Holman, was one of the most influential men in the community.
The home was constructed on the location of an earlier building known as Willard Hall. It had been built sometime before 1878 by R.T. Holman as a warehouse for his expanding mercantile business. In 1898, the lower floor was fitted up as a meeting place for local women who had formed a branch of the Women's Christian Temperance Union. They named the building in honour of Frances Willard, the American prohibition activist who was its president from 1879-1898. The building burned down in the Great Fire of 1906.
The empty lot was purchased by J. Leroy Holman in August 1913. He and his brother Harry took over the family department store after their father's death in 1906. Harry built a large home for himself in 1910 and then another in 1912, both on Beaver Street in Summerside. Leroy, who had been living at 181 Fitzroy, moved into his grand new home in November 1914. It was referred to in a Charlottetown newspaper as "the latest type - one of the most magnificent structures in the town." Around 1920, some alterations were made to the house according to plans prepared by the Charlottetown architectural firm of Chappell and Hunter.
Mr. Holman was thirty-two years of age when he and his wife Ella moved in. Her parents John and Louisa McKay resided with the young couple until their deaths in 1920 and 1922 respectively. The Holmans' only son, Robert Tinson, named for his grandfather, became the manager of Holman's Charlottetown store. Their daughter, Helen, married Edward Crease of Halifax.
J. Leroy Holman held many important posts, including director of the Bank of Canada. After he died in 1947, his widow resided in the house until her death in 1964. She had taken an active interest in the affairs of the town and had served as a member of the Red Cross and the Ladies' Aid of the Prince County Hospital. The executors of her estate sold the property to MacArthur Properties Limited in April 1965. The house was divided into apartment units and remains an apartment building today.
Source: City of Summerside, Heritage Property Profiles
The heritage value of the house is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- the large two-storey massing
- the hipped roof with asphalt shingles
- the central gable dormers on the north, south and west elevations and an oriel window on north elevation
- the wide overhanging eaves with modillion decoration
- the brick chimneys
- the symmetrical arrangement of most elements, including window arrangement on the main entrance side, west elevation, facing Summer Street
- the unique classically styled verandah with a stairway ascending to the main entrance and
heavy field stone foundation and pillars of the same material supporting the well proportioned Doric columns of the verandah
Prince Edward Island
City of Summerside
Heritage Conservation Bylaw SS-20
Registered Historic Place (Summerside)
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Multiple Dwelling
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Summerside, Heritage Property Profiles
Cross-Reference to Collection