Prince George Hotel
Herchmer Macpherson building
Links and documents
1817/01/01 to 1820/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
This is a composition of pre-1850 limestone, commercial buildings integrated into a Second Empire, mansard-roofed style hotel. Situated within Kingston's historic Market Square, the property is recognized for its architectural and historic heritage value by an Ontario Heritage Foundation heritage conservation easement. The property is also governed by City of Kingston Market Square Heritage Conservation District bylaw 84-172.
The heritage value of the Prince George Hotel lies in being a composition of pre-1850 limestone buildings integrated into a unified facade in 1892. The oldest structure, originally a house, was built between 1817 and 1820. One of the buildings is a good example of the work of Kingston architect William Coverdale. The rear part of the building is a fine example of a terraced commercial row. The lower two storeys are typical of traditional Kingston commercial masonry construction of the mid-nineteenth century. The upper portions of the main facade are a good example of late nineteenth century Second Empire Style architecture. The building is an important landmark in Kingston's historic Market Square. Lawrence Herchmer patented Lot J at the corner of Ontario and Clarence streets in 1817. The property with a house was left to Herchmer's widow, Elizabeth, in 1820. By 1840, Charles Herchmer was the owner and son-in-law John Macpherson was the tenant. It was leased in 1846 to merchant Isaac Simpson who sold the lease the following year to merchant William Henry Alexander. The site was converted into shops, warehouses, and business places subleased to tenants. At the corner of Clarence Street was Jackson's Auction Warehouse; next, James Elder's Oregon Saloon; and at the corner of the Market Square, William Simpson's shop and warehouse. In the rear of Simpson's shop, facing the market, was William Alexander's new saloon. In January 1848, fire destroyed the Jackson and Elder businesses, and partially damaged Simpson's shop. In the spring of 1848, Alexander began construction on the Herchmer site of a stone building designed by Kingston architect William Coverdale. That fall, his lease was taken over John and William Bredon. The building was completed by 1849. In 1892, the front elevations of the separate buildings were unified by the addition of a full width, one storey verandah with balcony, and a Second Empire style mansard roof. These alterations were designed by William Newlands. Source: Ontario Heritage Foundation heritage conservation easement.
The heritage value associated with the mid-nineteenth century commercial architecture of the Prince George Hotel is embodied in key character defining elements such as: - the symmetrical main elevation; - a slightly raised first floor; - ashlar limestone exterior walls including quoins; - tall proportioned wood framed windows on the second storey (double hung with transom);
- large, tall opening for the windows and double doors on the ground floor; - flat stones arches and simple stone sills on the windows. The heritage value associated with the Second Empire style is embodied in key character defining elements such as: - the mansard tower with decorative ironwork, bracketed eaves, bull's-eye dormers, and pressed metal roof shingles; - the mansard roof with pedimented gable dormers, bracketed eaves and pressed metal roof shingles; - the full width, one storey verandah with balcony with decorative wood columns, fretwork, banisters and rails. Its position within Kingston's historic Market Square is also a key element.
Ontario Heritage Trust
Ontario Heritage Act
Ontario Heritage Foundation Easement
1892/01/01 to 1892/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Office or Office Building
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Prince George Hotel easement file, Ontario Heritage Foundation, 10 Adelaide St E, Toronto, ON
Cross-Reference to Collection