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Province House

165 Richmond Street, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2004/05/18

Showing neoclassical elements; Province of PEI
Back Elevation facing University Avenue
Coloured Postcard Image of Provincial Building on Queen's Square, Charlottetown, early 1900s; Unknown
Side Elevation
No Image

Other Name(s)

Prince Edward Island Legislative Building
Province House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1843/01/01 to 1847/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/10/01

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Province House, a National Historic Site, is a major heritage resource in Prince Edward Island. It is centrally located at the heart of Queen's Square at the foot of Great George Street in Charlottetown, the capital of PEI. The 3 storey building is constructed in the Neoclassical style. The designation includes the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

Province House stands as a monument to the ingenuity of local artisans in Prince Edward Island in the mid-19th Century. Constructed by Issac Smith, a local architect, this Neo-Classical gem was completed in 1847. It was a bicameral design, housing both the legislative assembly (elected) and the legislative council (appointed) on the second floor. The PEI Supreme Court was also housed in the building until 1872. As the political centre of the province, Province House has also been the focal point for numerous public events including royal visits and public demonstrations. The most famous event associated with the building is the meetings held in September 1864 of delegates from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Canadas to debate the efficacy of joining together in a new country. These meetings occurred in the Legislative Council chamber on the second floor. The building is currently restored to the era of the 1860s and is operated by Parks Canada. It continues to be the focal point of political life in the province and historically has served as the "cradle of Confederation" when the union of the British North American colonies was first debated there in 1864 - leading to the creation of the Dominion of Canada in 1867.

Source: PEI Heritage Advisory Committee Files

Character-Defining Elements

The Neo-Classical elements of Province House give character to the structure and should be preserved:

- Italian-renaissance motifs of its temple-like portico which visually organizes the facade into three equal portions

- 4 pedimented windows on the second floor

- corresponding regular windows on the third floor

- four doric columns which range from the second floor to the roof

- the wide oval doorway framed by two fluted columns on the ground floor

- the three over three windows on either side of the portico

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Prince Edward Island

Recognition Authority

Province of Prince Edward Island

Recognition Statute

Heritage Places Protection Act

Recognition Type

Designated Historic Place

Recognition Date

2004/05/18

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Politics and Political Processes

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Government
Legislative Building

Architect / Designer

Issac Smith

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Located in the Culture and Heritage Division, Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8 File #: 4320-20/P

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

4320-20/P1

Status

Published

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