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Cable Staff House #1

Heart's Content, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1995/06/30

Exterior photo, front facade and side, Cable Staff House #1, Heart's Content, November 2004.; Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, Dale Jarvis, 2004
Cable Staff House #1, Heart's Content.
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1882/01/01 to 1888/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/02/02

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Cable Staff House #1 was built by the Anglo-American Cable Company in 1882 to accommodate employees of the cable station. The Cable Staff House #1 is a two storey house with a mansard roof built in the Second Empire Style. This designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Cable Staff House #1 is designated as a Registered Heritage Structure due to its architectural, historical, cultural, and environmental values.

The Cable Staff House #1 in Heart’s Content is architecturally valuable as an excellent example of one half of a two-storey wooden and brick duplex built in the Second Empire style, along with Cable Staff House #2. While the overall style is Second Empire, there are a number of modified style elements that contribute to the architectural value of the structure. For instance, the windows are not consistent; there are a number of different types. Some are typical 2/2 single-hung windows, while others are multi-paned windows with only one pane that opens. The window trim on the front façade is also unusual as it is a flat hood but also has elements of an entablature. Finally, the dormer shape is a variation on the typical semicircular dormer of a Second Empire style building, employing a semi-circular design with a keystone element at the top. All of these elements are indicative of a sense of creativity on the part of the architect.

The Cable Staff House #1 is also architecturally important for its association with well-known architect J.T. Southcott. Southcott is most well-known in Newfoundland for introducing the Second Empire style of architecture which is often locally referred to as the Southcott style. Southcott had already designed a number of houses for the cable company when he was commissioned to design this house in 1879.

The Cable Staff House #1 is one of the largest and most elaborate buildings in Heart’s Content, it stands in stark contrast to the typical fishermen’s houses throughout the community. This grand building stands as a physical testament to the affluence of the Cable Company during this period.

Historically, the Cable Staff House #1 is valuable for its association with the Anglo-American Cable Company. The Cable Company, formerly the New York, Newfoundland, London Company was granted a 50 year monopoly on telecommunications in Newfoundland by the government in 1854. The first cable was landed in Heart’s Content in 1866 and immediately revolutionized communication. In 1888, the company saw the need to build accommodations for the staff of the Cable Station. The Cable Staff House #1 was built to serve the need for accommodations for staff members.

The Cable Staff House #1 is culturally valuable because it represents a period of early technological advancements in telecommunications. Beyond its technological contributions, the Anglo-American Cable Company played a significant social and economic role in the community of Heart’s Content.

The Cable Staff House #1 is a landmark in the community of Heart’s Content. Built on the highest hill its location is a testament to the influence of the Cable Company in Heart’s Content.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, unnumbered property designation file, Heart's Content - Cable Staff House #1

Character-Defining Elements

All those elements that are representative of the Second Empire style as interpreted by J.T. Southcott, including:
-mansard roof, eaves brackets, dormer windows;
-window style and placement;
-dormer style; and,
-window trim.

All those features that speak to the building's environmental and landmark value, including:
-location in the community of Heart’s Content; and,
-its locations as one half of a duplex.



Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Authority

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Statute

Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Registered Heritage Structure

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Communications and Transportation

Function - Category and Type



Group Residence

Architect / Designer

J.T. Southcott



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, 1 Springdale Street, St. John's, NL, A1C 5V5

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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