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O'Reilly House Registered Heritage Structure

Placentia, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1999/04/24

Exterior view of front facade of O'Reilly House, 48 Orcan Drive, Placentia.; Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, 2005
O'Reilly House, 048 Orcan Drive, Placentia
View of front facade, O'Reilly House, during renovations, post 1999.; HFNL/ 2006
O'Reilly House, Placentia
View of main entrance showing decorative shelf, brackets and detailed moulding, O'Reilly House, Placentia.; HFNL/ 2006
Front door, O'Reilly House

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/02/02

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The O’Reilly House is a two storey, wooden, Victorian bracketed house located at 48 Orcan Drive in Placentia. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The O’Reilly House was designated a Registered Heritage Structure because it has aesthetic and historic values.

The O’Reilly House has aesthetic value because it is a good example of a Victorian merchant house constructed in the Bracketed style. The house has many decorative details that make it stand out as the upper class residence of Placentia magistrates. Features such as the large, double bay windows, dentil mouldings, eaves brackets, stained glass windows and the entablature above the front door attest to the significance of the resident magistrate. Very fine, handcrafted details such as the mouldings and staircase may be seen inside the house. The O’Reilly House received the Southcott Award in 1989 in recognition of the preservation of the house.

The O’Reilly House has historic value because it was occupied by Placentia magistrates from 1902 to the death of retired Magistrate William Linegar in the 1970s. Built by original owner William O’Reilly he was given the post of magistrate in 1897 and held it until 1923. It was Magistrate O’Reilly who oversaw the construction of the present courthouse in Placentia. The O’Reilly House was the center of many formal government, religious and royal events as the magistrate was expected to entertain and host important visitors. Noteworthy magistrates to have lived in the house were Michael Sinnott (1871-1965) and William Linegar. Magistrate Sinnott was a Placentia man, a president of the Star of the Sea Association, and a founding member of the Ancient Capital Historical Society formed in 1937. Magistrate Linegar acted for the Commission Government of Newfoundland and retired in 1972.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, file M-037-005, Placentia - O'Reilly House

Character-Defining Elements

All those elements that define the building's Victorian Bracketed design including:
-double bay windows with pediment;
-stained glass windows;
-narrow wooden clapboard;
-dentil mouldings;
-eaves brackets;
-original interior features;
-orientation, location and dimensions; and,
-general massing of structure.



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

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type




Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, 1 Springdale Street, St. John's

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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