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The House

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, A1C, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2001/09/15

Exterior view of front facade, 021 Rennies Mill Road, St. John's, NL. Taken summer 2004.; HFNL 2005.
The House, 021 Rennies Mill Road, St. John's, NL
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1890/01/01 to 1907/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/03/15

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The House is a two-and-a-half storey Queen Anne style structure with an attached garage, located at 021 Rennie’s Mill Road, St. John’s. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The House has been designated a registered heritage structure because of its architectural, historical and environmental values.

Architecturally, The House, at 021 Rennies Mill Road, is significant because of the architect associated with it, William F. Butler. Butler, one of the most prestigious architects in the region, was responsible for building some of the most impressive structures in pre-confederation Newfoundland including Bartra and Winterholme. The House, which is a Queen Anne style structure, is a fine example of the work undertaken by Butler after the Great Fire of 1892. Typical characteristic of the Queen Anne style utilized by Butler on many of his buildings are featured on this house including the pedimented portico, leaded-glass windows, and dominating double bays. As do many of Butler’s buildings, The House speaks of the extravagance of its original owners through its ornate exterior detailing and intricate interior wood detailing. Other notable details of this house that add to its overall appeal are its textured finishes, symmetrical façade, iron porch fencing, and bold moulded trim. As well, the attached car garage is one of the first of its kind in the city, which also speaks to the wealth of the original owners.

Historically, The House is significant because of the prominent businessman associated with it. Originally this house was built for James Ryan, a Bonavista merchant and politician. Ryan was one of the few outport merchants of that able to build a home in St. John’s while still maintaining his successful business in the outport. James Ryan and Company was one of the largest fishery supply and import-export firms in Newfoundland and Ryan himself was well regarded throughout the region for his generous offerings to the church and communities most needy.

Environmentally, The House is valuable because of it location. Situated on the corner of Monkstown Road and Rennie’s Mill Road, this extravagant house dominates the streetscape, an important marker of the beginning of the Rennie’s Mill Historic District.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador unnumbered property designation file, 1 Springdale Street, St. John's, NL, A1C 5V5

Character-Defining Elements

All those original features which are reflective of William F. Butler's representation of Queen Anne style, including:
-multiple pediments;
-varying exterior wall textures;
-an imposing pedimented porch;
-narrow wooden clapboard;
-wooden shingles;
-original window and door openings;
-original doors;
-double bays;
-original leaded-glass transom above main entranceway;
-all other original leaded-glass windows;
-iron fencing around porch;
-all decorative exterior features including mouldings and trim; and
-overall dimensions and location of structure.

All interior features of the house reflective of its age, style and usage.



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

William F. Butler



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

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

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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