153 Spring Street, Summerside, Prince Edward Island, C1N, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
This handsome home at the corner of Spring and Pleasant Streets in Summerside, PEI, was the community’s first Convent and Catholic school. The designation includes the building and its lot.
The heritage value of the former Parish School lies in its role as Summerside’s first convent and Catholic school, built to serve the rapidly-growing population of the harbourfront community of Summerside. Reverend James MacDonald and members of the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame, an order based in Montréal, founded the school in 1864. Although run by the nuns, the private school was open to Protestants and Catholics and to both girls and young boys, and contributed to the education of generations of Summerside residents. The building served the community until 1885, when it was replaced with a much larger edifice.
Further heritage value of the Parish School lies in its association with Hugh J. Massey, a prominent local citizen. Massey was the deputy law clerk for the Prince County Court House and served under W.H. Pope, its first judge and a Father of Confederation. Massey was also clerk for the Town of Summerside for over 30 years. He purchased half of the convent/parish school and moved it to its present location in 1895 to serve as his residence.
Heritage value also lies in the Parish School or Massey House as an example of Maritime Vernacular architecture, a regional building style that rose from immigrants incorporating other styles with those they were familiar with and adapting to local materials and conditions. The Parish School is a good example of a Maritime Vernacular house with Gothic Revival features.
Source: City of Summerside Heritage Property Profile
As an example of a Maritime Vernacular house with Gothic Revival features, the following elements are significant:
- Off-centre front Gothic gable with its paired Roman arch windows and decorative moulding
- Cross-gabled roof (the back gable was removed in the 1970’s when an addition was added)
- Unusual use of a variety of siding materials, including clapboard, shingles and fish scale shingles, to create visually appealing and complex façades
- Wooden cornices on the north and south gables that separate the second and third storeys
- Symmetrical placement of windows on front façade and second storey
- The size, shape and location of the original front windows
- Paired, matching chimneys
A later addition that has become a Character Defining Element in its own right is the Classically-inspired front porch with paired narrow Doric columns, sidelights and semi-circular fanlight that was added in the 1930’s.
Prince Edward Island
City of Summerside
Heritage Conservation Bylaw SS-20
Designated Heritage Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Religious Institutions
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
- Primary or Secondary School
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
MacNaught History Centre and Archives, Wyatt Heritage Properties, P.O. Box 1510, Summerside, PE C1N 4K4
Cross-Reference to Collection