75-77 Dorchester Street
75-77 Dorchester Street, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, C1A, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
75-77 Dorchester Street is a large three and a half storey, brick building constructed in 1864 by entrepreneur, Owen Connolly (1820-1887) as a combined residence and commercial building. The size of the building meant that it could serve a great number of purposes, which it has throughout its history. Some of its uses include a bank, a boarding house and a warehouse for the Prince Edward Island Liquor Commission. The designation encompasses the building’s exterior and parcel; it does not include the building’s interior.
75-77 Dorchester Street’s heritage value lies in its association with local entrepreneur, Owen Connolly and its importance to the streetscape.
Owen Connolly was one of the most successful entrepreneurs of the late 1800s. His varied business interests left him a very wealthy man. He was born in Ireland in 1820 but eventually immigrated to Prince Edward Island as a labourer. He soon grew to be one of the most successful entrepreneurs of the latter half of the 19th century.
Connolly had 75-77 Dorchester Street constructed in 1864. It would be used for his residence, a store, and because Connolly was the local representative of the Merchants Bank of Halifax, a bank. He would later move to the area known the Esplanade.
After Connolly moved, the home was converted to a boarding house that was run by Bridget Coady. In the early twentieth century, the building may have been used as a hospital for soldiers returning from World War I, as it was reported at the time that one of Connolly’s buildings was being used for that purpose.
The Liquor Commission used 75-77 Dorchester Street to store and bottle liquor in the 1920’s, however, Irene Rogers, in her book "Charlottetown: The Life In Its Buildings", suggests that during the later prohibition years, the building may have had less legal uses. During a renovation in 1973, a secret room was discovered that was only available by hatchway. The room, at one time, may have been used to store illegal liquor.
The huge building, which has had many historical associations and uses, currently serves as an apartment building. A unique building, 75-77 Dorchester Street is vital to the Dorchester Street streetscape.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The following character-defining elements illustrate the heritage value of 75-77 Dorchester Street:
- The overall massing of the building
- The size and shape of the building’s brick exterior with its stone lintels and sills
- The style and placement of the windows, including the large nine paned window of the ground floor, the tall windows of the first and second floor, and the smaller windows of the third floor
- The style and placement of the doors, including the large paneled doors of the first floor with their transom and sidelights
- The steep pitch of the gabled roof with its raised parapet gable ends and paired gabled dormers
- The placement and style of the chimneys
- The large carved stone sign with the original owner’s name, Owen Connolly, and the date the building was constructed on the first floor of the façade
- The location of the building on Dorchester Street
Prince Edward Island
City of Charlottetown
City of Charlottetown Zoning and Development Bylaw
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
Function - Category and Type
- Multiple Dwelling
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Bank or Stock Exchange
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
Cross-Reference to Collection