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Wellington House, Inns on Great George

68 Great George Street, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, C1A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1979/10/26

Showing north west elevation; City of Charlottetown, Natalie Munn, 2005
Wellington House, Inns on Great George
Showng south west elevation; City of Charlottetown, Natalie Munn, 2005
Wellington House, Inns on Great George
No Image

Other Name(s)

Wellington House, Inns on Great George
68 Great George Street

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1811/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/06/06

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The large, wood framed, Georgian influenced inn is located on the corner of historic Great George Street and Sydney Street. Formerly the Wellington Hotel and a variety store, Wellington House is part of the group of historic inns called the Inns on Great George. The designation encompasses the building’s exterior and parcel; it does not include the building’s interior.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of Wellington House lies in its age, its Georgian influenced architecture, its various historical associations throughout the years, and its importance to the streetscape.

The Georgian style was popular since its inception in 18th Century Britain and was used variously in public buildings and private homes. Intended to be functional and impress by its massing and sense of permanence, the style had common traits often including: rigid symmetry, geometrical proportions, hipped roofs, and sash windows. In this well preserved example, the Wellington Hotel provides a subdued expression of the style.

John Howell built the Wellington Hotel, after the former owner of the property lost a partly built building that was located on the property in a storm in 1811. The Wellington Hotel soon became the focal point of the social life of Charlottetown in the early to mid-nineteenth century. Politicians from the colonial parliament met there to drink rum, gin and brandy punch late into the night, and hence the hotel’s nickname became Howell’s Parliament.

The hotel was the site of many important events that took place in Charlottetown. In 1824, the hotel played host to an event held when Lieutenant Governor Ready arrived on the Island. Crowds were entertained by a bagpiper, band, salutes from cannons - even performing Arabian horses! The Wellington was the site where prominent societies were formed, including the Saint Andrew’s Society, The Benevolent Irish Society and the Agricultural Society. The hotel was also used for a citizens meeting in 1819, where residents argued for a badly needed “respectable school”. The meeting was likely instrumental in the opening of the National School in 1820.

The Wellington Hotel was used as a variety store for much of the twentieth century. A newspaper advertisement from 1918 spoke of the new soda fountain, which had recently been installed in the building which was referred to as the News and Variety Store. The store also sold magazines, newspapers, chocolates, stationary and cigarettes.

The building was renovated in the last ten years and true to its early heritage, currently serves as an inn called Wellington House. As part of a group of historic inns that line Great George Street, Wellington House is a vital part of the Great George and Sydney Street streetscapes.

Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
#1494

Character-Defining Elements

The heritage value of Wellington House lies in the following Georgian inspired character-defining elements:
- The overall massing of the building
- The symmetrical façade
- The placement and style of the two over two windows
- The style and placement of the panel door in the centre of the building with its transom light
- Although a new addition, the doorstep, with its simple railing, adds to the overall look of the building.
- The simple, contrasting trim running throughout the exterior of the building
- The hipped roof with its dormer on the north side

Other character-defining elements of Wellington House include:
- Its location on the corner of Great George Street and Sydney Street

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Prince Edward Island

Recognition Authority

City of Charlottetown

Recognition Statute

City of Charlottetown Zoning and Development Bylaw

Recognition Type

Heritage Resource

Recognition Date

1979/10/26

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Building Social and Community Life
Community Organizations
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Learning and the Arts
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Commerce / Commercial Services
Hotel, Motel or Inn

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2 #1494

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

1494

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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