Henry Cundall House
139 King Street
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
139 King Street is a large, brick house located on historic King Street. It was once the home and office of surveyor and prominent citizen, Henry Jones Cundall (1833-1916). Interestingly, Cundall’s family home is located next door at 143-145 King Street. The designation encompasses the building’s exterior and parcel; it does not include the building’s interior.
The heritage value of 139 King Street lies in its association with Henry J. Cundall, its Italianate influenced architecture, and its importance to the King Street streetscape.
Land surveyor, Henry J. Cundall built 139 King Street in 1868. Cundall used his new home as a residence and an office. In the 1880s, he shared the office space with prominent architect, William Critchlow Harris (1854-1913).
Henry J. Cundall, whose diaries have survived to this day, described the home as it was being built in his entries. “May 15: Agreed with Wright to do carpenter work to my house. June 9: Masons commenced stonework of my house. June 30: Went across river to John Stewart's (Stewart's brick yard) about brick. July 24: Masons commenced brickwork on my new house."
The new home was Italianate influenced in its style. The Italianate style was popular from the 1850s until the 1890s. The style comes from the English Picturesque tradition and was a response to the widely used, formal classical styles. In Charlottetown, many public buildings are Italianate influenced, however this private dwelling demonstrates Italianate features such as the paired, arched, hooded windows and arched doorway. Cundall was ahead of his time when he incorporated the paired, arched windows into his new home. Most others, who were building in Charlottetown at the time, used elements like straight stone lintels and single windows. This building, then, provides a rare example of this innovation in the Italianate style in the City.
Henry J. Cundall was a prominent citizen of Charlottetown. He worked with surveyor Lawrence Gaul and eventually became a licensed Dominion land surveyor. Before establishing his own business in 1863, Cundall worked for estate owners, Samuel and Edward Cunard. Once he was an established surveyor with his own business, he was commissioned to do survey work for the Prince Edward Island Railway. In addition to his accomplishments as a surveyor, Cundall was also reputed to be a fine accountant and acted as agent for various estates. He was also a skilled cartographer. Several of his manuscript maps have survived and he is credited with creating and publishing the first reliable map of Prince Edward Island in 1851.
Involved in various charitable organizations and active in his church, Henry J. Cundall was a trustee of the Prince Edward Island Hospital, President of the Young Men’s Christian Association and the Superintendent of the St. Paul’s Church Sunday School for many years. He also played an active role in establishing a school in the poorest areas of Charlottetown, called “the Bog”. In his will, Cundall left financial support to many of the aforementioned charities, as well as a later residence of his, Beaconsfield, which would become a home for “friendless young women and girls” where training would be provided to enable them to live useful and respectable lives.
It is unclear when 139 King Street changed hands, but Miss M. Metherell is listed as living at the home in the Prince Edward Island telephone directories from 1922 until 1935. A 1937 newspaper notice stated that the 12 bedroom home was for rent, and a low rental rate was promised. An attractive building on a street with a diverse range of architecture, 139 King Street is an important part of the King Street streetscape.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
Record # 1393
The following Italianate influenced character-defining elements illustrate the heritage value of 139 King Street:
- The size and shape of the Island brick exterior, including the brickwork that acts as a type of frame highlighting the facade
- The placement and style of the paired, arched, hooded windows with freestone keystones, label stops and sills
- The central placement and style of the door, with its transom and side lights, as well as the arch above the door with freestone label stops and keystone
- The style of the low pitch of the roof with its detailed cornice
- The style and placement of the chimneys on the gable ends
Other character-defining elements of 139 King Street include:
- The location of the home on King Street
Prince Edward Island
City of Charlottetown
City of Charlottetown Zoning and Development Bylaw
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Multiple Dwelling
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
Record # 1393
Cross-Reference to Collection