Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
49-57 Water Street is a brick, Early Commercial warehouse with a twentieth century addition on its western side. The original building has been expanded a number of times and renovated inside and out in the twentieth century. The Estate of successful businessman and politician, James Ellis Peake (1797-1860) built the warehouse and throughout its history, a number of merchants have called the building home. The building now houses offices. The designation encompasses the building’s exterior and parcel; it does not include the building’s interior.
The heritage value of 49-57 Water Street lies in its Early Commercial architectural style, its association with the Peake Family, its association with various Charlottetown businesses, and its importance to the Water Street streetscapes.
The Early Commercial style dates from before the 1860s. It was often characterized by a groundfloor reserved for storefronts, double hung windows in the upper levels, simple mouldings, and a balanced facade of either shingles, clapboards, or brick. This property is an excellent example of this style in the City.
In 1861, Daniel Hodgson, a trustee of the late James Ellis Peake’s estate advertised for tenders on a large brick building that would be built on the site of the former Victoria Hotel, which had burnt down. The land belonged to James Ellis Peake, a very successful shipbuilder/owner, merchant and banker whose homes and wharves were located nearby. The new warehouse was to be used by various Charlottetown merchants including, J.C. Hall, Daniel Davies, B. W. Higgs, C. Benoit and later, James Peake’s sons’ business, Peake Bros.
Seaman’s Beverages, which was established in 1939, owned the building in the twentieth century and operated a bottling plant from the site. The building was expanded a great deal under their ownership. Seaman’s eventually moved out of the building and in 1988, it was renovated to provide retail, warehouse and office space. It currently houses offices and a local cinema.
49-57 Water Street has been home to a number of prominent Charlottetown businesses and reflects Charlottetown’s commercial heritage. Located in a historic area with a number of heritage buildings, 49-57 Water Street plays a major role in supporting the historic Water 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 49-57 Water Street:
- The overall massing of the original building, as well as the additions on the western side
- The size and shape of the brick construction, as well as the stone lintels and sills
- The symmetrical placement and style of the windows, including the ground floor storefront plate glass windows with transom lights, the second floor nine over nine windows, the third floor six over six dormer windows, as well as the more modern, large rectangular windows of the most recent western addition
- The style and placement of the paneled doors with their transom lights above, as well as the arched opening of the most recent western addition, with the sign above the door that reads “Seaman’s Bldg - 49 Water Street”
- The gabled roof, with its square dormers, as well as the flat roof of the western addition with its brick cornice
- The placement of the chimneys
Other character-defining elements include:
- The location of the building near the corner of Water 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
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Office or Office Building
- Commerce / Commercial Services
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
Cross-Reference to Collection