163 King Street / Robert Clark House
Samuel Street House
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Robert Clark House is a three storey, wood framed home that is located on the corner of King and Prince Streets. One of the oldest homes in the area, it is believed to have been built by Robert Clark in approximately 1778. The designation encompasses the building’s exterior and parcel; it does not include the building’s interior.
The heritage value of the Clark House lies in its association with the Street family, its Eighteenth Century origins and Georgian architectural influences, and its role in supporting the King Street and Prince Street streetscapes.
Exactly when the Clark House was built is unclear, but it is estimated that it was built in approximately 1778 by landowner, Robert Clark. It originally had many Georgian style elements including a symmetrical window placement and simple trim detailing. These have been altered over time, but the building is valued as one of few remaining from the Eighteenth Century. The property was sold to mariner, Samuel Street, in 1799. The home appears in the Surveyor General of Prince Edward Island, George Wright’s field notes of Charlottetown in 1833.
A reference to the home appeared in the local newspaper, the Royal Gazette in 1835. A sheriff’s office notice indicated that the property might have been seized as a result of a dispute between Samuel Street and prominent matriarch of the Brecken family, Matilda Brecken. It can be assumed that the matter was settled, as Street was advertising the home for rent two years later.
Unfortunately, in June 1842, Street was killed when his boat capsized in a fishing accident just off the coast of Pinette. His wife, Mary and her seven children continued to own the home until the 1880s, at times using it as a residence and sometimes as a rental property. Interestingly, some of the Street daughters operated the Pavilion Hotel on Great George Street for a time. The Nova Scotia delegates to the Charlottetown Conference stayed at the Pavilion during the time when the Streets operated the hotel.
A rental notice for the home appeared in the local newspaper, the Royal Gazette in 1837, the property was advertised as follows: “To let one or three years, a good dwelling house with three fireplaces, a good cellar kitchen, a shop and two rooms on the second floor, three well-furnished rooms on the third floor and a good garret.” The property came complete with a large yard, garden and blacksmith shop. It appears that the blacksmith shop on the property was used from at least 1837 until early into the twentieth century. In 1843, an advertisement in the local newspaper stated that James Cairns would be working as a blacksmith from the property of the late Mr. Street. Seventy-one years later, a 1914 Charlottetown street directory lists Joseph Godfrey, blacksmith, as residing at the property.
A house with an interesting history, the Clark House has been an important part of the streetscapes of King and Prince Street for a very long time. Valued as one of the oldest homes in the area, it has been well kept and has retained its heritage character.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The following character-defining elements illustrate the Georgian influenced architectural style of 163 King Street:
- The overall massing of the building
- The wooden cladding of the exterior, with its simple corner boards
- The style of the windows including, the tall windows of the front facade with simple mouldings. The window placement has been changed over the years. The original windows were placed more evenly apart.
- The gable roof with returns at the gable ends and its simple cornice
- The style and placement of the chimney
Other character-defining elements of 163 King Street are:
- The south side porch entrance with its simple styled door
- The location of 163 King Street on the corner of King and Prince
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
Cross-Reference to Collection