Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
156 Queen is an Early Commercial style building located in a traditionally commercial area of Charlottetown. The building is part of the Confederation Court Mall Complex and houses the Roots clothing store. The designation includes the building’s exterior and parcel; it does not include the building’s interior.
The historic value of 156 Queen Street lies in its association with Charlottetown’s commercial history, its Early Commercial style architecture, and its importance to the Queen Street streetscape.
It is unclear when 156 Queen Street was built, but it is believed that the building was constructed in approximately 1850. It has spent most of its existence as a commercial building and continues to house a shop to this day. The section of Queen Street, on which the building resides, south to the waterfront has historically been a commercial area of Charlottetown. The Early Commercial style emerged before the 1860s, when urban buildings were being constructed exclusively for use as shops. This was innovative since previously, many merchants operated their businesses directly from their dwellings. The new style often had large groundfloor multi-paned windows, a recessed entrance, a balanced facade, and simple trim detailing.
The building to the south of 156 Queen Street, Apothecaries Hall, is a national historic site due to the site’s long association with a continuously operating pharmacy, which operated from 1810 until the 1980s. Although all of the buildings in this section of the eastern side of Queen Street were originally constructed of wood, 156 Queen Street is the only building left on this section of the block, made from wood.
156 Queen Street has housed a number of businesses throughout its long history. Its address once included 158 Queen Street as well. According to the 1909 Directory of Prince Edward Island, Herbert H. Brown, a “gentleman’s furnisher” who specialized in hats, was located at 156-158 Queen Street. His advertisement stated that he offered a wide selection of hats from England and the United States and that he had “a hat for every face”.
In 1914, the Ballingall’s Directory shows D.A. Bruce, a merchant tailor, occupying the entire building. The 1922 Prince Edward Island Telephone Directory lists Bruce in the 158 Queen Street side while the LePage Brady Company, a boot and shoe wholesaler, occupied the 156 Queen Street side. By 1928, the store at 156 Queen Street was renamed the Brady Footwear Company. The Brady Footwear Company was owned by James A. Brady and operated from the building until at least 1950. By 1937, D.A. Bruce’s shop was gone and a barbershop known as the Fashion Barbershop and later another barbershop, Riggs & Harper, served clients from the building.
156 Queen Street has continued to be associated with commercial activity throughout its history. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Confederation Court Mall was constructed and 156 Queen Street was joined to the complex. In recent years, the building has been home to various businesses including Henderson & Cudmore, Bass River Chairs and Treats. The entire building currently houses the Roots clothing store.
156 Queen Street has been sympathetically renovated in the past. As the oldest and only wooden building remaining on the Queen Street side of the block, it compliments the Queen Street streetscape.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The following character-defining elements illustrate the Early Commercial influenced heritage value of 156 Queen Street:
- The wooden construction of the building with its balanced facade
- The style and placement of the windows, including the large storefront windows with transom lights and the large second floor windows
- The style and placement of the doors, particularly the recessed front doors, as well as the door on the southern side of the facade
- The green awning and large sign band above it
- The contrasting details of the building including the corner boards and the trim around the windows and doors
- The pitch of the gabled roof, with its simple cornice
Other character-defining elements of 156 Queen Street include:
- The location of the building on Queen Street next to Apothecaries Hall
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
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
Cross-Reference to Collection