44 York Lane
44 York Lane, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, C1A, Canada
Links and documents
1947/01/01 to 1948/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
44 York Lane is a Contemporary style house built with "rammed earth" methods and set far back from the street on a treed lot. Constructed by Robert Hyndman in the 1940s, it is the only one of its kind on Prince Edward Island. The designation encompasses the building’s exterior and parcel; it does not include the building’s interior.
The heritage value of 44 York Lane lies in its unique rammed earth construction, its Contemporary architectural influences, and its role in supporting the York Lane streetscape.
Robert Hyndman built his home in 1947 and 1948 with the help of only one hired man. They constructed the garage first to see if it would hold up to the elements. The garage was a success and soon after, Hyndman began to construct the home. The family moved in to the home in the spring and summer of 1948.
A unique home on the Island, Hyndman got the idea to build with rammed earth from a Mechanics Illustrated magazine article. He used earth from his property and one bag of cement to construct the walls. Because a building like it had never been constructed on Prince Edward Island before, Hyndman sent earth from the property for soil analysis to the Midwestern United States where the United States Department of Agriculture and South Dakota State College were working with rammed earth construction. The results revealed that the soil was perfect for this method of building. The design of the home was by New Hampshire architects, and husband and wife team, Margaret King Hunter and Edgar Hayes Hunter.
They designed a house with Contemporary style influences. This architectural style emerged in the post-war period after 1945 and was often characterized by low-pitched inward sloping roofs, horizontal lines, and large windows.
Rammed earth construction is an ancient method of building but it was not used a great deal in Canada during the 19th and 20th centuries. Buildings in Charlottetown were traditionally made of wood and to a lesser extent, brick. Interest in rammed earth homes has been growing over the last twenty years, as it has proven to be an environmentally sensitive alternative to traditional building methods. A rammed earth home can also boast cool interior temperatures in the summer and warm temperatures in the winter.
The method of building a rammed earth home is simple, but labour intensive. Wooden or metal forms are built and then wet earth with a touch of cement is poured in to the form. The mixture is then tramped down. When the forms are removed, a wall or part of a wall of rammed earth is left behind. The exterior is usually waterproofed and a wooden roof generally tops the structure. 44 York Lane sits on a concrete slab and is topped with a wooden roof. It takes advantage of the sunlight with its huge windows that face south.
44 York Lane is a unique home in Charlottetown and the Province. Set back from the street on a beautiful property, the home compliments the York Lane streetscape.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The heritage value of 44 York Lane is illustrated through the following Contemporary style character-defining elements:
- The massing of the home with its horizontal emphasis
- The rammed earth construction
- The style and placement of the windows, particularly the large windows of the facade with their transom lights
- The style and placement of the doors
- The low pitched sloping roofline
- The style and placement of the chimney
- The location of the building set back from the street on a large treed lot
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
- 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