Links and documents
1875/01/01 to 1915/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Duchess of Kent Inn is located at 218 Kent Street. As one of the most distinctive buildings on Kent Street, the Second Empire and Queen Anne Revival influenced, former residence, includes a large turret on its western facade. Built in 1875, the home has since been renovated and opened as the Duchess of Kent Inn. The designation encompasses the building’s exterior and parcel; it does not include the building’s interior.
The heritage value of the Duchess of Kent Inn lies in its association with Charles Leonard T. MacKay, its unique architecture and its important role in supporting the Kent Street streetscape.
The eastern, Second Empire influenced, portion of the Duchess of Kent Inn was originally constructed as a private residence for Mary Bryenton, widow of Charlottetown grocer, Horace Bryenton. Thomas Essery, a local carpenter, built the home in 1875.
Charles Leonard T. MacKay, businessman and Army Major, acquired the home in 1914. In 1915, he added the turret and western façade to the home. The architects for this section were prominent Charlottetown architects, Chappell and Hunter and the builders were from the firm of Gaudet, Morrison and Young. Bruce Stewart and Company, the company for which MacKay acted as Secretary Treasurer, did the plumbing and heating for the addition. A 1915 article in the Daily Examiner described the new section as such: "The addition will contain a sitting room, sewing room and den, downstairs and three bedrooms upstairs. There will be a circular tower on the southwest corner and on the whole this will be one of the principal building undertakings of the year in Charlottetown." The home remained solely a private residence until it was converted to house the Duchess of Kent Inn in 1981.
One of the most striking buildings on Kent Street, the beautiful inn features Queen Anne Revival details such as a turret, roundel windows and large bay windows. The Queen Anne Revival style, which was created by English architect, R.N. Shaw, incorporated classical motifs popular during Queen Anne’s reign. The style was popular in Charlottetown from 1880 until approximately 1910.
The eastern section, dating from 1875, is Second Empire influenced in its style and has a Mansard roof, which contains a hooded dormer window. The Mansard roof identifies the Second Empire style, which originated in France. The style was used extensively in Charlottetown from the 1860s until approximately 1880. The decorative trim and moldings throughout the Duchess of Kent Inn bring together the two sections that were built almost forty years apart.
The Duchess of Kent Inn is valued as one of the most ornate buildings on Kent Street. The only one of its kind, it is very important to the Kent 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 the Duchess of Kent Inn:
- The circular turret with its conical roof and roundel windows on the third level and its large bay windows on the first and second levels
- The placement and style of the large windows, particularly the round headed window on the Mansard roof
- The small porch on the western section of the facade
- The placement and style of the door with its transom light above
- The rooflines of the 1875 section and the 1915 addition
- The placement of the chimneys
- The wooden cladding
- The decorative trim and mouldings running throughout the building's exterior as well as the window boxes, which add charm to the facade of the inn
Other character-defining elements of the Duchess of Kent Inn are:
- The location of the Duchess of Kent Inn on Kent 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
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Hotel, Motel or Inn
- 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