120 Prince Street
120 Prince Street, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, C1A, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
120 Prince Street is one half of a brick Italianate Commercial building built for local baker, John Quirk, in 1872. The building originally housed a shop and a residence but currently houses offices. The designation encompasses the building’s exterior and parcel; it does not include the building’s interior.
The heritage value of 120 Prince Street lies in its attractive Italianate Commercial architecture; its association with one of Charlottetown’s former businesses; and its role in supporting the Prince Street streetscape.
The 11 May 1872 edition of the local newspaper, the Patriot, reported that successful merchant and baker, John Quirk had begun work on the cellar of his new building. The building would become his shop and residence until 1875, when he built a brick encased structure at the back of his property. According to Hutchinson’s Directory, John Quirk had operated his bakery and general store from the corner of Grafton and Prince as early as 1864.
Quirk’s Charlottetown Steam Bakery produced pilot bread, biscuits and crackers. Pilot bread is a dense, unleavened bread that lasts a long time without spoiling. According to an advertisement for the business in 1872, No.1 and No.2 Navy pilot bread, Medford biscuits and Dyspepsia crackers were always on hand.
After Quirk owned the building for a time, the Nicholson Family bought the building. The Nicholsons' remained the owners for almost seventy years. According to the minute book of the Insurance Underwriters Board, in 1897, D. Nicholson requested that the rating for his building be changed from that of a shop and a dwelling to a dwelling only. The policy was updated and Nicholson benefited from his insurance in 1906 when his building was damaged during a lightning storm!
The uses of the building have changed throughout the years. The 120 Prince Street section of the building remained a residence for some time. According to telephone directories from the early 1920s until 1935, Donald Nicholson and his wife lived at 120 Prince Street.
The 124 Prince Street section housed office space and apartments. The chiropractic office of Dr. W.R. Carson was located at 124 Prince Street from as early as 1928, until as late as 1935. A 1926 article in the local newspaper, the Patriot, mentioned that the valuable effects of Mrs. A.J. MacLaine would be sold from 124 Prince Street. The 124 Prince Street side of the building appeared in the news again in the 23 October 1942 edition of the Guardian newspaper where it was noted that Elsie Nicholson was turning 124 Prince Street into three apartments.
John Corbett, who was a mason and talented architect, designed the beautiful Italianate building. Quirk imported brick form the United States to create the façade and used cheaper, local brick on the sides and back of the building. The Italianate style was in vogue all over North America. It was considered more fireproof than the wooden structures it invariably replaced. The design was also more decorative, its round arch windows evocative of the Venetian arcades of the Renaissance period. Today, the building remains one of the City's best-preserved examples of the style.
120 Prince Street is half of a well-preserved example of an Italianate building. Used for many purposes throughout the years, it has retained its heritage character. Located near the corner of Prince Street and Grafton Street, it supports the streetscape of both streets.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The following Italianate influenced character-defining elements illustrate the heritage value of 120 Prince Street:
- The overall massing of the building
- The size and shape of the brick construction
- The placement and style of the grouped, round headed windows, trimmed with well defined corbel and keystones, as well as the contrasting stone sills
- The placement and size of the front entrance doors with their sloping porch roof above which also extends over the nearby window
- The decorative corbelling detail at the roofline
- The flat roof
Other character-defining elements of 120 Prince Street:
- 120 Prince’s adjacency to and overall similarity with the 124 Prince Street section of the building
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
- Office or office building
- Food and Beverage Manufacturing Facility
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
Cross-Reference to Collection