55 Fitzroy Street
55 Fitzroy Street, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, C1A, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
55 Fitzroy Street is a large wood framed, former home that has been converted into office space. The home is associated with music Professor, Henry Westaway Vinnicombe (1843-1928). The designation encompasses the building’s exterior and parcel; it does not include the building’s interior.
The heritage value of 55 Fitzroy Street lies in its association with Professor Henry Westaway Vinnicombe and its importance to the Fitzroy Street streetscape.
It is unclear when 55 Fitzroy Street was built, but a home, which was moved in 1864, may be the front section of the current building. On 15 May 1864, a license was given to move a wooden home from the corner of Grafton and Pownal Streets to city Lot 11, which is the location of the current 55 Fitzroy Street. If it is the home, then extensive renovations were later carried out in the 1880s. There was also a large addition to the back of the building. Currently the building shows Queen Anne Revival influences such as the interesting variations in shingle cladding and the sunburst design of the frontispiece, the porch of the western side of the facade, the grouped windows and the tall chimney of the western section. The Queen Anne Revival style was a popular style in the late Victorian era, although it was somewhat subdued in Prince Edward Island compared to other provinces. Richard N. Shaw (1831-1912), a British architect, created the style that incorporated some of the classical motifs popular during Queen Anne's reign (1702-1714).
The home’s most famous resident was Professor Henry Westaway Vinnicombe (1843-1928). He and his family lived in the home for much of its history. Professor Vinnicombe played the violin and led an orchestra that provided music for many occasions in the 1870-1910 period in Charlottetown, including light operas, minstrel shows and concerts. He was a member of the Charlottetown Orchestral Club, a group of amateur Charlottetown musicians who were also prominent businessmen of the City. Professor Vinnicombe was also a piano tuner who worked on pianos throughout Charlottetown.
A well preserved building with Queen Anne Revival influences, 55 Fitzroy Street plays an important role in maintaining the heritage ambiance of the Fitzroy Street streetscape.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The following Queen Anne Revival influenced character-defining elements illustrate the heritage value of 55 Fitzroy Street:
- The contrasting trim such as the decorative mouldings and the sunburst in the pediment
- The wooden cladding of the building’s exterior and the alternating shingle patterns in the cladding of the frontispiece
- The size and placement of the tall, grouped windows and the windows with transom lights
- The porch of the western side of the home with its hipped roof, ballustrades, and scrolled brackets
- The size and placement of the chimneys particularly the tall chimney of the eastern side of the home
Other character-defining elements that illustrate the heritage value of 55 Fitzroy Street include:
- The massing of the building
- The symmetry of the facade
- The style and placement of the doors, particularly the centrally placed front door with its canopy roof over the doorway supported by decorative scrolled brackets
- The door to the porch on the western side of the frontispiece
- The gable roof
- The location of the building on Fitzroy 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
- Office or Office Building
- 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