Links and documents
1872/01/01 to 1873/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
291 Euston Street is a large two storey, Second Empire style apartment building built in approximately 1872, by local builder and businessman, Robert Fennell (1841-1914). It is located on the corner of Euston and Cumberland Street near two other examples of Fennel’s work, including the house next door at 299 Euston Street, which was once his home. The designation encompasses the building’s exterior and parcel; it does not include the building’s interior.
The heritage value of 291 Euston Street lies in its association with Robert Fennell; its Second Empire influenced architecture; and its importance to the Euston and Cumberland Street streetscapes.
Robert Fennel built 291 Euston Street in 1872 for rental purposes. Fennel advertised the home for rent in the 31 July 1873 edition of the Semi Weekly Patriot: “To let: a new two storey French Roof building, pleasantly situated at the corner of Euston and Cumberland Streets. Apply R. Fennel, carpenter and builder.” Fennel would later buy three lots next door and build a one story Second Empire style home for himself.
An interesting man, Fennel emigrated from Prince Edward Island to New Zealand in 1858, when he was just 17 years old. After spending two years in Auckland and another year and a half whaling, Fennel returned to Prince Edward Island where he became the apprentice of prominent local architect, Thomas Alley. After his apprenticeship was over, he moved to the United States where he worked for two years until he returned to Prince Edward Island, where he would go on to build many homes in the Charlottetown area.
Eventually, Fennel retired from carpentry and went into the hardware business with R.B. Norton and later Charles Chandler, in the firm of Fennel & Chandler.
Fennel built 291 Euston Street in the Second Empire style. The Second Empire style was a popular choice in the 1870s. The style, is readily identified by its Mansard roof, which was named after François Mansart (1598-1666), and popularized by his son, Jules Hardoin Mansart, an architect who worked for France's King Louis XIV around 1700. The Mansard roof is almost flat on the top section and has deeply sloping, often curved, lower sections that generally contain dormers. The style became popularized during the Second (French) Empire of Napoleon III (1852-1870). The style reached Canada through Britain and the United States and was used extensively throughout Charlottetown from approximately 1860 until 1880.
291 Euston Street has been a rental property from the time it was built and has had a number of tenants throughout the years. According to the McAlpine’s Prince Edward Island Directory of 1914-1915, Walter S. Brown of W.S. Brown Livery Stables lived at 291 Euston Street for a time. A later occupant of the home was Mrs. John Swan. It serves as an apartment building to this day.
As an early example of the Second Empire style in the City, 291 Euston Street contributes to the Euston Street and Cumberland Street streetscapes. It is generally well preserved, except for the eastern window of the first floor Euston Street facade which has been replaced with a smaller window at some time in the building's history.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The following Second Empire influenced character-defining elements illustrate the heritage value of 291 Euston Street:
- The overall massing of the building and its symmetrical facade
- The Mansard roof with its shed dormers and decorative eave brackets
- The style and placement of the windows, including the two over two windows, the bay windows and the dormer windows of the roof
- The size and placement of the doors, particularly the door facing on Euston Street with its transom light and gable roof canopy over it
- The door and porch of the eastern side of the building with its hipped roof
- The wooden exterior of the home, with its contrasting mouldings
- The style and placement of the chimney
Other character-defining elements include:
- The location of the building on the corner of Euston Street and Cumberland 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
- Multiple 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