Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
26 Brighton Road is one half of a wood framed, Queen Anne Revival influenced, double tenement that was moved to its present location from Great George Street in approximately 1890. The building is one of a line of buildings on Brighton Road, between Ambrose Street and Greenfield Avenue, that prominent architect, William Critchlow Harris designed or renovated. Interestingly, a different owner owns each half of the building. The designation encompasses the building’s exterior and parcel; it does not include the building’s interior.
The heritage value of 26 Brighton Road lies in its association with a former Charlottetown hotel, Revere House; its association with prominent Island architect, W.C. Harris; and its role in supporting the Brighton Road streetscape.
26 Brighton Road is constructed from what was once the Revere House, a hotel on Great George Street, originally located over a kilometer away from 26 Brighton Road! Revere House stood at the head of the wharf from which the Maritime Steam Navigation Company operated its regular route. The hotel accommodated passengers from various ships and was quite successful, which makes it surprising when we learn that in 1886, the building was sold to the Charlottetown Hospital. It was planned to enlarge the building and convert it for use as a hospital. It is not clear why the plan did not come to fruition but in 1890, the building was advertised for sale. Prominent architect, William Critchlow Harris purchased the Revere House and had it moved to its present location on Brighton Road where it was converted into tenements. His result shows both halves of the building as almost mirror images of the other. The building next door at 28-30 Brighton Road is also constructed from the former hotel.
It is not clear how much of the building was dismantled before the move. In historian Irene Rogers 1983 book, "Charlottetown: The Life In Its Buildings," an elderly resident of Charlottetown, Victor Purdie, recalled lumber from exhibition buildings that existed on the south side of Brighton Road, being used in the tenements. The exhibition buildings were being torn down in 1890 when the exhibition was moved to a site on Kensington Road. Purdie recalled seeing large numbers on boards that had once been the doors of the horse barns.
At the time the building was constructed, Government Pond stretched to Brighton Road from the Charlottetown Harbour and the land nearby was marshy. Likely hoping that the City would improve the land, W.C. Harris offered the clay from the foundations of his new buildings for use as fill. Unfortunately, the City did not accept his offer. As the years went by however, the land was improved and the size of Brighton Pond was reduced considerably.
The new building was influenced by the Queen Anne Revival style, a style that was somewhat subdued in Charlottetown compared with other provinces. It was a popular style in Charlottetown from approximately 1880 until 1910. 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). Features of the style include porches and complex details, such as eclectic wall surfaces. The large structure shows some of the Queen Anne Revival characteristics.
The 26 Brighton Road section of the building has had various tenants throughout its history. According to local telephone and provincial directories, in 1914, Thomas Coleman, the Superintendent of the Charlottetown Light, Heat and Power Company resided at 26 Brighton Road and in 1922, R.N. Tomlins lived there. Later in 1924, James Murley, the Superintendent of the Anglo American Telephone Company was listed as residing at 26 Brighton Road but by 1937, barrister, Norman W. Lowther had moved into the 26 Brighton Road section. It is not clear when the ownership of the building was split in two but according to a notice in the 18 October 1946 edition of the Guardian newspaper, the estate of John Wilson sold the entire building, both the 24 and the 26 Brighton Road sections, to N.W. Lowther.
Like many of the buildings in this section of Brighton Road, it is a well kept example of the work of one of Prince Edward Island’s most famous architects. It is an asset to the Brighton Road streetscape.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The heritage value of 26 Brighton Road is illustrated through the following Queen Anne Revival inspired character-defining elements:
- The massing of the building
- The wooden construction
- The various sizes and placement of the windows, particularly the slightly larger paired windows of the first floor and the dormer windows
- The size and placement of the front door, that matches the door on the 24 Brighton Road side of the building
- The decorative details of the building including:
- the simple trim and brackets of the first floor front porch
- the treillage and fish scale cladding of the second floor porch
- the shutters and window boxes of the facade
- The pitch of the large gable roof and the pitch of the roof between the first and second level
- The style and placement of the large chimneys
Other character-defining elements of 26 Brighton Road include:
- The symmetry of the facade
- The location of the building on Brighton Road on a treed lot
- The position of 26 Brighton Road next to 24 Brighton Road and the similarity of both properties
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
William Critchlow Harris (1854-1913)
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
Cross-Reference to Collection