Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Codner House at 043 Lower Street, Torbay is a painted, wooden, two storey, single-family dwelling built circa 1893. It has a symmetrical front facade, a concave mansard roof with dormers, a single storey porch extension at the right rear, and a shed behind. The buildings stand on a hill, oriented towards Lower Street, near Torbay Beach, at the traditional centre of the community. The designation includes the footprints of the house and the shed.
Codner House has architectural, historic and cultural landscape values. The house is one of the oldest buildings in the Town of Torbay, where relatively few buildings of significant age remain. It is a rare instance of Second Empire style architecture, which became popular in Newfoundland in the 1890s, in Torbay. This architectural style is also known within the province as Southcott style, referring to the Southcott building firm once based in St. John’s. After the Great Fire of 1892 destroyed much of St. John’s, a number of new buildings in the city were erected in this style, which then also spread to other areas of the colony.
Codner House retains the mansard roof, dormers, and symmetrical front facade characteristic of Second Empire style. It is the only known example of its type in Torbay which also retains wooden sheathing, corner boards and trims. The house also has a visible foundation consisting of a mixture of stone and cement.
The shed behind the house is believed to be less old than the house, though historic photos suggest that it is also of relatively considerable age. It contributes to the overall heritage value of the property as an example of a vernacular, domestic outbuilding.
Codner House has cultural landscape value because of its location amongst the coastal hills quintessential to Torbay’s landscape, within a traditional centre of the community. This was historically one of the most densely settled areas of the community, at one of its busiest oceanfront areas during the heyday of the local fishery. Consequently, the Codner House property is also sited along one of the oldest streets in the community. The front of the property overlooks the old St. Nicholas Anglican Church cemetery across the street, and across to the south side hills of Torbay.
Source: Town of Torbay Council Meeting 2005/11/07.
All those exterior elements that are indicative of the age, domestic function and architectural style of the dwelling:
-size, height, number of storeys;
-mansard style concave roof with dormers, roof lines;
-projection of dormers and eaves;
-size and symmetrical placement of door and windows, including dormer windows, in the front facade;
-wooden, narrow, painted horizontal siding and vertical corner boards;
-painted, wooden eaves, window trims and doors trims;
-location and material of brick chimney.
The exterior elements of the only outbuilding on the property, including:
-the general dimensions of shed: small, single-storey;
-and the painted, wooden sheathing.
Cultural landscape elements:
-location and orientation of the house and shed;
-visibility of the house from Lower Street.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Town of Torbay
1288 Torbay Rd
PO Box 1160
Torbay, NL A1K 1K4
Cross-Reference to Collection