Description of Historic Place
St. Paul's Anglican Church Hall is part of the St. Paul's Anglican Church complex. The Gothic Revival inspired, Island sandstone hall is located on a large lot near St Paul's Church and the Church manse. The designation encompasses the building's exterior and parcel; it does not include the building's interior.
The heritage value of St. Paul's Anglican Church Hall lies in its association with the very old Parish of St. Paul's; its fine Gothic Revival influenced architecture; and its importance to the streetscape.
When Prince Edward Island became a separate colony in 1769, 100 Pounds were set aside as a stipend for a Church of England clergyman. Unfortunately, it would be some time before the Anglicans of Charlottetown would have a church to call their own and regular services. The Reverend John Caulfield was appointed rector in 1769, but never set foot on the Island. Reverend John Eagelson, a missionary, held services in many parts of the young colony in 1768 and 1773. Theophilus DesBrisay was appointed rector in September 1774 and after a three year ordeal, he was guaranteed his stipend by the British Government in 1777 and began his work as rector.
The first entry in the Parish records was 21 August 1777. The Parish, at this point without a church, met in Richardson's Coffee House Ballroom until 1790 when Lieutenant Governor Fanning purchased a house and designated one area within for services. In 1795, the first real church constructed for St. Paul's was to the west of the current church, where the Memorial Hall portion of the Confederation Centre of the Arts is situated. It was used for both the Church of England and the Church of Scotland, but was never consecrated. A second church was constructed just south of the present one but it was blown down in a severe windstorm in 1833. Rebuilding began in 1835 and the church was at last consecrated in 1836. Finally, in 1896 the present St. Paul's Anglican Church was constructed. Local architect, William Critchlow Harris was hired to design the beautiful structure and the talented contractors, H. and S. Lowe were obtained to build the church. The first service was held 10 May 1896 and the church was consecrated in July of the same year.
The St. Paul's Anglican Church Hall was built in 1906. The stone building was the design of prominent local architect, Charles Benjamin Chappell. It matched nicely with the church and manse, which are both, made of Island sandstone. Although W.C. Harris designed the Church and the manse, Chappell's design was favoured for this project. The Lowe Brothers who worked on the church were hired to build the new hall. The Lowes also purchased the old Infant Schoolhouse and hauled it off the property.
The new building was built to replace the Infant Schoolhouse, which had been constructed in the 1840s. The Infant School, or kindergarten, was the idea of Captain Orlebar who felt that a school for the poor was needed in Charlottetown. George Hubbard and his family were brought over from England to operate the school. Eventually, it was decided that a new building was necessary. The community got involved in the fundraising with some members being particularly generous. In order to raise the $13,095.45 that it took to build the new building, prominent citizen, Henry J. Cundall offered 1 dollar for every 5 dollars that the Parish raised.
The Parish Hall basement was renovated in 1930, 1956 and 1967. In the 1940s, a chapel was constructed in the building for use by Air Force Personnel, who were training in Prince Edward Island. A later renovation in 1967 was quite extensive. The architect was asked to provide a space that could offer Christian education for the next twenty years. The building is now used as the Parish Hall.
St. Paul's Anglican Church Hall is one of three stone buildings on a large plot of land associated with the St. Paul's Anglican Church. St. Paul's Church and its beautiful stone buildings are a source of pride to its members and the City of Charlottetown. Situated in an area with a great number of historic buildings and churches, St. Paul's Church Hall contributes greatly to the heritage character of the area.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The following Gothic Revival influenced character-defining elements contribute to the heritage value of St. Paul's Anglican Church Hall:
- The asymmetrical massing of the building
- The style and placement of the Island sandstone exterior, with its Nova Scotia Freestone and stone trim.
- The window and door surrounds and the various designs throughout the exterior
- The cross gable roof with its chimneys at the north and south ends
- The size and placement of the windows, including the arched windows, the tall stained glass arched windows and the rectangular windows
- The size and placement of the doors, including the door of the Prince Street side with its steeply gabled porch and short columns perched atop heavy sandstone
- The buttresses along the sides of the church
- The style and shape of the chimneys on the north and south sides of the building
Other character-defining elements of St. Paul's Church Hall include:
- The location of the hall near the church and rectory on a large lot lined by mature trees