296-298 Grafton Street / Cumberland Cottage
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
296-298 Grafton Street is a wood framed Maritime Vernacular influenced apartment building located on the corner of Grafton and Cumberland Streets on a treed lot. The building was once known as Cumberland Cottage and has associations with prominent Charlottetown families. The designation encompasses the building's exterior and parcel; it does not include the building's interior.
The heritage value of 296-298 Grafton Street lies in its association with prominent Charlottetown residents; its Maritime Vernacular architecture; and its role in supporting the Grafton and Cumberland Street streetscape.
Although it is unclear when 296-298 Grafton Street was built, land records show that James Coles purchased the land for 10 Pounds in 1817 and sold it to Henry Pope Welsh for 250 Pounds in 1858, suggesting that perhaps a house had been built on the property during the time Coles owned the land. James Coles was a farmer from the Charlottetown Royalty and the father of George Coles, the first Premier of Prince Edward Island after Responsible Government, a Father of Confederation, and a prominent businessman.
Henry Pope Welsh was a member of the prominent shipbuilding and political Welsh family. Welsh owned the home for eleven years before he advertised it for sale in the local newspaper, the Patriot of 13 February 1869. The ad read as follows: "The situation is one of the most healthy in the city and from the house there is a commanding view of the Hillsborough (River) making it altogether one of the most desirable family residences in the city." Welsh must have changed his mind because members of his family still owned the home as late as 1908.
296-298 Grafton Street was influenced by the Maritime Vernacular Cottage style of architecture. The style was common in mid-1800s Charlottetown. A distinctively Maritime style, its features include a rectangular plan, a central doorway and a large, centrally placed wall dormer. 296-298 Cumberland Street remains a good example of this style in Charlottetown. Although the home has been turned into an apartment building, it has remained relatively unspoiled. The home's excellent scale and beautiful fanlight - enclosed by the front porch - stand out as particularly nice features. One of a number of heritage homes on this block, it supports the Grafton Street streetscape.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The following Maritime Vernacular influenced character-defining elements illustrate the heritage value of 296-298 Grafton Street:
- The symmetrical facade of the house
- The massing of the home with its wooden frame and shingle cladding
- The decorative mouldings painted in a contrasting colour, particularly the window caps of the windows on the front facade
- The gable roofline and prominent centre gable wall dormer
- The style and placement of the windows, particularly the tall, symmetrically placed windows of the main floor, the paired windows of the centrally placed dormer,
- The large windows of the porches, the transom and sidelights and the fanlight over the main door, located inside the front porch
- The size, shape and placement of the two porches, including the centrally placed porch of the facade and the porch located on the east side of the home
- The size and placement of the doors, particularly the centrally placed main door
- The size and placement of the chimney
Other character-defining elements of 296-298 Grafton Street include:
- The location of the home on a treed lot on Grafton 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
- 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