Description of Historic Place
St. Paul's Anglican Church Rectory is an Island stone Romanesque Revival style building located in Charlottetown near St. Paul's Anglican Church and Church Hall. 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 Rectory lies in its association with the very old Parish of St. Paul's Anglican Church; its Romanesque Revival influenced architecture; and its importance to the streetscape.
When Prince Edward Island became a separate colony in 1769, 100 Pounds was set aside as a stipend for a clergyman. Unfortunately, it would be some time before the Anglicans of Charlottetown would have a church 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. Finally, Theophilus DesBrisay was appointed rector in September 1774 and after a three-year ordeal, in 1777 he was guaranteed his stipend by the British Government and promptly began his work on Prince Edward Island.
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 for St. Paul's was constructed 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 built 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 hired to build the church. The first service was held 10 May 1896 and the church was consecrated in July of the same year.
The Rectory, which is the oldest building in the complex, was constructed in 1888. Like the third St. Paul's Church which would be built eight years later, the Island stone building was the design of prominent local architect, William Critchlow Harris. H. Lowe was hired as the contractor. It was the first of the three buildings in the complex to be constructed of Island sandstone. Before the building could be constructed, a dispute had to be settled over whether St. Paul's had the right to construct a building other than a church on their land. A bill had to be passed within the legislature ensuring that indeed the Church had the right to build "a Rectory, Parsonage, or Clergyman's House and School House, as well as a Church on their said land..." The cornerstone was laid 26 July 1888. The entire project would cost the congregation $4650.00.
The Romanesque Revival style of the rectory is one of the best preserved examples in the City. It has several of the distinctive features associated with the style, including: deeply set windows emphasizing wall thickness, contrasting stone details, and an overall emphasis of heavy massing and size.
The St. Paul's Church buildings are a source of pride to the congregation and the City of Charlottetown. Situated in an area with a great number of historic buildings and churches, St. Paul's Church Rectory 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 Romanesque Revival influenced character-defining elements contribute to the heritage value of St. Paul's Anglican Church Rectory:
- The asymmetrical massing of the building
- The heavy Island sandstone construction of the building
- The decorative details such as the stone stringcourses and window surrounds and the wooden shingles in the gables and the decorative bargeboard with cutout design
- The cross gable and hipped roof
- The style and placement of the deep-set windows, particularly the paired narrow sash windows, the larger sash windows with an arched transom above
- The style and placement of the doors particularly the front door under a steep overhanging roofline supported by two large brackets
- The size and shape of the chimneys on the north and south sides of the building
Other character-defining elements of St. Paul's Church Rectory include:
- The location of the building on its large lot lined by mature trees
- The attached wood framed garage on the north side of the building with siding that matches the shingles in the gables