Description of Historic Place
131 Water Street is a three storey brick flat roofed building with Classical and Italianate influences. It was originally used as a private home, but was later converted into the Harland Apartments. It is located on historic Water Street, which contains a number of large heritage homes and has a wonderful view of the Charlottetown Harbour. The designation encompasses the building's exterior and parcel; it does not include the building's interior.
The heritage value of 131 Water Street lies in its association with successful businessman and auctioneer, John Morris; its Classical and Italianate architectural influences; and its role in supporting the Water Street streetscape.
When John Morris constructed Harland House in 1870, he named the home for his relative, Lady Rosa Harland, the wife of shipbuilder Edward James Harland. The shipbuilding firm, Harland and Wolfe, was a prosperous firm that operated out of Belfast, Ireland. Among a number of large ships that the company produced, the most famous is perhaps the R.M.S. Titanic that was built for the White Star Line.
John Morris and his brother, Thomas, besides working as commission merchants and auctioneers, would operate a number of businesses including the Peerless Beverages Manufacturing Plant down the street at 73-75 Water Street. The 26 July 1920 edition of the Guardian contained an extensive description of the recently opened, Peerless Beverages manufacturing plant and office. It was noted that the company had been fortunate to secure the services of one of the world's leading experts in the manufacture of aerated waters. Products included both lemon and orange squash, sarsaparilla, iron tonic, cream soda, apple nectar, Belfast ginger ale and most notably, the famous gold foil-topped Peerless dry ginger ale.
Harland House remained in the possession of the Morris family for a number of years until 1924, when the home and all of its contents were auctioned off. The following year in 1925, the Harland House was turned into an apartment building named the Harland Apartments. Although in 1924, an incorporated company purchased the building by 1933, it was in private hands. Throughout the years, the Harland Apartments has had a number of owners that have included S. Stead, William G. Bruce and M. Martin.
131 Water Street was influenced by the Classical and the Italianate architectural styles. The dentil detailing, pilasters and the symmetrical massing are evocative of the Classical style, while the arched window openings and the flat roof of the building are Italianate influenced. An attractive and well maintained building among a number of heritage buildings in the area, 131 Water Street helps support the Water Street streetscape.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The following character-defining elements contribute to the heritage value of 131 Water Street:
- The overall symmetrical massing of the building with its three storeys
- The size and shape of the painted brick exterior
- The flat roofline
- The size and placement of the windows, particularly the symmetrically placed sash windows set in arched openings and the small window within the frontispiece
- The size and placement of the doors, particularly the paneled front door
- The building's frontispiece including the decorative elements such as dentil detailing, pilasters and a decorative cornice
- The location of the home on Water Street