Description of Historic Place
57-59 King Street is a two storey, wood frame, double tenement. The home is situated next to a similarly styled home at 63 King Street. It is believed that Owen Connolly or his estate originally constructed the homes as affordable housing. The designation encompasses the building's exterior and parcel; it does not include the building's interior.
The heritage value of 57-59 King Street lies in its association with local entrepreneur and philanthropist, Owen Connolly (1820-1887); its role as a representative of early affordable housing in Charlottetown; and its role in supporting the King Street streetscape.
Owen Connolly came from humble beginnings in Ireland and went on to become one of Prince Edward Island's most successful entrepreneurs. Connolly was born in 1820 and immigrated to Prince Edward Island in 1839, where he worked for the Smallwood family as a farm labourer. Connolly eventually bought a farm of his own and soon after, opened a country store. His enterprises multiplied and diversified, eventually making him one of the most successful businessmen in Prince Edward Island.
The Owen Connolly Estate executors were instructed to devote the remainder of Connolly's estate "for the purpose of educating or assisting poor children, resident in Prince Edward Island, who are Irish, or the sons of Irish fathers..." The Estate was worth approximately 250 000 dollars. The Connolly Estate was involved in a number of investments including the construction and rental of buildings to provide continuing funding so that the Estate could carry on its charitable efforts. It has been very successful, as the Estate continues to offer awards each year.
The two similar double tenements on King Street, of which 57-59 King Street is one, survive as a testament to Connolly's philanthropy. It is thought that the double tenement design of the buildings and their simple exteriors indicate that the properties were originally intended as affordable housing in the City. Unfortunately, it is unclear if the homes were built by Connolly himself, during his lifetime, or with funds from his estate.
57-59 King Street is used as an apartment building. Located next to a home of a very similar type, 57-59 King Street is an important part of the King Street streetscape.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The following character-defining elements illustrate the heritage value of 57-59 King Street:
- The overall massing of the home with its two storeys
- The symmetrical facade
- Its simple exterior with contrasting details including shutters, cornerboards and cornice
- The symmetrical placement and style of the windows
- The style and central placement of the twin doors
- The wooden shingle cladding
- The flat roof
Other character-defining elements include:
- The location of 57-59 King Street next to a similar styled home at 63 King Street
- The ongoing use of the building as a residence