Description of Historic Place
92 Queen Street is a three storey, brick, Italianate Commercial influenced building located on the corner of Queen and Sydney Streets. The building is situated along a line of Italianate Commercial buildings in a traditionally commercial area of Charlottetown. The designation encompasses the building's exterior and parcel; it does not include the building's interior.
The heritage value of 92 Queen Street lies in its role in Charlottetown's commercial history, its Italianate commercial influenced architecture; and its role in supporting the Queen and Sydney Street streetscapes.
In 1843, prominent merchant and politician, Daniel Brenan advertised that he was accepting tenders for a new building on the corner of Queen and Sydney Streets. Brenan had operated a store in Charlottetown for 43 years - 27 of them from this location. After his death in 1876, the building was sold to another prominent merchant, Owen Connolly.
Connolly rented the building to a number of tenants including, the boot and shoe store, Dorsey and Goff and later, hardware and carriage retailers, Norton and Fennell. Unfortunately in 1892, a fire destroyed much of the building's interior. At this time, R.B. Norton, of Norton and Fennell, purchased the building and extensively renovated it. At this time, a new facade was constructed, which featured the Norton name carved into a stone near the top. The building was described in the 20 December 1902 edition of the Examiner newspaper as being a solid and ornate brick building of three stories with a footprint of 30 by 85 feet. Norton operated his wholesale and retail business, Norton & Co. from the premises.
By 1907, Dorsey and Goff had returned to the building, although now the business was called Goff and Co. or Goff and Bros. The building was largely used for manufacturing their product as their advertisements in this period mentioned a retail space on Richmond Street. Later, the Wright Shoe Company would acquire 92 Queen Street and according to the 26 February 1936 edition of the Guardian newspaper, Wright intended to operate its Economy Shoe Store from there. By the late 1950s however, the estate of Edmund T. Higgs owned the building and the New England Cafe was a tenant. In the early 1960s, Peake Martin Ltd. Insurance was advertising from this address.
Although 92 Queen Street was one of the earlier brick buildings in Charlottetown, the renovation, after the building was damaged by fire in 1892, altered its facade. The choice of the Italianate commercial building style was a popular one at the time and 92 Queen Street was influenced by it. Constructed of brick, stone and cast iron the style was considered more fireproof than the wooden structures it invariably replaced. The design was also more decorative, modeled after the arcaded facades of the Italian Renaissance style. Today, the building remains one of the City's well preserved examples of the style.
92 Queen Street is still commercial in nature, housing a local business. The building is located within a line of brick and stone Italianate-Commercial buildings on Queen Street, one of the most important and well-preserved historic streets in Charlottetown. An attractive building, 92 Queen Street compliments and helps support the Queen and Sydney Street streetscapes.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The following Italianate Commercial character-defining elements illustrate the heritage value of 92 Queen Street:
- The overall massing of the building and its symmetrical facade of three storeys
- The style and placement of the brick and stone throughout the facade, particularly the decorative details and mouldings
- The placement and style of the windows, including the large plate glass storefront windows with transom lights, the two over two windows of the second and third floor facade set in behind decorative brickwork and the two over two windows on the Sydney Street entrance
- The placement and style of the recessed doors, particularly the off centre double doors of the storefront with transom light
- The storefront sign band
- The flat roof with decorative parapet
Other character-defining elements include:
- The location of the building on Queen Street and its ongoing use for commercial purposes in the City