Description of Historic Place
Dalton Hall is a large brick and stone ornate building located on the treed grounds of the campus of the University of Prince Edward Island. Its hipped roof features gabled dormers and large wooden brackets. Influenced by the Collegiate Gothic style, it originally was a male residence for the Roman Catholic St. Dunstan's College, but is now used for office and classroom space. The designation encompasses the building's exterior and parcel; it does not include the building's interior.
Dalton Hall is valued for its association with Sir Charles Dalton; its role in the history of the University of Prince Edward Island; and its Collegiate Gothic architectural style.
Sir Charles Dalton (1850-1933) was a native of Tignish, PEI. He became wealthy as a pioneer in the development of the Island's Silver Fox industry in the early 20th Century. He was also involved in Island politics, being first elected in 1912. He would also later serve as lieutenant governor (1930-1933), dying in office. He received a papal knighthood from Benedict XV for his philanthropic work. He donated funds for the Dalton School in Tignish, a sanitorium for TB patients, and an ambulance for the Front in WW I.
Dalton Hall was constructed in 1917 as a male residence from funds provided by Sir Charles Dalton. It was the second building for St. Dunstan's College, the first being Main Building, which was constructed in 1854. Dalton Hall was originally going to be the Dalton Wing, which would have been added to Main Building, however it was decided that a separate building would be more suitable. Prominent architects, Chappell and Hunter designed the impressive structure and Harry Corcoran supervised the construction. Originally estimated to cost approximately 31 000 dollars, Dalton Hall would ultimately cost almost double at a total price of 59 639 dollars.
The building was blessed and opened by the Papal Nuncio on 25 September 1919 and would continue to serve as a residence until 1972 when it was converted to classroom and office space. The building is now part of the University of Prince Edward Island, which is Prince Edward Island's only university. The University of Prince Edward Island is the product of two proud institutions - St. Dunstan's University, which was St. Dunstan's College until 1941 when it activated its university charter, and Prince of Wales College - whose origins trace back to 1804. The University of Prince Edward Island was incorporated in 1969 by an act of the Provincial Legislature.
Dalton Hall is one of the most beautiful buildings and certainly the most ornate on campus. It was influenced by the Collegiate Gothic style of architecture, which is a derivative of the Gothic Revival style. It was used extensively on North American university campuses in the early part of the Twentieth Century. Features of the style included in the design of Dalton Hall include oriel and bay windows, dormers and bas-relief sculptures. The building at one time had finials atop the heavy main door surround, however they have been removed.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The following character-defining elements contribute to the Collegiate Gothic influenced heritage value of Dalton Hall:
- The overall massing of the building
- The size and shape of the brick and cement construction including the decorative brickwork and the stringcourse at the base of the third floor
- The hipped roof with gable dormers and large wooden brackets
- The size and placement of the doors
- The size and symmetrical placement of the windows, including the tall windows, the bay windows, the oriel windows and the paired windows of the dormers
- The various decorative mouldings including the mouldings of the windows and doors, the four bas relief sculptures of saints, the stylized "SDU" and "1917" in the north and south gables respectively, the name of the building carved in stone above the centre bay window, the carved cross in the eastern gable and the carved cross in the heavy door surround underlining the building's Roman Catholic heritage
Other character-defining elements include:
- The placement of the building on the well-landscaped campus
- The ivy that covers the southern section of the building