Description of Historic Place
The Heartz-O'Halloran Row is composed of three brick buildings influenced by the Georgian style of architecture. It is one of a few examples of row houses in Charlottetown and makes up most of the block on the east side of Great George Street. Trees line the street in front of the buildings. The municipal designation encompasses the buildings' exterior and parcel; it does not include the buildings' interior.
The Heartz-O'Halloran Row is valued for its role as one of few row houses in Charlottetown; its Georgian influenced architecture; and its contribution to the streetscape.
Local banker, businessman and politician, Richard Heartz (1816-1908), built the first section of the Heartz-O'Halloran row house on the corner of Sydney and Great George Streets in 1859. Heartz, whose ancestors were masons, naturally chose brick as the material for his home. He and his family would live there until 1908, using part of the building as a counting house. Counting houses were the 19th Century equivalent of accounting offices today.
Martin O'Halloran, a wholesale grocer and liquor merchant, constructed the middle part of the row house in 1865. The home looked very similar to the Heartz home next door. O'Halloran resided at the address and operated his business from the building. According to a newspaper advertisement from 1866, he was inviting customers to sample his "extra fine flour" from the new location.
It would not be until 1879 when the final part of the Heartz-O'Halloran Row was constructed by the O'Halloran Family after a fire destroyed the wooden buildings that were on the property. According to the 14 April 1879 edition of the newspaper, the Examiner, the O'Halloran family rented the new building out to the law offices of Brecken and Fitzgerald and Longworth and Shaw. Later, in 1888, Sullivan and MacNeill, attorneys at law and solicitors in chancery, were advertising their services from the building.
Since the Heartz-O'Halloran Row was close to the courthouse on Queen Square, it proved to be a popular choice for law offices. Local directories reveal that barrister, J.D. Stewart had his offices in the row house, as would barrister, N.W. Lowther and lawyers, McKinnon and McNeill. Other tenants of the Heartz-O'Halloran Row included investment bankers, Jones Stewart and Company, Dr. L.H. Killorn and H.K.S. Hemming Real Estate.
The 16 February 1957 edition of the Guardian newspaper carried a tender notice offering the 76-78 Great George Street section of the building for sale. It was described as being built of brick on a solid stone foundation with hot water heating. The offices in the building returned a gross annual rental of $3780.00. Unfortunately, in September of 1960, fire struck the 82 Great George Street section and damaged the adjoining office at 84 Great George Street.
By 1976 the entire row house, which had been owned by a local businessman, was purchased by the Heritage Canada Foundation and with the support of a committee made up of members from the Prince Edward Island Heritage Foundation and the Charlottetown Area Development Corporation. All three buildings of the row house underwent an extensive renovation including new heating, plumbing, electrical and sprinkler systems, as well as a new slate roof. The space became a mix of residential, office and retail space. It is still used for these purposes today.
The buildings of the Heartz-O'Halloran row although built years apart, are of a similar design, constructed of brick, and all together make an impact on the Great George Street streetscape. Each building shows Georgian influences, with a largely symmetrical front facade, gable roof and rectangular plan. The Georgian style emerged from 18th Century Britain and was intent on expressing confidence, order and balance.
As a well preserved Victorian streetscape, the Heartz-O'Halloran Row is an important aspect of Great George Street. The area is also a federally designated heritage district because of its association with the Confederation era.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The following Georgian influenced character-defining elements illustrate the heritage value of 76-88 Great George Street:
- The overall massing of the row houses with their two storeys
- The brick construction with stone mouldings
- The slate gable roof with stone gable returns
- The style and symmetrical placement of the six over six windows, particularly the sash windows of the buildings' second floor windows, the main floor sash windows and the large commercial style windows all with stone voussoirs and lintels
- The style and placement of the panel doors with their transom lights
- The style and placement of the chimneys
- The size and placement of the three buildings within a complete row house
Other character-defining elements include:
- The location of the buildings on Great George Street