Description of Historic Place
43 Queen Street is a three storey, brick Italianate Commercial influenced building. It is located on Queen Street 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 historic value of 43 Queen Street lies in its role in the commercial history of Charlottetown, its Italianate Commercial influenced architecture, and its contribution to the Queen Street streetscape.
It is unclear when 43 Queen Street was constructed, but it was at some point after the Great Fire of 1866, which almost completely devastated the block. It is known that the building was constructed before 1880 because it appears on the site in Meacham's 1880 Atlas of PEI. An article appeared in the 16 July 1872 edition of the local newspaper, the Island Argus, stating that the new Welsh and Owen Building was being constructed next door to Captain Foley's Store. It is unclear whether 43 Queen Street was Captain Foley's Store, but it is possible, as 43 Queen Street is located next to the Welsh and Owen Building.
Newspapers and telephone directories reveal the commercial nature of 43 Queen Street throughout its history. According to the local newspaper, the Guardian, in January 1923, Imperial Oil had purchased 43 Queen Street, which had been owned and occupied by J.J. MacKinnon. A later advertisement from the 2 January 1926 edition of the Patriot newspaper, indicated that wholesale exporter, J. Lester Douglas had recently set up shop in the building. He specialised in potatoes and also served as the local Sharples Separator agent. These machines featured "the famous suction feed". The Sharples Separator Works was built in the 1890s in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Their tubular cream separator became coveted on dairy farms throughout North America and was used to effectively separate fresh whole milk into cream and skim milk. Reassuringly, J. Lester Douglas reminded customers that repair parts for old machines were always in stock. A later resident of the building was the well-known Charlottetown wholesaler, R.E. Mutch and Co. Ltd.
43 Queen Street is influenced by the Italianate style. The choice of the Italianate influenced commercial building was a popular one in the late 19th Century. Often constructed in brick these buildings were considered more durable and fireproof than the wooden structures they invariably replaced. The round arch window design was also more decorative, being reminiscent of the Venetian arcades of the Renaissance period. 43 Queen Street is a well-preserved example of this style within the City. Located in a traditionally commercial area of Queen Street, the building helps support the streetscape.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The following Italianate Commercial influenced character-defining elements illustrate the heritage value of 43 Queen Street:
- The overall massing of the building with its three storeys
- The brick construction with simple mouldings
- The flat roof
- The style and placement of the windows, particularly the two over two round arched windows of the second and third floors and the large single pane windows of the first floor
- The style and placement of the doors with their transom lights
- The two identical painted brick storefronts with signband and corbelled brickwork below the signband
Other character-defining elements include:
- The location of the building on Queen Street and its ongoing use for commercial purposes in the City