Description of Historic Place
88-90 Sydney Street is a two storey wood framed, Georgian inspired, residence located in an area with a number of heritage homes, as well as 20th Century office buildings. The designation encompasses the building's exterior and parcel; it does not include the building's interior.
The heritage value of 88-90 Sydney Street lies in its Georgian inspired architecture, its association with various Charlottetown residents, and its role in supporting the Sydney Street streetscape.
A "for sale" advertisement for 88-90 Sydney Street appeared in a local newspaper in 1847. It made mention of the fact that the building was originally intended for mercantile purposes, but also pointed out that it would make a fine private dwelling. The new owner, Patrick Walker, chose the second option and 88-90 Sydney Street became a private residence. Walker owned the home for about three years but decided to sell it when he moved to the countryside. Edward and Thomas Kenny, two successful merchants from Halifax, Nova Scotia, purchased the home for the large sum of 700 Pounds.
In 1861, the Kennys sold the property to local drug store owner, Michael Skinner. Skinner's store was located across the street from the home and its shop window featured a lifelike flaxen haired doll. In Lucy Maud Montgomery's book, "Magic for Marigold", the author based her "Skinner doll", a lifelike doll made into the image of Alicia, a long dead child, on the doll kept in the window of Michael Skinner's drugstore.
The Skinners' kept 88-90 Sydney Street in the family until 1885, when it was sold to Patrick McQuaid. The McQuaids' would keep the home in the family as late as the 1980s.
88-90 Sydney Street is Georgian inspired in style. The Georgian style is one of the most common architectural styles on Prince Edward Island. It emerged from 18th Century Britain and was intent on expressing confidence, order and balance. 88-90 Sydney Street's Georgian inspired features include a gable roof, symmetrical facade and simple mouldings.
The building has been renovated in recent years, but continues to support the Sydney Street streetscape due to its architectural presence and historical associations.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The following Georgian inspired character-defining elements contribute to the heritage value of 88-90 Sydney Street:
- The overall massing of the building with its two storeys
- The symmetrical facade and wooden cladding
- The simple mouldings painted in a contrasting colour, including the corner boards, the beltcourse and the window and door surrounds
- The size and placement of the sash windows, particularly the large windows of the first floor facade and the smaller windows of the second floor facade
- The size and placement of the two front doors with transom lights above
- The gable roof
- The size and placement of the chimney
Other character-defining elements include:
- The location of the building on Sydney Street and its physical and visual relationship to surrounding 19th and 20th Century buildings
- The continued use of the property as a residence