Description of Historic Place
267 Richmond Street is a two storey wood framed former residence designed by Island architect, William Critchlow Harris. Although modified since its construction, it still features elements of his design, including the hole pattern in the bargeboard facing the street. It is located in an area with a high concentration of heritage properties and overlooks the Hillsborough Square. The designation encompasses the building's exterior and parcel; it does not include the building's interior.
The heritage value of 267 Richmond Street lies in its association with William Critchlow Harris (1854-1913) and with various Charlottetown residents; its location overlooking the Hillsborough Square; and its role in supporting the streetscape.
267 Richmond Street was built in 1896 for John McMillan, the chief engineer of the Stanley, a steam ship that was used for the mail and passenger service between Prince Edward Island and the mainland in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries. Prominent Charlottetown architect, William Critchlow Harris, designed the attractive home that resembles a number of his other designs. Only a few years later, McMillan sold his home on Richmond Street and returned to his native Scotland with the intention of staying. He must have missed the Island though, because soon he was back and had another prominent architect, C.B. Chappell, design a Colonial Revival home one block to the west on Hillsborough Street.
In 1902, Charlottetown City Councilor and Member of Parliament, Horace Haszard purchased 267 Richmond Street. Five years later in 1907, the Lemuel Prowse family bought the home. According to local telephone directories, the Prowse family would stay there until at least 1935.
Features of Harris' design include a snub or hipped gable roof, various shingle patterns, and decorative woodwork such as the drilled holes in the bargeboard. At one time, the home had an arched doorway within a more decorative verandah, but it has been changed over the years. The enclosed sunroom on the second storey above the verandah also is not original. It encloses three windows which once overlooked the street.
267 Richmond Street was built in a very fashionable area of Charlottetown near Hillsborough Square. The Hillsborough Square is one of five squares located within the City of Charlottetown laid out in 1771. Residents of the area took pride in the appearance of their square and in the 1860s, asked City Council for permission to enclose it with a fence and plant ornamental trees. The square was often used for band concerts and contained a flagpole. Interestingly, residents sometimes allowed their cows or horses to graze within its borders. Although the days when it was used as a pasture are long over, Hillsborough Square is still a green space and contains playground equipment and paths.
An attractive home among a number of heritage homes built overlooking the Hillsborough Square, 267 Richmond Street helps support an attractive streetscape.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The following character-defining elements contribute to the heritage value of 267 Richmond Street:
- The overall massing of the building with its two storeys
- The snub or hipped gable roof design
- The attractive mouldings painted in a contrasting colour, particularly the window and door surrounds, the bargeboards with small holes as decoration, the cornices, the square mouldings along the porch, the stringcourses and the columns of the verandah
- The wood shingle cladding
- The style and placement of the windows, including the bay windows and the grouped sash windows
- The style and placement of the double doors
- The verandah
- The second floor porch that has been added to the building with its large windows and attractive square mouldings
- The stone foundation
- The size and placement of the chimney
Other character-defining elements include:
- The location of the building on Richmond Street and its physical and visual relationship to its streetscape