Description of Historic Place
257-259 Richmond Street is a three storey, wood framed double tenement located at the corner of Richmond and Hillsborough Streets. Its Bracketted Style features a flat roof with a bracketed cornice and rows of two over two windows topped by hood moulding. 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 257-259 Richmond Street lies in its association with J. Lemuel Phillips, its Bracketted Style architecture; and its position overlooking the Hillsborough Square supporting the streetscape.
The 4 August 1870 edition of the Patriot newspaper revealed that house joiner, J. Lemuel Phillips built the home at 257-259 Richmond Street in 1870. It is not clear if Phillips actually lived at the home, but according to local directories, it has had a number of tenants throughout the years. In the 1870s, Robert Crawford lived at 257-259 Richmond Street and later Boswell McGowan resided there in the 1880s. Later occupants of the home included the Cashier of the Savings Bank, Percy Pope and the Haszard Family.
According to an auction notice for 257-259 Richmond Street that appeared in the 19 June 1876 edition of the Examiner newspaper, W.C. Hopkirk was a tenant of the building. The home was described as a three-storey wooden building with a flat roof. It sat on a property with 40 feet of frontage on Richmond Street, extending back 160 feet. The home featured ten rooms, a pantry, outer kitchen and a prime frost-proof cellar and was fitted throughout for gas.
The Bracketted style of the building is evident in its flat roof with paired brackets under the eave line, as well as the rectangular windows of the facade.
257-259 Richmond Street was built in a very fashionable area of the 1860s and 1870s near the 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.
A well preserved home located among a number of heritage homes built overlooking the Hillsborough Square, 257-259 Richmond Street helps support its streetscape.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The following character-defining elements contribute to the Bracketted Style heritage value of 257-259 Richmond Street:
- The overall massing of the building with its three storeys
- The symmetrical facade
- The wooden cladding
- The pedimented gable porches with columns
- The style and placement of the windows, particularly the second and third floor two over two windows and the two sets of paired windows of the first floor facade
- The window hood mouldings
- The size and placement of the doors, each with a gable roofed porch supported by columns
- The flat roof with decorative cornice supported by paired brackets
Other character-defining elements include:
- The location of the building on Richmond Street and its physical and visual relationship to its streetscape