Description of Historic Place
62 Prince Street is a brick, Second Empire style former home with a large wooden addition on its south side. It features decorative stone quoins and a corbelled cornice below its mansard roof. Located on the corner of Prince and Dorchester Streets, it is in an area with a number of heritage buildings. Currently, it serves as the Prince Edward Island regional offices of the Canadian Red Cross. The designation encompasses the building's exterior and parcel; it does not include the building's interior.
The heritage value of 62 Prince Street lies in its association with prominent local architect Thomas Alley (1820-1900), its Second Empire influenced architecture and its role in supporting the Prince Street and Dorchester Street streetscapes.
Thomas Alley built his family home at 62 Prince Street in approximately 1874. At the time, the courthouse on Queen Square or as it is now known, the Honourable George Coles Building, was being built. Both buildings were his designs and the similarities between the two are striking. Similar features include: the same brick pattern in the corbelled cornice at the roofline, the freestone quoining, the window and door surrounds, the Mansard roof and the steeply pitched gable dormers made of brick- a feature of the original Honourable George Coles Building.
Thomas Alley was a prominent architect in Victorian Charlottetown and for a time served as Superintendent of Works for the Provincial Government. Some of his beautiful work can still be seen today including: Trinity United Church, the J. Angus MacLean Building, the Customs House, and the Honourable George Coles Building.
He chose the Second Empire style for his own home at 62 Prince Street and it remains a fine example of the style within the City of Charlottetown. The style is usually identified by its Mansard roof, which was named after François Mansart (1598-1666), and popularized by his son, Jules Hardoin Mansart, an architect who worked for France's King Louis XIV around 1700. The Mansard roof is almost flat on the top section and has deeply sloping, often curved, lower sections that generally contain dormers. The Second Empire referred to in the name of the style is that of Napoleon III (1852-1870). The style reached Canada through Britain and the United States and was used extensively throughout Charlottetown from approximately 1860 until 1880.
The Alley family retained ownership of 62 Prince Street until the 1940s, when the widow of Alley's grandson, Dr. Gordon Alley, sold the building to the Canadian Red Cross Society. Prior to this, the Alleys' rented the building to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for use as its headquarters. It would house divisional administrative offices and serve as a home for unmarried officers. In 1949, tenders were called for the addition to the south side of the building. By 1950, the addition was complete, as was the remodeling of the building's interior.
As an example of the work of one of the Island's significant architects, 62 Prince Street is a well preserved example of its style in the City. Located in a mix of residential and public buildings, it helps support the Prince Street and Dorchester Street streetscapes.
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 62 Prince Street:
- The overall massing of the building with its two and one half storeys
- The symmetrical facade
- The brick and stone construction
- The pattern of the brickwork, particularly the corbelling of the cornice near the roof
- The Wallace freestone mouldings, such as the window arches and sills, the impressive door surrounds and the quoining at the corners for strength
- The Mansard roof with brick gable roofed dormers
- The size and symmetrical placement of the windows, particularly the two over two windows on either side of the doorway, the paired arched windows above the door and the arched dormer windows
- The size and centre placement of the door with a large fanlight above
- The large set of steps leading up to the doorway
Other character-defining elements include:
- The location of the building on the corner of Prince Street and Dorchester Street and its physical and visual relationship to its streetscape