Description of Historic Place
38-44 Pownal Street is a wood framed, Georgian inspired, former home and business located on the corner of Pownal Street and Dorchester Street. It features a picket fence in front of the property and a dominant Scottish dormer. It was built to replace a dwelling and shop that were destroyed by the Great Fire of 1866. The designation encompasses the building's exterior and parcel; it does not include the building's interior.
The heritage value of 38-44 Pownal Street lies in its association with the Pownal Street Bakery; its Georgian inspired architecture; and its role in supporting the Pownal Street and Dorchester Street streetscapes.
Baker and grocer, William Murray or "Murray the baker" as he was known, lost both his business and his home in the City's Great Fire of 1866. He rebuilt 38-44 Pownal Street almost immediately and was soon back in business. According to local historian, Irene Rogers' 1983 book, "Charlottetown: The Life In Its Buildings", the Pownal Street Bakery was so popular that Murray employed six men, one of which was kept busy each day with a horse and wagon delivering baked goods all over the City. Murray sold a wide variety of products including ship bread, pilot bread and a large selection of crackers that included soda, sugar, wine, butter and lemon. Murray's bakery was one of at least six bakeries active in mid-19th Century Charlottetown.
A local newspaper, the Examiner, noted the death of William Murray in its 14 June 1914 edition. His wife probably retained ownership of the home until her death. The 1 May 1935 edition of the Guardian advertised the auction sale of the property of the late Mrs. Mary Murray. Mr. Kays was a later owner of the home.
38-44 Pownal Street was influenced by the Georgian style - one of the most common architectural styles on Prince Edward Island. The Georgian style emerged from 18th Century Britain and was intent on expressing confidence, order and balance. 38-44 Pownal Street's Georgian inspired features include a gable roof, a five bay symmetrical facade and simple mouldings. At some point in its history, the building underwent renovations in which the bakery that was attached to the back side of the building was removed; the roof on the back of the home was raised and the three front doors were converted to one main entrance. Whether it is original to the building or not, the Scottish dormer is a particularly attractive feature.
Although it is not clear when, 38-44 Pownal Street has been converted into an apartment building. An attractive and well maintained example of an 1860s Georgian influenced former home and business, 38-44 Pownal Street helps to support the Pownal and Dorchester Street streetscape.
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 38-44 Pownal Street:
- The overall massing of the building with its two storeys
- The gable roof
- The size, shape and centre placement of the Scottish dormer
- The mouldings painted in a contrasting colour, including the window and door surrounds, the bracketing along the roof and the mouldings on the north side of the building
- The size and placement of the windows, particularly the large sash windows of the first and second floor and the windows of the Scottish dormer
- The size and central placement of the panel door with its sidelights and flat roofed projection above
Other character-defining elements of 38-44 Pownal Street include:
- The size and placement of the chimney
- The location of the building on the corner of Pownal Street and Dorchester Street and its physical and visual relationship to its streetscape