Description of Historic Place
238-240 Hillsborough Street is a wood framed, Second Empire style double dwelling. Features of the house include its mansard roof with dormers and bracketted canopy hood roofs over many of the windows. It is located on the corner of Hillsborough and Euston Street in a primarily residential area of Charlottetown. The designation encompasses the building's exterior and parcel; it does not include the building's interior.
The heritage value of 238-240 Hillsborough Street lies in its association with Charlottetown's prolific builders, the Lowe Brothers; its Second Empire influenced architecture; and its role in supporting the streetscape.
Henry and Samuel Lowe were two of Charlottetown's most talented contractors. Their company, Lowe Bros., worked on some of the most impressive houses and buildings in the area and even provided plans for a few. In 1875, the brothers built this double house for their own use at 238-240 Hillsborough Street. Influenced by the Second Empire style, the home featured restrained details exemplified in its bracketed window hoods and fretwork in the gabled dormers.
The Second Empire style is readily identified through its mansard roof. This was named after François Mansart (1598-1666), and popularized by his son, Jules Hardoin Mansart, an architect who worked for 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 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. 238-240 Hillsborough Street a good example of the style in Charlottetown.
The home remained in the Lowe family until at least the 1980s. It has undergone renovations throughout the years and now serves as an apartment building. The exterior has not changed a great deal but some minor changes have included: the addition of a porch on the facade, additions to the back of the building and the removal of bracketing at the roof. A well maintained example of the Lowe Brothers work, 238-240 Hillsborough Street helps support the Hillsborough and Euston Street streetscapes.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The following Second Empire influenced character-defining elements contribute to the heritage value of 238-240 Hillsborough Street:
- The overall square massing of the building
- The mouldings painted in a contrasting colour, particularly the door and window surrounds, the bracketed window hoods, the fretwork in the gabled dormers and the porch with its paneling and pediment atop
- The mansard roof with its gabled dormers
- The size and placement of the brick chimney
- The size and placement of the windows, particularly the two over two sash windows, the two over two dormer windows and the large windows of the porch
- The size and centre placement of the paneled doors
- The size, placement and shape of the porch with its large number of windows, paneled base, pedimented gable roof and paired doors with transom and side lights
Other character-defining elements of 238-240 Hillsborough Street include:
- The location of the building on the corner Hillsborough and Euston Street and its physical and visual relationship to its streetscape