Description of Historic Place
205 Kent Street is a wood framed Colonial Revival influenced former private residence and doctor's office. Its features include its asymmetrical massing, bay windows, front verandah, and cantilevered and pedimented gable facade. It is located among a mix of residential, commercial and ecclesiastical buildings of varying ages. The designation encompasses the building's exterior and parcel; it does not include the building's interior.
The heritage value of 205 Kent Street lies in its association with prominent physician and premier of Prince Edward Island, William Joseph Parnell MacMillan (1881-1957); its Colonial Revival influenced architecture; and its role in supporting the streetscape.
This residence at 205 Kent Street was constructed in the early part of the Twentieth Century. It is not clear who built the former home, however according to the McAlpine's Directory of 1914-15, physician, Dr. William Joseph Parnell MacMillan not only lived at the address, but also had his office there. Directories place him at the address until at least 1937.
W.J.P. MacMillan was a prominent physician and a surgeon on Prince Edward Island. Also involved in public life, he began his political career when he ran in the general election of 1923. It is said that he entered politics not for political motives, but to try to obtain a grant for his favourite charity, the Red Cross Society. He served as a Member of the Legislative Assembly almost uninterrupted until 1955. Upon the death of Premier James D. Stewart in 1933, MacMillan became Premier of Prince Edward Island and served until 1935. One of his most enduring accomplishments while in office was the establishment of a provincial library system with the help of funds from a Carnegie endowment. In 1957, he was appointed Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island, but unfortunately died two weeks later - only 9 days before being sworn in.
205 Kent Street shows influence of the Colonial Revival style. The style came to Prince Edward Island as a result of the Island's familial and economic connections with New England, where it emerged in the 1880s. It was based on North American models and was an effort to simplify and adapt the forms of earlier architectural styles to contemporary needs. A popular style in Charlottetown from approximately 1890 until 1940, 205 Kent Street's Colonial Revival influenced features include stacked bay windows, a Palladian window in the centre of the cantilevered and pedimented gable and a large verandah that runs the entire length of the facade.
205 Kent Street was a private home and office for many years, but has been converted into a group residence. A well-kept building among a variety of buildings, it helps support the Kent Street streetscape.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The following Colonial Revival character-defining elements contribute to the heritage value of 205 Kent Street:
- The overall asymmetrical massing of the building
- The wooden shingle cladding, with a band of decorative shingles in the gable of the facade
- The mouldings painted in a contrasting colour, particularly the door and window surrounds, the roof brackets under the cantilevered and pedimented gable of the facade, the cornices, the beltcourses and the eaves returns
- The cross gable roof
- The size and placement of the windows, particularly the Palladian window in the centre of the cantilevered and pedimented gable, the stacked bay windows of the facade, and the single and grouped sash windows
- The size and placement of the two doors located on the facade
- The size and shape of the verandah that runs the length of the facade
Other character-defining elements of 205 Kent Street include:
- The location of the building on Kent Street and its physical and visual relationship to its streetscape