Description of Historic Place
8-10 Lower Water Street or Peake's Quay as it is now known, is a wood framed, former industrial building that has been converted into a popular restaurant, nightclub and shops. It is located in a traditionally industrial area on the Charlottetown waterfront, at the head of what was once the Peake Brothers' No.3 Wharf. The Charlottetown Area Development Corporation restored the area in 1989 and it now hosts a number of seasonal businesses. The designation encompasses the building's exterior and parcel; it does not include the building's interior.
The historic value of the Peake's Quay lies in its association with the MacDonald & Rowe Woodworking Company and its association with Charlottetown's industrial and seafaring past.
The Peake Brothers constructed the Peake No. 3 wharf in 1872. The wharf was one of three the Peake Family owned along the Charlottetown waterfront. Their father, James Ellis Peake (1797-1860) had developed a large shipping empire before his premature death in 1860. His sons continued in the business and established the successful company, Peake Bros. & Company in 1866. At this point in Prince Edward Island's history, the Island exported a great deal of oats, potatoes, dried fish and wood products to the other Maritime Provinces, as well as to Britain and the United States. Over half the trade was funneled through the port of Charlottetown and some of the trade was probably conducted from Peake's wharf. The Federal department of Marine and Fisheries acquired many of the buildings on the wharf in 1904 and it constructed various outbuildings that were used for storage and testing. A number of buildings near the head of Peake's wharf were industrial in nature however. Companies such as Bruce Stewart & Company, M.P. Hogan's Sash and Door Factory, Robert Palmer & Company and later, MacDonald and Rowe Woodworking Company, operated from the area.
It is not clear when the Peake's Quay building was constructed but MacDonald and Rowe Woodworking used it for much of the 20th Century. Together, S. Albert MacDonald and William Rowe began the large woodworking firm in approximately 1911. MacDonald had worked as a foreman for the company's predecessor, the Robert Palmer & Co. Sash and Door Factory, before beginning his own company in partnership with Rowe.
Many years later in 1989, the Charlottetown Area Development Corporation acquired the property and completed a major development project where the building, along with some of the former Department of Marine and Fisheries buildings, were renovated and converted into a seasonal restaurant, nightclub and shops. A large pedestrian boardwalk was also constructed and linked to the Charlottetown Boardwalk system, and a 150-slip marina was installed where the wharf once was.
Since 1989, Peake's Quay has undergone renovations including an expansion of the building and balcony. Although altered considerably since its days as an industrial building, it has retained its simple design and adds to the heritage character of the area.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The following character-defining elements illustrate the heritage value of Peake's Quay:
- The overall irregular massing of the building
- The wood construction of the building with its simple mouldings painted in a contrasting colour
- The placement and style of the windows, particularly the sash windows and the large paned, storefront windows
- The size and placement of the doors
- The various storefronts
- The portico above the main door on the east side of the building
- The gable roofs
- The large balconies on the south and west side of the building
Other character-defining elements include:
- The location of the building on the Charlottetown waterfront near where the Peake Brothers' No. 3 Wharf once existed
- The unobstructed view of the Charlottetown Harbour