Description of Historic Place
215-217 Richmond Street is a wood framed, Georgian inspired former Methodist Mission House located across the street from its original location. The Mission House was the home of the clergyman of the First Methodist Church, or what is now known as Trinity United Church, that still stands nearby. Trinity United, built in 1863, is the oldest church in Charlottetown still used for regular worship. The designation encompasses the building's exterior and parcel; it does not include the building's interior.
The heritage value of 215-217 Richmond Street lays in its role as a former Methodist Mission House; its Georgian influenced architecture; and its role in supporting the streetscape.
The land, on which 215-217 Richmond Street stands, was part of a parcel owned by builder, Isaac Smith, and later his daughter, Catherine and her husband, William B. Dawson. The couple sold the land to blacksmith, Edward Davy, in 1873. According to the Hutchinson's 1864 Directory, Davy had been a boarder at a home nearby.
When the congregation of the First Methodist Church decided to build a new home for their clergy in 1874, Davy purchased their old one for $230.00 and moved it across the street to its current location at 215-217 Richmond Street. Interestingly, Davy's converted Mission House still stands, while its replacement is long gone. The home was kept in the Davy family for over a hundred years but at some point, it was turned into an apartment house.
Erected in 1836, the former Mission House appears to have been Georgian inspired. The Georgian style is one of the most common architectural styles on Prince Edward Island. It emerged from 18th Century Britain and was intent on expressing confidence, order and balance. 215-217 Richmond Street's Georgian inspired features include a gable roof, symmetrical facade and simple mouldings.
An early engraving from the September 1877 edition of Harper's New Monthly Magazine featured the Mission House next to the First Methodist Church. The engraving appears to have been done in the period between 1865 when the congregation's wooden chapel had been moved off the property and 1874, when the Mission House was relocated across Richmond Street. The house pictured in the engraving had the same massing and symmetrical facade as it does today. A well maintained building that has a significant connection with the local former Methodist and United Church community; 215-217 Richmond Street helps support the 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 215-217 Richmond Street:
- The overall rectangular massing of the building
- The wood shingle cladding
- The wood mouldings painted in a contrasting colour, including the window and door surrounds, the small gable canopy porch of the facade and the wood beltcourse running between the two floors
- The gable roof with wide eave overhang
- The size and symmetrical placement of the two over one sash windows, particularly the four sash windows of the main floor and the five windows of the second floor directly above
- The size and centre placement of the door with its transom light and gable porch above
- The size and placement of the brick chimneys
Other character-defining elements of 215-217 Richmond Street include:
- The location of the home on Hillsborough Street and its physical and visual relationship to its streetscape