Description of Historic Place
Ryan Residence, also known as Building 5, at the Ryan Premises in the outport of Bonavista, is a two-and-a-half storey, wood frame building with a gabled roof, a front porch and a one-storey shed roofed extension. Its principal façade is three bays wide and has a central entrance. Its clapboard walls are framed with finely proportioned trim and two chimneys are symmetrically placed on the roof ridge. The gables and front porch are detailed with a small amount of decorative trim. The building is one of a group of six buildings that is highly evocative of the Newfoundland 19th- and 20th-century Atlantic fishing business. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Ryan Residence is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
Ryan Residence is one of the best examples of a building associated with Atlantic Fisheries in Canada. It is one of six buildings that constitute Ryan Premises, the headquarters of a family operated inshore fishery. The Ryan Company made an important contribution to Newfoundland and Canadian history and was, at one time, one of the largest fishing firms on the northeast coast of Newfoundland. The Ryan Premises dominated Newfoundland’s economic history in the 19th century and continued to be the single most important source of employment and market income well into the 20th century. The Ryan Premises are directly associated with the Ryan family and particularly, with James Ryan (1841-1917), the founder of James Ryan Ltd.
Ryan Residence is a very good example of Newfoundland vernacular wooden architecture as evidenced by its basic design, symmetry and unadorned, angular qualities. As a residence, it features a front porch with well-crafted Victorian style decoration such as the gingerbread vergeboards and the columns. The good functional design of the building is demonstrated in its classically inspired center hall plan, with symmetrically placed working fireplaces which heated each room. Further evidence of its very good craftsmanship is evidenced in the interior, vaulted brick cellar as well as in decorative features such as the built-in furniture and ceiling roundels.
Ryan Residence, as part of the Ryan Premises, reinforces the mixed character of its commercial and residential setting in the seaside town of Bonavista and is well known at the local level.
Sources: Shannon Ricketts, Ryan Premises (6 buildings), Bonavista, Newfoundland, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report 92-083; Ryan Residence, Bonavista, Newfoundland, Heritage Character Statement, 92-083.
The character-defining elements of Ryan Residence should be respected.
Its very good Newfoundland vernacular architecture, functional design and very good craftsmanship and materials, for example:
-the basic rectangular massing which consists of a simple, gable-roofed, box-like form with a small shed-roofed structure attached to the rear wall;
-the roof’s slight eaves overhang, narrow fascia, symmetrically arranged chimneys and the finial on the gable end;
-the wood frame construction built on a masonry and concrete foundation;
-the clapboard walls, framed by finely proportioned trim;
-the Victorian style decorative elements such as the gingerbread vergeboards and the front porch columns;
-the pattern and size of window and door openings, which reflects the centre-hall plan;
-the multi-paned windows;
-the vaulted brick cellar in the linhay;
-the decorative features of the interior, including the smooth plaster on the walls, the ceiling roundels, and the built-in furniture such as the glass-fronted cupboard with Chippendale-style mullions.
The manner in which Ryan Residence, as part of the Ryan Premises, reinforces the mixed character of its commercial/ residential setting in the outport town of Bonavista, and is a well known building at the local level, as evidenced by:
-the overall scale, design and materials that make the building compatible with the Ryan Premises, of which it is a part;
-the building’s location within a major complex of buildings that is prominently situated within a relatively small community, which makes it familiar.