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McKean Residence

224-226 Princess Street, Saint John, New Brunswick, E2L, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2008/08/18

This image shows the front façade of the building; City of Saint John, 2007
McKean Residence - Front façade
This image shows the contextual view on the building; City of Saint John, 2007
McKean Residence - Contextual view
This image shows a view of the carpentry ornamentation of the entablature over the main entrance; City of Saint John, 2007
McKean Residence - Entablature

Other Name(s)

McKean Residence
Frederick Estey Residence
Résidence Frederick Estey

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/09/09

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The McKean Residence is a two-storey wooden Italianate building located on Princess Street, west of Wentworth Street, in a residential area of Saint John's Central Peninsula. It shares a setback in close proximity to the street with the neighbouring buildings on this block face.

Heritage Value

The McKean Residence is designated a Local Historic Place for its architectural value and for its association with the Great Saint John Fire.

The McKean Residence is recognized for its architecture. This is an excellent example of a residential wooden Italianate building that fits well with its historic context in the heart of Saint John's Central Peninsula. The Italianate features of the building include an overhanging cornice with brackets, which is mirrored in the form of the window entablatures. The entrance has an attractive entablature with long ornate brackets and large segmented arched transom window. The ornamental woodwork, preserved window placement and proportions and wooden siding and corner boards provide a fine example of an intact building of its style from the late 19th century in Saint John.

The McKean Residence is also recognized for its association with the Great Saint John Fire of 1877. Built circa 1877-1883, this residential structure is a good example of the wooden Italianate architecture employed during the rebuilding process following the fire in 1877. This fire, which destroyed two-thirds of the City of Saint John, would prove to be one of the most catastrophic in the history of Canada. The resilient architecture of this building symbolizes the strong will of the residents of Saint John to rebuild the city in a pleasing manner. Princess Street had the largest contingent of wooden buildings built within the first three years after the Great Saint John Fire. Many of the blocks near the core of the city were restricted to only use brick in their construction. In contrast, Princess Street was rebuilt with many wooden structures in the Italianate style. This building has heritage value through its function in the City’s post-Fire years as respectable temporary housing for middle class Saint John workers. The residency of this home consisted of many short-term rentals. For example, Robert McKean of the Intercolonial Railway resided here for a few years beginning in 1890.

Source: City of Saint John - Planning and Development Department

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of this Italianate building include:
- square two-storey massing;
- flat roof;
- placement and proportions vertical sliding wood windows;
- wide cornice with scrolled brackets;
- wooden shingle siding;
- wooden corner boards and plinth band;
- openings topped by ornate wooden entablatures featuring scrolled brackets and decorative elements;
- high segmented arch transom window over the off-centre entrance.



New Brunswick

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NB)

Recognition Statute

Local Historic Places Program

Recognition Type

Municipal Register of Local Historic Places

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1877/01/01 to 1877/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type



Multiple Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Planning and Development Department - City of Saint John

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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