Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Wren Residence is a two-storey, wooden, Georgian residence with later Queen Anne Revival elements such as the bay windows and the portico. It is located on Water Street in the Town of St. Andrews.
The Wren Residence is designated as a Local Historic Place for its architecture and for its association with the Wren family.
The Wren Residence is recognized for its architecture. Built for John Lowden, the construction date of this home is believed to be circa 1822. Although the home has late Victorian characteristics such as the semi-octagonal bay windows, the underlying massing and further research of the home shows that it was a home built in the Georgian style. It is known that Capt. Thomas Wren, a ship-builder, obtained this home in 1834 and per an 1865 city directory he was living on this corner lot. For “natural love and affection” he conveyed this home to his son, Thomas Rudolph Wren, in 1894. Thomas Wren Sr. passed away in 1898 at the age of 87.
Thomas Rudolph Wren was born in St. Andrews in 1858. He was one of the first to graduate from the Charlotte County Grammar School, and later studied pharmacy in Calais, Maine, and Boston before returning to St. Andrews and starting the long established firm of Wren’s Drugstore in 1882. Wren’s Drugstore continued to serve the town of St. Andrews until the 1970’s, and was known as the prescription drugstore in that town. He was Past Master at St. Mark’s Lodge and was a life member of the Red Cross for services rendered during the war. Rudolph Wren passed away in 1931 and the home was left to his 2 children, Jarvis and Freda. Freda (Mrs. George Bishop) maintained ownership of this home until her death in 1956. The home remained in the Wren family until 1969. Therefore, this home was in the Wren family for 135 years.
Architecturally, the Wren Residence is a an example of a Georgian home with two-storey side-gable massing and eave returns. Later modifications that reflect the Queen Anne Revival style are the two semi-octagonal bay windows and the use of square posts on the portico.
Source: Charlotte County Archives – Old Gaol, St. Andrews, New Brunswick – St. Andrews Historic Places File, “Wren Residence”
The character-defining elements of this home include:
- two-storey rectangular plan;
- window placement and proportions;
- central portico with flat-roof, upper-storey balcony with wooden balustrade, eight square posts with capitals and ornate fretwork;
- side-gabled roof with eave returns;
- wood framed windows;
- wooden clapboard siding;
- paired wooden doors with glass upper panels;
- two-storey semi-octagonal bay windows flanking the central portico.
Local Governments (NB)
Local Historic Places Program
Municipal Register of Local Historic Places
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Charlotte County Archives - Old Gaol, St. Andrews, New Brunswick
Cross-Reference to Collection