Description of Historic Place
232 King Street East is a property containing a pre-1820 house, a brick and limestone Victorian coach house and their surrounding open spaces. It is located on the west side of King Street East, between William and Earl Streets, in Kingston, Ontario.
The property was designated under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act by the City of Kingston on July 28, 1975 (By-law 8497).
The one-and-a-half storey frame structure of the main house plays as an important and unique element in the streetscape of the west side of King Street East between William and Earl Streets, which is predominantly marked by solid brick and stone residences.
The design and physical values of 232 King Street East are exemplified not only by the main house's simple, original architectural elements, but also as a complete property with a surviving coach house, open spaces, and a relatively large lot size for this block. The main house, which is tight to the sidewalk on King Street East, is noteworthy as a pre-1820, one-and-a-half storey, frame structure, few of which survive in the City of Kingston. The exterior is currently covered by stucco and insul-brick overlays which are not part of the historic fabric. This structure was dated to circa 1812 in the City of Kingston's Buildings of Architectural and Historic Significance – Volume 2. This date is supported by The Town of Kingston map (1815) which shows a building at this location of a similar size and shape to the existing main house. The structure is also shown in an early 1862 photographic view of King Street East. The narrowness of the main house, based on its wide façade relative to its depth, is typical of the period and is a key element of the property's design; two additions with shed roofs were later added onto the rear of the house. The main house appears to have its original casement windows on the King Street East façade, and other various types of original windows throughout. The roof of the original section of the main house is of a medium pitch with a brick chimney at either end. The double doorway with its Victorian doors in the main façade is also a significant feature of the property.
The Victorian coach house at the rear of the property is one of few remaining coach houses in the area. This two storey structure is of brick and limestone construction and displays wooden windows and wooden carriage house doors. The main brick façade is divided by a later concrete supporting lintel over three wide door openings (one glazed four-section wooden door and two glazed three-section wooden doors). On the second floor of the main façade, there is a large double door for hay loading and three square glazed windows. There is also a window on the north end of the building. Between the main house and the coach house is a significant amount of open space that serves to compliment both structures.
This property had connections with several United Empire Loyalists who played important roles in the daily life of early nineteenth century Kingston. The Crown Patent for Lot 125, which included this property, was issued to John Cannon, Yeoman (United Empire Loyalist) on January 16, 1804 (registered on June 16, 1804). The total size of the grant was equal to four-fifths of an acre and occupied the eastern part of the block bounded by King Street East, William Street, Earl Street, and Wellington Street. In Frontenac County Loyalist Families (1996), he is recorded as being married to Sarah and being the father of 8 children, all of whom were baptized at St. George's Church between 1791 and 1803. In 1790, he became Sexton at St. George's and in 1792 was also appointed the Clerk. He continued in both positions until 1801. Cannon also held municipal posts as well serving as Gaoler in 1794 and the “high constable” in 1798, 1800 and 1801. Cannon sold all of lot 125 to Dorothy Stauber (wife of John Stauber) in 1807. George Okill Stuart (1776 to 1862), Archdeacon of Kingston, in turn, purchased the whole lot from Stauber under a “bargain and sale” in 1809.
Sources: City of Kingston By-law 8497; City of Kingston Heritage Property File CHE-P18-202-2004.
Character defining elements of the main house that support the heritage value include the:
- cohesiveness of the buildings as positioned on the lot
- one-and-a-half storey height of the main house
- frame construction, few examples of which survive in Kingston from its period
- narrowness of the house, based on its wide façade relative to its depth
- two later additions with shed roofs on the rear of the house
- casement windows, apparently original, on the King Street East façade
- various types of original windows throughout, mostly six over six and two over two sashes
- medium pitched roof with a brick chimney at either end
- double doorway with its lintel and Victorian glazed doors
- small basement windows on the King Street façade
- brick and limestone coach house
- green space between the buildings