Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Algonquin Dormitories, consisting of the O’Brien House and the Matthews House, built in 1917 and 1929 respectively, are both two-storey, concrete, Tudor Revival dormitories. They are adjacent to one another on Carleton Street, intersecting with Harriet Street, behind the renowned Algonquin Hotel in St. Andrews.
The Algonquin Dormitories are designated a Local Historic Place for their architecture and for their association with the Algonquin Hotel.
The Algonquin Dormitories are examples of the Tudor Revival style. These properties are similar in appearance and both emulate the style despite the fact there are 12 years separating their construction dates. The style is evident through the steep gables that interrupt the plane of the roof-line and the half-timbering throughout the upper storeys. This style of architecture matches that of the Algonquin Hotel, for which these buildings were used as the dormitories for its employees.
The Algonquin Dormitories are also recognized for their association with the renowned Algonquin Hotel. The second Algonquin Hotel was built in 1914 and male staff resided in a section above the kitchen. The summer of 1916 was a very successful one for the Canadian Pacific Railway Co., owners of the hotel, so they built O’Brien House in 1917, the first dormitories for the hotel. This building was for male staff only. The O’Brien House measured 126 x 30 and was half-timbered with bright red roof and oak trim, matching the Algonquin Hotel nicely. There was a 70 foot veranda opening from which one entered a large common room furnished with writing tables, lounge chairs, etc., with 32 bedrooms upstairs housing 2 men each. Being wartime, the upper part of the eastern section was reserved for officers’ quarters and was fitted out more luxuriously.
Built in 1929, the Matthews House had multiple purposes. The lower storey was a powerhouse and recreation centre while the upper storey served as female residential units. The powerhouse replaced an earlier powerhouse on this lot. This new powerhouse was still insufficient to provide enough power to the town. The building is named after Wes Matthews, Chief Engineer. The staff recreation hall and canteen were located in the lower storey of the Matthews House and were the scene of many summer parties. One night, famed post-WWII Canadian comedian Doug Romaine gave staff a free show in the Matthews House.
Source: Charlotte County Archives, Old Gaol, Town of St. Andrews
The character-defining elements of the Algonquin Dormitories include:
- concrete construction;
- window placement and proportions;
- slightly projecting bays with gabled roofs interrupting the plane of the roof-line;
- half-timbering in second storey;
- large segmented arch openings in lower storey of Matthews House;
- wood-framed windows;
- similar design to the Algonquin Hotel.
Local Governments (NB)
Heritage Conservation Act
Local Historic Place (municipal)
1929/01/01 to 1929/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Social Movements
- Developing Economies
- Technology and Engineering
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
- Developing Economies
Function - Category and Type
- Multiple Dwelling
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Group Residence
- Power Generation Facility
Architect / Designer
Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Location of Supporting Documentation
Charlotte County Archives, Old Gaol, Town of St. Andrews
Cross-Reference to Collection