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162 Dorchester Street

162 Dorchester Street, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, C1A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1979/10/26

Showing North-west elevation; City of Charlottetown, Natalie Munn, 2005
162 Dorchester Street, Charlottetown
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/02/28

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

162 Dorchester Street is located on a block that contains many buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A Second Empire influenced home, it has retained many of its original attributes. The designation encompasses the building’s exterior and parcel; it does not include the building’s interior.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of 162 Dorchester Street lies in its well-preserved attractive architecture and its association with Judge George Alley and Senator Benjamin Prowse.

Built in 1872, 162 Dorchester Street was noted by newspapers of the day as being “one of the prettiest residences in Charlottetown”. The home was built to face west instead of the street. It is unknown why Alley chose this direction but perhaps he did not want his house to face the north wind or he planned to overlook a garden. The large, Second Empire influenced home is well maintained with many original details, including the distinct porch and the mansard roof.

Judge George Alley (1844-1899) was the son of prominent Charlottetown architect, Thomas Alley. A lawyer by profession, he was a partner of Louis H. Davies in the Charlottetown law firm of Alley and Davies. Alley was appointed judge of the Queen's County Court on 18 July 1874 making him perhaps the youngest Judge appointed in Canada. Judge Alley lived in the house for a number of years, but in 1888, a newspaper notice appeared indicating that the property was for sale. The property came complete with stables and outbuildings. The house did not pass out of the family at this time, however, and was occupied for some time by his son, Dr. Gordon T. Alley. The property was eventually sold to Senator Benjamin Prowse and the Prowse family would live there for many years.

Senator Benjamin Prowse (1862-1930) was a junior partner in the Charlottetown dry goods store, Prowse Bros. The successful firm operated for approximately eighty years until closing in the 1960s. Politically active, Prowse was Mayor of Charlottetown from 1908-1910. He was later appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier on 5 May 1911 and remained there until his death in 1930. The Prowse family eventually sold the home. 162 Dorchester has had different owners throughout the years but it still remains a residence to this day.

Location of the Supporting Documentation: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown PE, C1A 7K2. Heritage Database Record #1419

Character-Defining Elements

The elements which reflect the Second Empire architectural influences of the house include:

- the placement, style and shape of the side porch with its entrance of double doors and their transom and sidelight windows
- the placement, style, and shape of the windows in the body of the house
- the mansard roof with its square dormers and ornate bracketing along the eaves
- the location and shape of the chimney
- the overall wooden construction of the house



Prince Edward Island

Recognition Authority

City of Charlottetown

Recognition Statute

City of Charlottetown Zoning and Development Bylaw

Recognition Type

Heritage Resource

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type



Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown PE, C1A 7K2. Heritage Database Record #1419

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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