234, Queen Street East, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, P6A, Canada
Coronation & Hussey Block
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Erected in 1902, the three storey red sandstone Coronation Block is located on the north side of Queen Street East in the commercial district of Sault Ste. Marie. The Coronation Block is flanked on the east by the Hussey Block, another designated heritage property in Sault Ste. Marie.
The Coronation Block has been recognized for its heritage value by the City of Sault Ste. Marie, By-law 883-60.
The heritage value of the Coronation Block lies in its association with the commercial development of downtown Sault Ste. Marie and as a reflection of confidence in the future of Sault Ste. Marie at the turn of the century. Designed by local architect H. Russell Halton and erected by Isaie Taillefer, it is also an important example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture using local materials.
The development of the Coronation Block and the adjacent Hussey Block made an important contribution to the commercial development of the Queen Street East commercial district of downtown Sault Ste. Marie. The Coronation Block was an important monument not only to its namesake, the recently crowned son of Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, but also to the working people of Sault Ste. Marie who believed in the future of their bustling town. The architect, owner and building contractor all expressed in the design and material a commercial echo of the successful industrial empire which Francis H. Clergue, an American entrepreneur, was assembling a few blocks down the street. In those optimistic days, Northern Ontario was known as New Ontario and Sault Ste. Marie was one of the brightest jewels in the Provincial crown.
The Coronation Block, completed in 1902 shortly after the adjacent Hussey Block, is constructed in the Richarsonian Romanesque style, with rough-dressed sandstone walls similar to that of the Abitibi-Price (St. Marys Paper Ltd.) Head Office also constructed in Sault Ste. Marie at that time. As one might expect, the sandstone was excavated during the construction of the International Locks, and was in all likelihood laid by some of the same masons who worked on the canal and settled in the town.
Sources: Sault Ste. Marie Designation By-law 83-60; Coronation Block Designation Report.
Key elements of the Coronation Block that relate to its association with the commercial development of the Queen Street East commercial district and confidence in a developing community include:
-its central storefront location in the Queen Street East commercial district
-recessed inscription panel containing the words Coronation Block 1902 mounted on the Queen Street side of the building
Key elements of the Coronation Block that relate to its value as an important example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture using local materials include:
-the rough-dressed style and quality of the stone work including the projecting pilasters, the blind arcading and arched window and door openings of the facade, and the finely detailed parapet and dentillated cornice
-local red sandstone walls, quarried from the International Locks
-remaining original wooden double hung and glazed transom sashes and frames
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Office or Office Building
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Community Services Department, Recreation and Culture Division, City of Sault Ste. Marie
Cross-Reference to Collection
Sault Ste. Marie Museum; Sault Ste. Marie Public Library Archives