Henry Rankine Residence
212 Germain Street, Saint John, New Brunswick, E2L, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Henry Rankine Residence is one of a pair of similar two-storey brick Italianate residences surrounded by an ornate stone and cast iron enclosure. It is located on Germain Street within the Trinity Royal Preservation Area of the City of Saint John.
The Henry Rankine Residence is designated a Local Historic Place for its architecture and its association with Henry Rankine and his family.
Many of the buildings in the residential district of Germain Street were constructed in the latter part of the 19th century or early 20th century as all the older buildings were destroyed in the Great Saint John Fire of 1877. Henry Rankine and his brother had this house and the adjoining residence, respectively, constructed in 1886. It is a good example of residential Italianate architecture from the rebuilding period in Saint John following the fire. This style is evident in the wide moulded cornice, the elaborate two-storey bay windows and the overall symmetry of the residence considered along with the adjoining residence.
The Henry Rankine Residence is also recognized for its association with the Rankine family. Henry Rankine’s father, Thomas A. Rankine, established a prominent biscuit manufacturing business located on Mill and George Streets in 1826. In the following years, Henry joined the family business as a partner with his father and younger brother, Frank. Upon the death of Thomas Rankine, Henry took over as president, while his brother, Frank, became the vice-president of the firm. Shortly thereafter, the business was incorporated and officially became known as “T. Rankine and Sons, Limited.” The company became renowned for its success as an incredibly long lasting family administered business and it continued to be so for well over a century. Henry Rankine made a name for himself outside of the family business as well. After his retirement in 1920, Rankine became involved in a number of philanthropic causes. Rankine remained at this Germain Street address until 1920. The lasting association with the Rankine family is evident through the circular floral pattern of the cast iron fence and gate that reflects the mould of one of the Rankines' most famous cookies, specifically designed for the Girl Guides of Canada.
Source: Planning and Development Department - City of Saint John
The character defining elements that describe the Italianate architecture of the Henry Rankine Residence include:
- mirror image design to the adjoining residence, creating an overall symmetry of the two residences;
- wide moulded cornice supported by stone end brackets with a gargoyle carving in each;
- dentils and other highly decorative brick work along the cornice;
- elaborate two-storey bay windows;
- rectangular vertical sliding windows with sandstone lintels and sills;
- second storey projecting stone sills supported by brackets;
- segmented arch entrance with stone entablature and pronounced keystone, supported by stone, scrolled brackets and Ionic pilasters;
- wood and glass 4-paneled double doors;
- sandstone steps of the front entrance;
- sandstone plinth band;
- basement level windows with stone sills and stone lintels featuring floral designs at the corners.
The character-defining elements associated with the Rankine family enterprise include:
- highly ornate stone and cast iron fence and gate around the front lawn in a circular floral design reflecting the pattern specifically created for the Girl Guides' of Canada cookies.
Local Governments (NB)
Municipal Heritage Preservation Act, s.5(1)
Municipal Heritage Preservation Act
1886/01/01 to 1920/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
- Developing Economies
- Extraction and Production
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Planning and Development- City of Saint John
Cross-Reference to Collection