Home / Accueil

160-164 Richmond Street, Newson Block

160-164 Richmond Street, Charlottetown, Île-du-Prince-Édouard, C1A, Canada

Reconnu formellement en: 1979/10/26

Showing north east elevation; City of Charlottetown, Natalie Munn, 2005
160-164 Richmond Street - Newson Block
Showing north elevation; City of Charlottetown, Natalie Munn, 2005
160-164 Richmond Street - Newson Block
Pas d'image

Autre nom(s)


Liens et documents

Date(s) de construction


Inscrit au répertoire canadien: 2005/07/06

Énoncé d'importance

Description du lieu patrimonial

The Newson Block is a large Italianate-Commercial influenced, stone and brick commercial building. The Newson Block is located on what is known as Victoria Row, a row of Victorian buildings in a historically commercial section of Richmond Street. The area now features outdoor cafes, gift shops and craft shops. The designation encompasses the building’s exterior and parcel; it does not include the building’s interior.

Valeur patrimoniale

The heritage value of the Newson Block lies in its Italianate-Commercial architecture, its association with local furniture business owner John Newson and its location within Victoria Row, a tangible reminder of Charlottetown’s commercial heritage.

John Newson, a furniture manufacturer and importer lost his original building after a fire destroyed it in 1884. He began to rebuild almost immediately afterward; hence, the building was ready for occupancy as early as 1885. Prominent architect, William Critchlow Harris designed the new building. The Newson Block is similar to the Cameron Block, a building two doors down, also designed by the famed architect.

The choice of the Italianate influenced commercial building style was a popular one in the 1880s. It was considered more durable and fireproof than the wooden structures it invariably replaced. The design was also more decorative, being reminiscent of the Venetian arcades of the Renaissance period. The Newson Block remains one of the City's most well preserved examples of this style.

Newson’s new building featured a furniture showroom in the front of the building with woodworking and upholstery shops in the back. Newson ran into financial difficulty and had to sell his stock at a bankruptcy sale. Eventually, he managed to pull himself out of bankruptcy and continued in his business until after 1900.

The Union Bank of Halifax became a tenant in the eastern section of the building in 1908 and interestingly, the same section was home to the Provincial Bank of Canada seven years later. The other rooms in the building contained offices and meeting rooms.

Despite various fires, including one that damaged part of the Newson Block in 1962, the buildings have survived so that we are left with a well-preserved stretch of Victorian buildings, fittingly referred to as Victoria Row.

The area has been traditionally commercial in nature, however in recent years, it has been open to pedestrian traffic in the summer months and features many shops and restaurants with outdoor patios and live music. The row of heritage buildings is a nice contrast to the modern Confederation Centre of the Arts complex directly across the street. The Newson Block is a vital component of Victoria Row, which is a monument to Charlottetown’s commercial past and one of the most important, well-preserved historic areas in Charlottetown.

Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2

Éléments caractéristiques

The following Italianate-commercial character-defining elements illustrate the heritage value of the Newson Block:
- The overall massing and construction of the building
- The style and placement of the brick and rough hewn stone throughout the facade, including the various decorative mouldings and detailing
- The placement and style of the windows, including the large plate glass storefront windows with transom lights, the arched windows of the second floor with lunettes and the narrow windows of the third floor
- The placement and style of the doors, particularly the recessed doors of the first floor facade, with their transom lights as well as the large door near the centre of the facade with its heavy stone door surround with key
- The storefronts with their large, plate glass windows and recessed doors with transom lights. The eastern storefront’s decorative door surround with columns and a broken pediment with decoration in the typanum is a particularly interesting feature. The fencelike detail along the bottom of the eastern storefront is a nice detail that was added in the early 1900s. The western storefront has a more simple but attractive design.
- The carved freestone sign with the date the building was constructed near the top of the facade
- The unique shape of the roofline
Other character-defining elements of the Newson Block are:
- The location of the building on Victoria Row




Autorité de reconnaissance

Ville de Charlottetown

Loi habilitante

City of Charlottetown Zoning and Development Bylaw

Type de reconnaissance

Ressource patrimoniale

Date de reconnaissance


Données sur l'histoire

Date(s) importantes


Thème - catégorie et type

Exprimer la vie intellectuelle et culturelle
L'architecture et l'aménagement

Catégorie de fonction / Type de fonction



Commerce / Services commerciaux
Bureau ou édifice à bureaux

Architecte / Concepteur




Informations supplémentaires

Emplacement de la documentation

Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2 #1528

Réfère à une collection

Identificateur féd./prov./terr.




Inscriptions associées



Recherche avancéeRecherche avancée
Trouver les lieux prochesTROUVER LES LIEUX PROCHES ImprimerIMPRIMER
Lieux proches