241 Prince Street is a large brick, Richardsonian Romanesque style home. It is located in what was a fashionable building area of Charlottetown in the late 19th Century. The area still boasts a number of large heritage homes. With its heavy brick and stone construction and unique design, it is one of the most distinctive homes in Charlottetown. The designation encompasses the building's exterior and parcel; it does not include the building's interior.
Why is this place important?
The heritage value of 241 Prince Street lies in its Richardsonian Romanesque architecture; its association with merchant, James Paton (1853-1935); and its role in supporting the Prince Street streetscape.
241 Prince Street was built in 1887 for merchant and politician, James Paton. He hired prominent architects, Phillips and Chappell to design his impressive home. Paton began his career as a clerk in Charlottetown until he entered into a partnership with local merchant, W.A. Weeks. In 1888, Paton became the sole owner of the company, and renamed it James Paton and Company. Newspapers of the day featured a great number of advertisements for the company and the renowned magazine, Printers Ink, featured some of the company's advertisements. Paton would go on to become active in municipal politics serving as Councilor from 1902 until 1906 and later as the 14th Mayor of Charlottetown from 1906 until 1908. Although he had run in provincial elections twice since 1897, he was successful in the general election of 1915 and represented the Charlottetown Royalty until 1919.
241 Prince Street is Richardsonian Romanesque in style and perhaps one of the finest examples of this style in Charlottetown. The style is a revival based on French and Spanish Romanesque precedents of the 11th century. It was named for architect, Henry Hobson Richardson (1838-1886) whose design of the Trinity Church rectory in Boston defined the style. Although impressive, the style was not as popular as others, perhaps due to the belief that it required masonry, which was more expensive than wood. Features of the style include, a wide squat appearance, semicircular arches and massive walls, with a deep-set appearance to emphasize wall thickness. All of the aforementioned features are included in the design of 241 Prince Street.
The home is one of a cluster of large heritage homes on Prince Street. A beautiful home that is distinct among a number of impressive homes, it helps support the streetscape.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The following Richardsonian Romanesque influenced character-defining elements contribute to the heritage value of 241 Prince Street:
- The overall massing of the building
- The asymmetrical fašade
- The gable roofs with snub gable dormers
- The heavy brick construction, particularly the intricately patterned brickwork between each storey and on the chimney
- The stone trim, including the foundation, the gable apex, the window surrounds, the stringcourses, the various stone carvings, as well as the arch above the door and the arch above the window of the north side, both supported by a short pier
- The style and placement of the windows, particularly the window in the chimney, the arched window of the north side, the rounded bay windows with iron cresting atop and the grouped windows of the second and third floor
- The size and off centre placement of the door with a fanlight and sidelights within an arched opening
- The imposing chimney of the facade with rows of protruding brickwork, a row of columns, stone quoins, a window, a date stone inscribed "1887" and twin flues that extend up on either side of the decorative chimney window and join at the top
Other character-defining elements include:
- The location of the building on Prince Street and its physical and visual relationship to its streetscape