Souris Town Hall is a 3 storey building constructed of Prince Edward Island sandstone with Wallace, Nova Scotia freestone trim located on Main Street in Souris.
Why is this place important?
Souris Town Hall is valued for its rare sandstone construction, its historical associations with the history of the Town of Souris, and its contribution to the streetscape of the main thoroughfare of the town.
Built in 1905 in the Romanesque Revival architectural style, the building was originally the Post Office and Customs house for the area. The building was designed by the Chief Architect's Branch of the federal Department of Public Works in Ottawa. Local builder Bernard Creamer was the contractor and Edward J. Duffy was the foreman of masonry. Sandstone for the building was quarried from the nearby community of St. Catherine's. The trim is Nova Scotia or Wallace freestone, a lighter tone of sandstone. The Post Office and Customs House was a significant presence in many cities and towns. This substantial stone building symbolized power and longevity in a town of wooden structures. The first floor of the building housed the post office, and the second floor was the customs office. The caretakers of the building occupied the third floor. When a new federal government office building was constructed, also on Main Street, in 1960, the post office and fisheries offices were relocated. The Town of Souris purchased the building and has housed a retail store, and provincial government office. Now home to the town administration offices and council chambers, it is also the site for provincial court sessions. The Souris branch of the provincial library has operated from this location since the 1970s.
In 1988 extensive renovations were undertaken to rehabilitate the interior and to improve access. A wooden addition to the back elevation encloses an elevator which was installed at this time. In July 1989, the Duke and Duchess of York, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, unveiled a plaque in commemoration and celebration of the building. Further work on the building occurred between 2009-2011 including repointing and cleaning of the stone and replacement of the roof.
Located on the main street in the town of Souris, Souris Town Hall is an important component of the streetscape and a symbol of municipal government, and a landmark for the town and surrounding communities.
Source: Culture and Heritage Division, Department of Tourism and Culture, Charlottetown, PEI
File #: 4320-20/S5
The heritage value of the building is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- the overall massing of the building
- the sandstone and Wallace freestone construction
- the symmetrical facade
- the voussoirs or arched doorways
- the placement and size of the door and window openings
- the stone lintels and sills
- the hipped roof
- the eave bracketting
- the roof dormers on the west and east elevations
- the Wallace freestone entrance steps
- the date stone carved with the date of construction "1905"
- its location on the town's main street