51 Prince Street – Built by William Wright

From PEI Historic Places:


The heritage value of 51 Prince Street lies in its role as one of the earliest wooden brick encased buildings in Charlottetown; its Georgian and Italianate influenced architecture; and its role in supporting the streetscape.

51 Prince Street was built for James Costello in 1872. While common now, wooden buildings with an exterior clad in brick were rare in the 1870s. Two factors indicate that the building was originally constructed of wood. When local newspapers described the construction of 51 Prince Street, only carpenter, William Wright was listed as being in charge. If the walls had been load bearing, a mason would have been employed. Also, the fact that the bricks are all laid on their sides and there are no bonding end bricks, indicates that the structure is actually wooden underneath.

The building at 51 Prince Street is Georgian influenced in style but also shows some Italianate influences. The Georgian style is one of the most common architectural styles on Prince Edward Island. It emerged from 18th Century Britain and was intent on expressing confidence, order and balance. Combined with the brick exterior of this building, the result was intended to impress. 51 Prince Street’s Georgian features include the symmetrical facade with five bays and a central doorway. The Italianate style was a more decorative style reminiscent of the Venetian arcades of the Renaissance period. Italianate influences can be seen in the slightly arched windows and the flat roof.

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