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562-564 Water Street Registered Heritage Structure

562-564 Water Street, St. John's, NL
562-564 Water Street, St. John's, NL

Statement of Significance

Formal Recognition Type

Registered Heritage Structure

Description of Historic Place

562-564 Water Street is a two-and-a-half-storey 19th century vernacular commercial style building located at 562-564 Water Street, St. John’s. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

562-564 Water Street has been designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador because of its architectural and historical values.

Architecturally, this building is important because it is one of the few 19th century commercial buildings that escaped the great fire of 1892. Situated on the corner of Water Street and Patrick Street, this stone, brick and wood structure is typical of the merchant and commercial buildings located in St. John’s before the Great Fire. This building is separated into two levels, the lower level serving as store space while the upper level housed an apartment. This division of space is common among early commercial buildings in St. John’s because many businessmen both lived and worked out of the same building. With its steep gabled roof and large storefront windows, this building is a unique fixture in the west end of Water Street which today is mostly occupied by small residential building and industrial structures.

Historically, this building is important because of its associations with the Great Fire of 1892 and also because of its continual use as a commercial building. Following the Great Fire that destroyed much of downtown, this continued its operations, serving as one of the few remaining grocery outlets for residents in the downtown district. Since the time of its construction, this building housed a variety of commercial establishments, including W. G. Stephens “Mammy's Bakery”, and Mr. Morrissey's grocery store.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “St. John's - 562-564 Water Street - FPT 1662”

Character Defining Elements

All elements that define the building's commercial design including:
- steep gable roof;
- exterior wall covering including finish and colour;
- all existing features typical of a late 19th century storefront;
- dentils;
- size, shape and location of windows;
- size and location of doors;
- size and shape of existing stone/concrete window sills;
- lack of exterior decoration typical of 19th century commercial buildings;
- division of residential and commercial space; and
- dimensions and location.

Location and History

Community St. John's
Municipality City of St. John's
Civic Address 562-564 Water Street
Construction (circa) 1850 - 1850
Style 19th Century Mercantile
Building Plan Rectangular Long Façade
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