Philip Templeman Building/Swyers General Store Registered Heritage Structure
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Registered Heritage Structure
Description of Historic Place
The Philip Templeman Building/Swyers General Store is a 3 storey, wood frame, general store located on the main road in Bonavista, NL. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Philip Templeman Building/Swyers General Store was designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1996 because it has historic, aesthetic and cultural values.
The Philip Templeman Building/Swyers General Store has historic value because of its associations with Philip Templeman - who was a Bonavista merchant and Legislative Council politician and for whom the building was constructed. He was a successful businessman who, by 1913, owned one of the largest fishing and supply businesses in the country. Subsequent to his death and the Great Depression the Bonavista premises were sold to J.T. Swyers, who became involved in the international fishing trade and shipbuilding. His meticulous record keeping has provided the Provincial Archives with one of the most complete collections of mercantile records of an outport fish merchant, covering the period between 1884-1928. Swyers was an original member of Newfoundland Associated Fish Exporters Limited (NAFEL) and was one of the eight leading salt fish exporters in Newfoundland.
The Philip Templeman Building/Swyers General Store has aesthetic value because the building is an example of an early 20th century mercantile premises. The three storey, wooden, commercial building has a typical storefront with large windows on the front facade and a sign band spanning these windows, bearing the name of J.T. Swyers in traditional font style. The second and third storeys feature a 3 bay facade with single hung 2/2 windows.
The Philip Templeman Building/Swyers General Store has cultural value because it is located in a prominent and well-recognized area of Bonavista. Bordered by the Ryan Premises National Historic Site, the Templeman Building/Swyers Premises was constructed as a waterfront property for the purpose of conducting marine and fishery related business. Because of this, all facades of the building were commercially used. Located opposite the main entrance to the harbour the large building is highly visible from within the community and from the water. It is a cultural landmark that symbolizes a time in Newfoundland history when the fishery was an integral aspect of Newfoundland culture and society
Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “Bonavista - Philip Templeman Building/Swyers General Store – FPT 165”
Character Defining Elements
All those elements that define 20th century mercantile architecture, including:
-narrow wooden clapboard;
-panels under display windows;
-end brackets for signage, and;
-sign font and style.
Location and History
||Town of Bonavista
||1910 - 1915
possibly a Strathie
Philip Templeman and Company
||20th Century Mercantile
||Rectangular Long Façade