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St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Presbytery Municipal Heritage Site

St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Presbytery, Bonavista, NL
St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Presbytery, Bonavista, NL
St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Presbytery, Bonavista, NL

Statement of Significance

Formal Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land

Description of Historic Place

St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Presbytery, also referred to as the Parish House, is a two-storey, Carpenter Gothic style cottage located at 005 Chapel Hill in Bonavista, NL. The municipal heritage designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Presbytery (also known as the Rectory, the Parish House or Silver Linings), erected 1900-1901, has been designated a municipal heritage site by the Town of Bonavista due to its aesthetic and cultural value.

Aesthetically, St. Joseph's Presbytery is a good example of vernacular Victorian elaboration and a fine example of historically prominent local builder Ronald Strathie’s interpretation of Carpenter Gothic building style. The building's gable-ell plan is fairly common in period Carpenter Gothic houses, though currently rare in the Bonavista area. Other picturesque Carpenter Gothic features of the Parish House include its steeply pitched roof, gables with finials over windows, arched windows and ornate covered porch. Overall, the house reflects the craftsmanship common to all of Ronald Stratie's buildings in Bonavista.

St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Presbytery has cultural value due to its associations with the Roman Catholic Church in Bonavista. It was built on a hill on Church property, making it a focal point in Bonavista, where its scale, rooflines and level of decoration historically indicated that it belonged to someone with high social standing. The first occupant of the residence was Rev. James Brown, followed by other parish priests over the years. Religious figures of a number of denominations visiting from out of town also often stayed in the house.

Source: Town of Bonavista Town Council meeting minutes of 2006/08/14

Character Defining Elements

All original features related to the Carpenter Gothic style and the age of the building, including:

- L-layout;
- steep pitched rooflines;
- twin peak window gables in front;
- finials on peaks;
- bay windows;
- decorative window on first floor, front facade;
- arched windows on second storey;
- window placement;
- raincaps on windows;
- placement and style of porch, including roof type;
- decorative porch posts with decorative openwork post brackets;
- narrow, painted clapboard sheathing and wood shingle roofing;
- and building height, number of storeys, dimensions and massing.

Location and History

Community Bonavista
Municipality Town of Bonavista
Civic Address 005 Chapel Hill
Construction (circa) 1901 - 1901
Ronald Strathie
Ronald Strathie
Style Victorian Eclectic
Building Plan Rectangular Long Façade
Website Link