3 Park Place - City of St. John's Heritage Site
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
City of St. John's Heritage Building, Structure, Land or Area
Description of Historic Place
The house located at 3 Park Place, St. John’s, is a three-storey, semi-attached Second Empire style home. An associated coach house is located at the back of the property. The designation is confined to the property.
3 Park Place has been designated a Municipal Heritage Building because of its architectural, historical, and social values.
Architecturally, 3 Park Place is significant because it is a great example of the modified Second Empire style made popular in Newfoundland by John Thomas Southcott. John Thomas, who was partner in the family building firm J. and J.T. Southcott, introduced the idea of a concave roof and bonneted dormers to Newfoundland architecture after visiting England in 1876. As his influence spread across Newfoundland, this style of Second Empire became directly associated with the Southcott family and today, bonneted dormers in Downtown St. John’s are still referred to as Southcott dormers. This particular house, besides being a Southcott house, is likely one of the best examples of a Second Empire house in St. John’s. Virtually unaltered, this semi-detached house features numerous characteristics typical of the Second Empire style including the concave roof with dormers, three-sided bays, and ornate exterior decoration. Symmetry is maintained along the front façade through the use of matching window shapes along each level, which also corresponds with the adjoining house creating the appearance of one continuous dwelling. Located at the back of the house is a large, original stained-glass window, which was installed as a means of lighting the main interior stairwell. Other original features that add to the charm and elegance of this home are the fanlight and sidelights surrounding the main door, the pilasters along the corners of the house and the ornate wooden detailing added to windows.
Historically, 3 Park Place is valuable because of the prominent people associated with it. In addition to its very famous architect, John Thomas Southcott, 3 Park Place was the residence of James Harvey Monroe (1861-1922). Monroe immigrated to Newfoundland from Ireland in 1882 to assist his brother Moses in managing the Colonial Cordage Company. The Company, known as the "Ropewalk", made rope, twine and nets. By the mid 1880s the firm employed 180 people.
For the people of St. John’s, this house is socially important to them for a number of reasons. Located on a small street near a public park, this house is well known among residents as one of the more impressive houses built by Southcott in downtown St. John’s. It has been featured on a number of advertisements for the area, most notably the Parks Canada plaque on Rennie’s Mill Road. Complete with its original coach house, this house serves as a reminder to both locals and tourists of Newfoundland’s past success.
Source: City of St. John's, Council meeting held 2005/05/30
Character Defining Elements
For the house, all features typical of the Second Empire style, including;
-concave mansard roof, bonneted dormers, pilasters, bay windows with base panels, eaves brackets;
-narrow wooden clapboard siding;
-all original windows including stain-glass window at rear of building;
-decorative wood appliqué on windows;
-fanlight window and sidelights surrounding main entranceway;
-size and appearance of main door;
-location of main entrance;
-symmetrical façade; and
-overall dimensions and location of structure.
For the carriage house, all those original features reflective of upper class outbuilding architecture for the period, including:
- Mansard roof with dormers;
- original window and door openings;
- large garage doors, originally intended for a carriage; and
- location at the rear of the property.
Notes of Interest
Large stained-glass window at rear of building. This particular house is a version of Southcott's Second Empire.
Location and History