The Anglo American Telegraph Company Cable Office is a two storey, wooden structure located in Placentia, NL. Built around 1876, the location provided transatlantic communications support for approximately sixty years. The designation encompasses the entire property surrounded by a fence.
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Registered Heritage Structure
The Anglo American Telegraph Company Cable Office was designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2005 due to its historic and aesthetic value.
Constructed circa 1876, the Anglo American Telegraph Company Cable Office has historic value because of the role it played in transatlantic communications during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In 1873 the Anglo American Telegraph Company built a land line from Heart’s Content, the main cable station on the island of Newfoundland, to Placentia. The cable station in Placentia was in turn connected with St. Pierre and Nova Scotia via a new submarine cable. As a result, the Placentia office provided a vital service, relaying messages between Europe, North America, St. Pierre and Heart’s Content.
The Anglo American Telegraph Company Cable Office has aesthetic value as it is reminiscent of the simple style and design often employed in the construction of company owned structures in outport Newfoundland. The 1940s addition also serves as a representative example of the tradition of remodelling homes to meet the evolving needs of residents. The expansion of this particular space proved beneficial as it provided supplemental income. During the 1940s and 1950s, the space was made available to American service men and their families while they were waiting for housing on the base in Argentia. The space was later converted into a convenience store.
Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “Placentia – Anglo American Telegraph Company Cable Office – FPT 2480”
Character Defining Elements
All those exterior features that reflect the outport, vernacular style of the company building including:
-main roof with very low peak;
-shed roof on porch and addition;
-number of storeys;
-narrow wooden clapboard;
-wooden corner boards;
-wooden window size, style, trim and placement;
-size, style, trim and placement of exterior wooden doors;
-size, style and placement of porch on left front facade;
-size, style and placement of one storey addition on right front facade;
-dimension, location and orientation of building, and;
-all those original interior features that reflect the use of the building as a cable station, including desk, wicket, counter and remains of cables.
Location and History
Town of Placentia
002 Riverside Drive
1876 - 1876
Anglo American Telegraph Company Limited
Rectangular Long Façade