The Stable at Sunnyside is a one-and-a-half storey, Gothic Revival structure with a basement level and a steeply pitched roof with a single front peak. It is located on the grounds of a nineteenth century estate known as Sunnyside at 70 Circular Road, St. John’s, NL. The designation includes The Stable and all land between the property boundary to the west and the main residence Sunnyside to the east.
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Registered Heritage Structure
The Stable at Sunnyside was designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2011 due to its aesthetic and historic value.
The Stable at Sunnyside was constructed around 1890 under the direction of the Murray family. The Sunnyside estate came under the ownership of Scottish-born merchant James Murray in 1872. Murray operated one of the largest fishery supply firms in Newfoundland and wrote on fishery and economic matters for St. John’s newspapers and periodicals. He was also influential in Newfoundland politics, serving as MHA for Burgeo and La Poile. His son, Andrew H. Murray, went on to establish the Murray Premises at St. John’s Harbour. James Murray died at Sunnyside, on January 16, 1900.
The Stable is an unusual example of the Gothic Revival style in an outbuilding. The front features a single peak flanked by peaked roof dormers. The intersection of the main roof and the front peak is topped by a cupola with square louvred windows. The gables have bold returns on the eaves and all gables feature scalloped bargeboard. All windows are single hung rectangular except for those in the side gables, which are pointed arch. All doorways are topped with transom windows and doors are constructed from wood planks placed on the bias. The basement level facing Empire Avenue once housed horses, the main floor facing Circular Road was used as a workshop and for carriage storage, and the third floor was used to store grain and feed for the horses. An additional garage was added the western side of the building in the mid-twentieth century.
The Stable at Sunnyside sits to the rear of Sunnyside House, on the southwest corner of what was once an estate extending south to Kelly’s Brook (below what is now Empire Ave) and east to the Lodge gatehouse (60 Circular Rd.). Of the estate’s historic outbuildings, only the Lodge and Stable remain. The Sunnyside buildings are representative of a time when this neighbourhood was on the outskirts of town. They speak to the English-style estate living emulated by the city’s prosperous merchants.
Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “St. John’s – The Stable at Sunnyside (60 Circular Road) – FPT 4623”
Character Defining Elements
All those elements which represent the aesthetic and historic value of The Stable at Sunnyside, including:
-one-and-a-half storey construction, with basement level;
-steeply pitched gable roof with single front peak;
-return on the eaves;
-size, style, trim and placement of central cupola with louvered windows;
-ornate bargeboard on gables and dormers;
-chimney style and placement;
-narrow wooden clapboard;
-peaked dormer size, style, trim and placement;
-dormer window size, style, trim and placement;
-wooden window size, style, trim and placement;
-pointed arch windows on side gable ends;
-size, style, trim and placement of exterior wooden doors;
-storage access doors with bias-cut planks on front facade;
-multi-lighted transom windows above storage access doors;
-size, style and placement of window openings and doorways on Empire Avenue level;
-dimension, location and orientation of building;
-location of the structure in relation to other buildings that make up the former Sunnyside estate, and;
-the land surrounding The Stable, to the boundary of the estate to the west and to the main residence Sunnyside, which comprises the forecourt of The Stable.
Location and History
City of St. John's
70 Circular Road
1890 - 1890
Rectangular Long Façade