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New Federal Government Building

While I was in Victoria the big announcement was made about a new federal building in Charlottetown. What a gift to the city. It will be located on the block between Euston and Fitzroy Streets and University [once Great George Street] Avenue. It is one of the best corners in the city with an exceptional vista of Province House. So once we say hurrah, we must then ask quickly, what will they put there? What will the site backs be , the scale, the building material and the relationship to the streetscape. It is an exciting design project and we must watch careingly.

The block is an interesting one and has a long history, if for no other reason that my sister Betty was born on that block. We lived for a few years on Queen Street , next to Cutcliffe's in a fine double tenement house that was torn down about 30-40 years ago. There is not much left of the block, and it does have that terrible swath of a parking lot through the middle, but in its day it was a pretty lively block. It seems as if it began to be built on about the 1830's and it is very possible that the houses that were along Euston Street might have been the early ones. We should look at what is left carefully.

I remember a very old house on the middle of the Queen Street side. Little Ruby lived there. What was her last name? On Fitzroy Street the Haszard's had a fine house with chickens in the back yard and the there was next door a real three tenement - Boston style - where the Wilson's moved after they left King Street. There was another house I don't remember very well and then the Halloran house that is still there that dates back to the 1850's. It has beautiful lines but it has suffered a lot lately. It would be interesting if someone could find a place to move it.

The history of the block from this house around to Great George is all tied in with Carriage makers - Peter Halloran, Robert Scott and, further around the corner, the Larges. Carriage making was a noble trade and very busy one. The corner we remember as The Flower Cart had been a grocery store for many years: McQuaid's and then McCabe's. After the 30's a good part of this block was taken over by the automobile businesses; Ives, Ralph Jenkins and later David Stewart. The Dominion Hotel, with a livery stable out back, was an important landmark on Great George Street until it was torn down in 1959. It was a handsome balanced building built in the 1850's by Henry Bovyer Smith as a public inn and tavern. It was perfectly located for that. A.N.Large operated for awhile after Smith and then Harry Murphy took it over. Proud and Moreside's were in the centre of the block for years and so was Long - later Pickard's - Tannery. Esso Service Station was a landmark for years until it closed last year. Dear Art Roper and then Bobby Taylor carried on very busy service stations there. Other businesses tied to this block were Cutcliffe's Funeral Home and Martin's Garage. Tiddles Howatt, Leo and the rest lived for a long time on the Euston Street side. It is a proud block and has far more history than I remember, so if any one can add more, please do so.

Written Thursday, February 08, 2001 at 10:18 AM

(c) 2000 by Catherine Hennessey. Questions or comments? Email me@catherinehennessey.com

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