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In with the old: City of Charlottetown presents Heritage Awards on Tuesday

Angus Orford stands outside his heritage property, the Houle House at 96 Prince Street. Orford and Karen Rose received a heritage award from the city after performing a number of renovations to the property while keeping its historical aspects. Orford also thanked a number of contractors and construction companies who helped with the many enhancements to the home.
Angus Orford stands outside his heritage property, the Houle House at 96 Prince Street. Orford and Karen Rose received a heritage award from the city after performing a number of renovations to the property while keeping its historical aspects. Orford also thanked a number of contractors and construction companies who helped with the many enhancements to the home.

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Almost 140 years of history, stories and culture resonate from Angus Orford and Karen Rose’s Prince Street home.

The couple purchased the second empire style brick building in 2003 with a long-term vision to restore the heritage home to its former glory.

Orford said the plan was always to keep the best historical features of the home, which was originally constructed in 1879 and is known as the Houle House at 96 Prince Street.

“Queen Victoria was on the throne when this house was built. This house was around before the First World War, The Second World War… and all of these world events,” said Orford. “You really appreciate that you really just borrow these things throughout your life, things like (this house) are going to last a lot longer.”

Orford and Rose’s efforts to refurbish the home while also being historically sensitive resulted in the couple receiving one of six Heritage Awards presented by the City of Charlottetown during a ceremony Tuesday.
The awards honour individuals and organizations in the community who have worked hard to preserve and celebrate municipal heritage.

“I thought ‘that’s great’ because every house we’ve lived in, we always worked to make it the way we wanted,” said Orford. “This one was a little bit of a bigger challenge because you want to bring out the best of the historical aspects.”

The couple used the house as a four-unit rental property while living in Ontario for several years.

Although renovations had been previously performed, the couple did more after moving into the house when they returned to P.E.I. in 2014.

The house has seen a number of upgrades since the purchase, including but not limited to exterior brick repointing and cleaning, rebuilding the eaves, garage, roof and steps while also enhancing the foundation.

The couple purchased the second empire style brick building in 2003 with a long-term vision to restore the heritage home to its former glory.

Orford said the plan was always to keep the best historical features of the home, which was originally constructed in 1879 and is known as the Houle House at 96 Prince Street.

“Queen Victoria was on the throne when this house was built. This house was around before the First World War, The Second World War… and all of these world events,” said Orford. “You really appreciate that you really just borrow these things throughout your life, things like (this house) are going to last a lot longer.”

Orford and Rose’s efforts to refurbish the home while also being historically sensitive resulted in the couple receiving one of six Heritage Awards presented by the City of Charlottetown during a ceremony Tuesday.
The awards honour individuals and organizations in the community who have worked hard to preserve and celebrate municipal heritage.

“I thought ‘that’s great’ because every house we’ve lived in, we always worked to make it the way we wanted,” said Orford. “This one was a little bit of a bigger challenge because you want to bring out the best of the historical aspects.”

The couple used the house as a four-unit rental property while living in Ontario for several years.

Although renovations had been previously performed, the couple did more after moving into the house when they returned to P.E.I. in 2014.

The house has seen a number of upgrades since the purchase, including but not limited to exterior brick repointing and cleaning, rebuilding the eaves, garage, roof and steps while also enhancing the foundation.

Angus Orford inside his heritage property, the Houle House at 96 Prince Street.

The home was originally owned by H.H Houle, the track master of the P.E.I. railway, who planned the house with architects David Stirling and William Critchlow Harris.

Although the city’s heritage designation refers to the building’s exterior, Orford and Rose have been able to keep many of the heritage aspects inside the house while also improving energy efficiency.

For example, a painting ceiling in the first floor living room is told to have been painted by a classmate of well-known artist Robert Harris.

“We tried to take the best features of the house,” said Orford, who even had the radiators removed, sandblasted and re-painted. “You really see all the details that come out. You’re taking 100 years of paint off them.”

Mayor Clifford Lee said that the city has a rich history that he hopes can be preserved for future generations.

“It’s important that we continue to recognize the people who are passionate about our history,” he said. “We cannot preserve or restore it alone and we appreciate the dedication of those individuals who have worked hard to ensure we can continue to celebrate our heritage.”

The ceremony also included an unveiling of an outdoor exhibit celebrating the city’s national historic sites .

The exhibit will be featured in the storefront windows of the planning and heritage department at 233 Queen Street for a month.

Each of the sites will also be featured one at a time on the city’s Facebook page beginning on Tuesday.

mitch.macdonald@tc.tc
Twitter.com/Mitch_PEI

 

Award winners

Angus Orford and Karen Rose for the historically sensitive refurbishment of 96 Prince Street, Houle House

Firoux Aghdasi for renovations of his 1870 commercial building at 32 Queen Street and 71 Water Street

Seacross Inc. for efforts in ensuring the historic façade design was acknowledged during renovations undertaken at 150 Queen Street and 99 Grafton Street, DesBrisay Block/Apothecaries Hall National Historic Site

Robertson Library at UPEI for the development of www.Islandarchives.ca, a collection of online research tools which has made a significant contribution to the city’s collective heritage

Joaquim da Fonseca for many years of masonry restoration and efforts in ensuring the preservation of many of the city’s masonry buildings

The Catherine Hennessey Award, established in 2011 to honour the long-time historian, author and heritage activist, was presented to Red Sands Development for conversation of the former Notre Dame Convent at 246 Sydney Street to the Sydney Boutique Inn and Suites

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