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Government House

1 Government Drive, PO Box 846, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, C1A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2001/10/26

Showing Neo-classical (Georgian) elements; Province of PEI
Front Entrance to Fanningbank
Showing delegates posing with classical columns in the background; G.P. Roberts / National Archives of Canada / C-000733
September 1864 Charlottetown Conference
Engraving; Harper's New Monthly Magazine, September 1877
Government House, Charlottetown

Other Name(s)

Government House
Fanningbank

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1834/01/01 to 1834/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/09/28

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Government House was built in 1834 as the official residence for the Lieutenant Governors of Prince Edward Island. The white wooden shingled building has a commanding view of Charlottetown Harbour and is surrounded by spacious lawns, tree-lined walks, and formal gardens.

Heritage Value

Government House's heritage value lies in its well preserved exterior and interior elements. It represents several important eras in the Island's political development: from colonial administration, to the achievement of Responsible Government, to the Confederation era.

St. John's Island (later Prince Edward Island) became a separate colony from Nova Scotia in 1769, but did not attain a distinctive home for its governor until 1834. In this year, Government House was erected on land which had been set aside in 1789 by then governor Edmund Fanning. Hence, the origin of the residence's official name, Fanningbank.

Fanningbank was the host of many significant events in Prince Edward Island and Canadian history. These included the 1860 visit of Edward, Prince of Wales; the 1864 Charlottetown Conference where delegates, including John A. Macdonald, posed on the steps for a photograph. During the First World War, the Lieutenant Governor offered the residence as a convalescent home for returning soldiers. Later in the century, Queen Elizabeth II stayed here in 1959 during her Canadian Tour.

Today, Fanningbank is the venue to highlight the accomplishments of Islanders with the annual presentation of the Order of Prince Edward Island, as well as other recognition ceremonies for programs such as the Prince Edward Island Environmental Awards.

Source: PEI Culture and Heritage Division, Community and Cultural Affairs, Heritage Places Designation File # 4320-20/G1

Character-Defining Elements

Government House is notable for the following qualities:

- the formal symmetry of its Georgian architecture
- the prominence of its physical setting overlooking the Charlottetown Harbour
- the arrangement of 9 over 6 over 6 lights in the sash windows
- the verandahs and porticos

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Prince Edward Island

Recognition Authority

Province of Prince Edward Island

Recognition Statute

Heritage Places Protection Act

Recognition Type

Designated Historic Place

Recognition Date

2001/10/26

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Government and Institutions

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Government
Residence

Architect / Designer

Isaac Smith

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, PO Box 2000, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

4320-20/G1

Status

Published

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