Description of Historic Place
Furlong's Liquor Store is an artistically detailed five storey Italianate corner lot building at the corner of Princess Street and Water Street in the Trinity Royal area of the City of Saint John. During the latter part of the 19th century this store supplied Saint John residents with wine, spirits and finer classes of sherries and ports.
The reason for designating the Furlong Building as a Local Historic Place lies in its association with the rebuilding phase of the Saint John business district. This building is one of a collection of well maintained buildings that were built between 1877 and 1881 after 2/3rds of the City of Saint John was destroyed by fire in 1877. The Great Saint John Fire was catastrophic and this building serves as a reminder of that fire and the strong will of the Saint John merchants to rebuild the city. The brick architecture sent a message that the city would be more fire resistant in the future. The elements and design in this building, and others built after the fire, demonstrate that the city was rebuilt as well or better than the city that was lost.
The Furlong Liquor Store building was also designated as a Local Historic Place for its artistic features or elements. Thomas Furlong was a connoisseur of the arts, and the gargoyles, sculptures and other architectural detailing reflect his passion for art. No other building in the city has the unique sculptures that this property has.
From this building, entrepreneur Thomas Furlong supplied Saint John residents with wine and spirits. He was the first in the liquor business to introduce the finer class of sherries and ports, such as the Amontillado and Vino de Pasto. He was a wine merchant and direct importer of old brandies, Dublin whiskies, Hollands etc. Thomas' brother and father were also in the wine trade. Mr. Furlong was born in Ireland and came to Saint John in 1850. He travelled to France and Germany and other wine producing areas every three years to keep up-to-date in the latest interests in his trade.
The building was recognized in the City of Saint John Preservation Areas Bylaw in 1982.
Source: Planning Dept. - City of Saint John.
Character-Defining Elements associated with a will to rebuild and improve the Saint John business district, and elements associated with the building's artistic features include:
- its location on a corner lot in the Trinity Royal Area, with a corner entrance and facades on Water Street and Princess Street;
- 1/1 sash windows;
- 3rd storey and top storey windows with segmented sandstone arches draping down to the ¾ panel of the window;
- sandstone ledge running through the entire length of the building at the ¾ mark of the 3rd and 5th storeys;
-sandstone ledges and window arches, supported by small circular Corinthian columns set upon sandstone blocks;
- arches with a 5 circle design in the arch and another design under the arch;
- 3rd storey windows with ornamental designs on the upper corners of the arches;
- rectangular 2nd and fourth floor windows with horizontal sandstone headers supported by square sandstone blocks with medallion design. Corinthian design under blocks;
- sandstone ledge running above storefront cornice with Corinthian sculptures on bottom corner of the windows on the 2nd floor;
- sandstone ends of building (square and vertical quoins) and the corner encompassed by vertical sandstone courses.
- recessed sandstone mould over 2nd and 4th storey headers
- sandstone cornice over storefront with circular and 3 leaf clover design fascia;
- storefront heightens with the slope of Princess Street;
- large sandstone arches encompass red brick;
- sandstone arches set upon granite foundation.
Princess Street Gargoyles and Sculptures (Storefront Level):
- the ends of Princess Street façade and joining the arches with 4 gargoyles or sculptures:
- the sandstone running from the granite foundation to the gothic arches, donned with detailed sculptures.
- old wood panelled door with one by one transom window. Circular marble columns on both sides donned with bird, grape, and leaf design;
- ledge with design over transom window. Pointed arch window above ledge;
- two more bird sculpture designs below cornice;
- double windows with the patterns of the other windows and separated by granite columns.
- 3 different gargoyles over arches:
- 3 animal sculptures.
- the sandstone running from the granite foundation to the gothic arches donned with three sculptures.