New investments will preserve historic sites
New capital investments will help maintain and modernize the Beaconsfield Historic Site and the Provincial Artifacts Collections Facility.
The provincial and federal governments are collaborating to preserve these important historical and cultural spaces. The Government of Prince Edward Island will invest $150,000 and the Government of Canada’s Cultural Spaces Program will contribute $75,000.
“As Islanders, we are fortunate to have many irreplaceable historic sites that capture our imagination and help us learn about our past,” Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister Doug Currie said. “A combined provincial and federal investment of $225,000 will greatly improve the structure of our heritage facilities and keep our history alive for present and future generations.”
Beaconsfield Historic House is considered Prince Edward Island’s flagship historic site, drawing more than 11,000 visitors each year. A $115,000 provincial project is well underway to replace and restore the house’s fascia boards, windows, flooring, siding, and areas in need of repair. The front verandah has also been mostly rebuilt.
Special care is being taken to use materials that match the house’s original ones, while improving energy efficiency and meeting current building standards.
Approximately $65,000 is being invested in the Carriage House which is considered to be one of Charlottetown’s best performance venues and used by more than 4,000 people each year for conferences, lectures, concerts, and children’s summer theatre. New staging, lighting, projection and Wifi capacity will help to make it a modern multi-functional facility including:
- new modular staging that can be reconfigured to meet the needs of different performers and presenters;
- existing ambient lighting will be complemented by new theatrical style lighting that provides capacity for spot and wash lighting; and
- modern overhead projection system and new communications technology will support higher quality meetings and events.
In addition, footings, floor boards and flooring at the West Street end of the Carriage House were replaced. Kitchen facilities were updated and washrooms replaced to accommodate the many walkers and cruise ship visitors who tour Beaconsfield and the Carriage House.
The Provincial Artifactory on Watts Avenue in Charlottetown’s West Royalty community stores the basic core of the artifact collection under the custodianship of the province. The building is being reclad and its windows and metal siding replaced to increase security and regulate temperature and humidity levels to museum environmental standards.
Education, Early Learning and Culture
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Beaconsfield Historic House was built in 1877 for wealthy shipbuilder and merchant James Peake and was one of Charlottetown’s most elegant homes. Featuring the finest in materials and craftsmanship, it was equipped with the latest conveniences of the day.
Henry Cundall, the second owner, moved into Beaconsfield in 1883 with his sisters Penelope and Millicent. After his death in 1916, the house was used as a young ladies’ residence, and later, the “Cundall Home” became a residence for student nurses.
Today, Beaconsfield Historic House stands as a fine example of Victorian architecture with many wonderful features intact. Gifted by the federal government to the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation in 1971, it is open year-round for tours, lectures, concerts and special events.
The Carriage House began to be used as a cultural and events centre after the Provincial Artifactory was opened in the late 1970s to store provincial artifacts.
With capacity for 100 people, it is now used by approximately 4,000 people each year for cultural events and meetings. With kitchen and washroom facilities it has the capacity to host a variety of activities.