R. W. Carson Residence
28-30 Bentley Street, Saint John, New Brunswick, E2K, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Built in 1908, the R. W. Carson Residence is a wooden two-storey Italianate building with a projecting pedimented entrance and a two-storey bay window. It is located on Bentley Street within the Douglas Avenue Preservation Area of the City of Saint John.
The R. W. Carson Residence is designated a Local Historic Place for its location, for its architecture and for its association with its former occupants.
The R. W. Carson Residence is recognized for being a part of the Douglas Avenue Preservation Area. Douglas Avenue and the buildings upon it were recognized as a protected historic streetscape because of its fine mixture of working class tenements with the more substantial homes of the middle and wealthy classes, as well as the long-standing family connections where numerous buildings remained in one family for multiple generations. Douglas Avenue has been known for its community atmosphere and the buildings are set-back to allow for spacious lawn frontages which made this a choice location for suburban living in the late 1800's. Douglas Avenue was built in the mid 1850's to connect Main Street with the newly constructed suspension bridge at Reversing Falls. This area was formerly a part of the City of Portland before that city amalgamated with Saint John in 1889. As a result of easier transportation due to motorized vehicles and the presence of the street car, which started operation on Douglas Avenue in 1902, the area around Bentley Street began drawing the working class. Bentley Street branches off Douglas Avenue and was included in this preservation area. The R. W. Carson Residence is an example of Italianate residential architecture within this district.
The R. W. Carson Residence is also recognized for its association with Robert W. Carson, who had this residence built in 1908. He established a profitable business as a liquor dealer on Main Street. This business sold a variety of high quality liquors including wines, English and domestic ales and high grade ports. In addition, he operated a small merchant tailor business along the same street for a time. In 1917, he shifted the focus of his business to real estate. Although still at the same location on Main Street, the firm was now known as “Carson Real Estate Company,” with Carson himself acting as the main agent. Shortly thereafter, he also opened the “Robert W. Carson Auto Showroom” at a neighbouring location. Although he owned this Bentley Street residence for several years, he never lived here himself, choosing instead to rent the house to a number of individuals including William Bennet, a baker employed at the Dwyer Brother’s Bakery. Stephen J. Downing, the bookkeeper for this same bakery, also rented from Carson for an extended period. Carson remained active until the year he passed away in 1925. As late as 1924, he established yet another business known as “Carson Coal Company.” This residence remained in the Carson family until 1960.
Source: Planning and Development Department - City of Saint John
The character defining elements that describe the R. W. Carson Residence include:
- two-storey rectangular massing;
- two-storey bay window;
- projecting entrance porch with hipped roof;
- four-paned transom window and two-paned side lights surrounding entry.
Local Governments (NB)
Municipal Heritage Preservation Act, s.5(1)
Municipal Heritage Preservation Act
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Multiple Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Planning and Development Department - City of Saint John
Cross-Reference to Collection