McInnes Cooper Building (formerly the Dawson Hardware Building)
141 Kent Street, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
2016 Ecclesiastical Insurance Cornerstone Award (Adaptive Reuse/Rehabilitation)
This remarkable transformation has had an immediate positive impact on the character of the street, and is already enhancing and sustaining the social and economic vitality of the downtown core. The strong architectural character of the area has been revived with a series of conservation projects in recent years, and was significantly bolstered by this dramatic project.
In 1881, the Dawson Hardware building was built on the corner of University and Kent streets for W.E. Dawson, merchant and former Mayor of Charlottetown. Originally serving as a hardware store and warehouse, the building has since been home to a number of prominent businesses and has been a landmark on this important commercial intersection.
In 1975 the historic building underwent controversial modernization, which resulted in stucco and steel elements covering up the landmark Victorian commercial building. It wasn’t until 2014, however, when the modernized siding was pulled off to reveal the original brickwork.
In 2014, developer and architect Chris Tweel led the project to remove the earlier concealments and took painstaking care to restore building elements to their former glory. He used bricks from England to match the originals in order to rebuild the cornice, and new Wallace sandstone was quarried to repair and replace decorative details.
Owner: TweelCo Commercial
Architects: Christopher Tweel
The Dawson Hardware Building project was nominated by Christopher Tweel.