Century 21 Colonial's Old Homes Week
Cross Key Condos, Charlottetown
AKA: Duncan Mason Building
Old home week marks a special time when friends and family reunite on the island to recount old memories and make new ones. Just like the memories families make together, so do the homes they once lived in. This week we will be showcasing five historical homes as part of our Old Homes Week, highlighting interesting points of these prominent homes in Prince Edward Island.
Today we feature The Duncan Mason Building, which now houses Cross Key Condos and local businesses Liquid Gold and Terre Rouge. The property lies on the corner of Queen and Dorchester streets in historic Downtown Charlottetown. The building was originally built in 1855 by Hon. James Duncan and was praised for being built of bricks at a time when fires were not uncommon in the downtown. The building originally houses two large shops and a warehouse above - coved ceilings and a large pier glass were original features of the shops to make the interior look larger.
In his day, Duncan was a seen as a leader in the local business world, employing workmen to build ships, contracting groups to secure cargo, and merchandising foreign goods. The success lasted a while, but due to some downturn, Duncan eventually declared bankruptcy. This move was something that some published in local papers, while others avoided mentioning it out of sympathy for a business man losing out at forces beyond his control. Before Duncan's financial ruin, he entrusted the property to his daughter Caroline, who kept the property in the family until her death. It was later sold by her kin to George C. Gardiner, King's Printer in Charlottetown.
Today, the house property looks like this: