28 Cochrane Street
Rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1892 destroyed the original, the house at 28 Cochrane Street has served as a private dwelling, boarding house and place of business throughout the twentieth century.
© 1998 Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador
The Great Fire of 1892 destroyed much of downtown St. John's leaving few building still standing. The house at 28 Cochrane Street is no exception. Prior to the fire it was known as Civic #18 and was a private dwelling. The year after the fire, the house was rebuilt on its original foundation.
The house's most famous resident was Andrew Carnell. Often referred to as "The Mayor of Newfoundland" (there were no elected mayors at that time), Carnell served as mayor of St. John's from 1932 until 1949. He also owned Carnell's Funeral Home, the largest in the province at that time. In fact, Carnell's Funeral Home operated out of 28 Cochrane Street during the first few years it was in business.
After Carnell sold the house, it was used in several different ways. It was a craft shop featuring items made from St. Mary's Bay up until 1978. After that it was used as a rooming house for a couple of years. A brief attempt at a restaurant was made until 1988. In 1992 it was renovated as office space and remains that way today.
The house is a three-storeyed wood-frame house done in Second Empire style with a mansard roof and peaked dormers. Originally only two storeys, the house had a third floor added in 1940 to accommodate the funeral home operating out of the house. The house is typical of many of the houses along Cochrane Street, although careful maintenance has left it in better condition than some. In fact, it is identical to 26 Cochrane Street, also owned by the Carnell family at one time.
The dwelling at 28 Cochrane Street was recognised as a Registered Heritage Structure in May 1992.