Brother T.I. Murphy Centre
(95 Water Street, St. John's)
Built by local architect W.F. Butler, who is best known for his residential buildings, the Brother T. I. Murphy Centre is one of the few surviving buildings on Water Street created in the classical style.
© 1998 Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador
The Commercial Cable Company had the structure built and it was opened in the spring of 1916. It was built to the design of W.F. Butler, who created several notable heritage houses around St. John's including Winterholme and Bartra. After remaining with the Cable Company for decades, John C. Doyle purchased it in the 1960s.
Doyle was one of the more notorious characters to come to Newfoundland in the second half of the twentieth century. Born in the United States, he came to Newfoundland to develop the vast iron ore resources in Western Labrador. He is considered instrumental in getting the resource developed, but not without some controversy. Throughout his career, he became involved in numerous lawsuits, some where he was the defendant, others where he was the accuser.
When Doyle took over the building, he promptly renamed it Javelin House, after one of his companies. After Doyle, the Christian Brothers purchased the structure. It currently houses a learning resource centre providing educational opportunities for high school drop outs.
The building that houses the T. I. Murphy Centre features a strongly detailed classical facade with a paired pilaster and ionic capitals, a deep bracketed cornice and a pediment containing a folk-like cartouche. It is similar to the Royal Bank on Water Street in St. John's, but the detail with this building is stronger. The building is also almost completely fireproof since it contains little wood. Instead, it is made primarily of concrete, stone, steel and brick.
The Brother T. I. Murphy Centre was recognised as a Registered Heritage Structure in June 1987.