(3 Forest Road, St. John's)
At the time of its construction, Devon Place was one of the most architecturally stunning pair of private dwellings in St. John's. In the years since it was first built, it has also made a mark by being home to some of Newfoundland's most well-known figures.
© 1998 Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador
Devon Place was built around 1843. William P. Thomas bought the land between Forest Road and King's Bridge Road, then known as Bollard's Meadow. Thomas was well known as a prominent merchant and businessman. It is not known exactly when Thomas built the homes, but they do appear on Noad's Map of St. John's in 1849.
The list of people who have lived in the twin houses in the years after the Thomas family sold them reads like a who's who of Newfoundland history. Among the houses' more famous residents are: Robert J. Pinsent, a Supreme Court judge; Charles Bowring, one of the island's richest merchants; Harry Duff Reid, President of the Reid Railway Company; the Honourable Robert Thorburn, a prime minister of Newfoundland; and Sir Ambrose Shea, a governor of Newfoundland.
Devon Place is built in the Classical Revival style and is one of the finest examples of this style in the province. The roof is gabled with four dormers. The west side of the building has a pediment supported by two columns. Four large walk-in bay windows are on the first floor. Two have cut glass and leaded ornamental glass. Two have French doors opening to the garden. All windows have ornamental mouldings. The front door has four fluted columns with granite steps.
Despite its age, Devon Place remains in excellent shape. The section fronting Forest Road was recognized as a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in June 1988. This structure was also awarded the Southcott Award for heritage restoration by the Newfoundland Historic Trust.