297 Front Street (The Bohemian Penquin)

Municipal Address:
297 Front Street, Belleville, ON K8N

Legal Description:
Part of Lots 6, 7, 12, 13, 14 and 15 according to Registered Plan No. 71.

Italiante, Second Empire

Date Designated:
January 14, 1980; By-Law #10771; De-designated July 21, 1980, By-Law #10849 Re-designated May 10, 2004, By-Law #2004-67

The Henderson Building is a fine example of the Second Empire style of the 1860's and 1870's, so named after Napoleon III's 'Second Empire' in France around that time. The typical characteristics of the period's commercial facades are clearly reflected in the buildings appearance. Important as an early example of using cast iron for window adornments, decorated columns and horizontal bands, the building further embodies the style with its tall narrow casement windows. The hallmark of the style is a high wooden mansard roof, in this case having a convex centre and slightly concave sides which contain ornate dormer windows. This roof was not added until the 1870's, possibly to accommodate an organ and choir loft for the third floor. Built in 1859; three-storey stone building with brick and iron front. The iron pillared main floor originally had two shops with central doorways and large shop windows. This is the only complete cast iron main floor remaining in Belleville. The long narrow windows of the second storey have iron pediments. Hood moulds were used on the third storey windows. The wood cornice and brackets are original.


The patent was granted by the Crown to John Reynolds for one-half acre in 1821.

Other Information:

File #1: Newspaper clippings, notes on historic background. File #2: Real estate documentation, plans and correspondence for restoration, City of Belleville correspondence, LACAC correspondence

Copyright 2020 City of Belleville. All Rights Reserved. Site by They.