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St. George Government of Canada Building

23 Portage Street, St George, New Brunswick, E5C, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2008/12/17

This image shows the front façade of the building, 2008; Province of New Brunswick
St. George Government of Canada Building
Image showing the rear and side façades, 2008; Province of New Brunswick
St. George Government of Canada Building
This image shows a contextual view of the building, including the plaza, 2008; Province of New Brunswick
St. George Government of Canada Building

Other Name(s)

St. George Government of Canada Building
St. George Post Office
Bureau de poste de St. George

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1935/01/01 to 1936/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/01/05

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The St. George Government of Canada Building is a two-storey granite structure of a Late Edwardian influence constructed in 1935-36 and designed by architect H. Claire Mott. It is situated on a prominent parcel of land on Portage Street in a central area of St. George and currently serves as the community’s post office and primary landmark. Alterations were made in the mid-1980’s that included the installation of an accessible ramp that was constructed of the same local granite and an upgrade of the windows and doors.

Heritage Value

The St. George Government of Canada Building is designated as a Protected Provincial Historic Site because of its environmental significance, its architectural importance and its historical associations.

The building is located at the central intersection of the town and is a significant landmark, promoted as an important symbol of the historic granite industry in the region. The structure dominates the mix of adjacent commercial and residential buildings. The later decision to install the adjacent plaza and war memorial in front of the building reinforces its community landmark status.

The St. George Government of Canada Building expresses a simplified classicism with a symmetrical, tripartite division of the façade and classical references such as pilasters and voussoir arches. The use of split-face granite cladding in two colours, with contrasting smooth granite and the entranceway provide visual interest and accentuate the Late Edwardian-inspired design.

The building is a representative example of the federal program to establish a government presence in small communities across Canada through the provision of post offices and federal buildings. The use of granite cladding represents the local importance of the granite industry to the community.

Source: Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport, Heritage Branch, Site File # 128 and St. George Government of Canada Building, Heritage Character Statement, FHBRO Number 97-102

Character-Defining Elements

The character defining elements that describe the St. George Government of Canada Building include:
- the building’s location in a commercial area, sited close to the street in a simple semi-urban setting;
- the distinguished single-storey projecting entranceway that reinforces the symmetry and simplified classicism of the design;
- the clear, simple and symmetrical two-storey cube-like massing, reflective of Late Edwardian influence;
- the flat roof profile with a stepped coping that reinforces the tripartite division of the façade created by the projecting pilasters at the centre bay and at the corner piers.
- the distinctive contrasts of textures and colours of the exterior finish as emphasised by the light red split-faced granite in random courses that contrast with the light grey split-faced granite base, pilasters, window sills, surrounds and arched and flat voussoirs as well as the smooth-faced light grey granite used for the carved name stones and the entranceway details and the dark grey granite that forms the parapet accentuating the roof profile;
- the balanced and symmetrical window and door placements on the principal façade based on classical design;
- the irregularly placed windows and doors on the other façades designed to accommodate interior functions;
- the mullion locations and operation type of the windows and doors that respect the historic precedent of the originals;
- the interior, typical in character for early Government of Canada buildings, consisting of durable, functional finishes, such as smooth plaster walls and ceilings, simple stained wood doors, elaborate door hardware, casings and trims, and wooden stair treads of principal spaces.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

New Brunswick

Recognition Authority

Province of New Brunswick

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites Protection Act, s. 2(2)

Recognition Type

Historic Sites Protection Act – Protected

Recognition Date

2008/12/17

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1980/01/01 to 1980/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Government and Institutions
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type

Current

Government
Post Office

Historic

Government
Customs Building
Government
Office or office building

Architect / Designer

H. Claire Mott

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport, Heritage Branch, Site File # 128 and St. George Government of Canada Building, Heritage Character Statement, FHBRO Number 97-102

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

141

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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