Description of Historic Place
The Tower is located on the south-eastern tip of Prince Edward Island on the coast at Cape Bear. It is a square, tapered, medium-height structure constructed of wood. The sturdy tower is crowned by a gallery platform that supports a prominent, glazed, steel octagonal lantern. The Tower’s classically-inspired detailing includes, vertically aligned gabled windows, a pedimented door and detailing at the cornice. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Tower is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Tower is associated with campaigns to improve the safety of maritime commerce at remote coastal locations by building navigational aids. The simplicity and economy of construction reflect the desire of the government to expediently build a large number of light towers. The fully automated light tower represents a pragmatic solution to the need to light eastern coasts and harbours inexpensively.
The Tower is valued for its very good aesthetic design. The architectural design of the tapered form relies on pleasing proportions and scale for its attractiveness. The classically-inspired detailing at the cornice, windows and doors is modest, and contributes to the overall weighty, solid appearance of the utilitarian tower form. The lantern is appropriately proportioned to the tower and also contributes to its sturdy and durable appearance. Its wood construction, with fine-scaled horizontal bevel siding and large-scale detailing, indicates its high quality craftsmanship.
The Tower is compatible with the maritime character of its coastal setting and is a well-known landmark in the region.
Sources: Lighttower, Cape Bear, Prince Edward Island, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report, 90-107; Lighttower, Cape Bear, Prince Edward Island, Heritage Character Statement, 90-107.
The character-defining elements of the Tower should be respected.
Its very good aesthetic design, good functional design and very good craftsmanship and materials, for example:
- the massing which consists of a low, tapered structure with a square footprint;
- the simple profile, which includes a prominent, glazed octagonal lantern and a painted steel gallery guardrail which reinforces the utilitarian design of the structure;
- the lantern that is appropriately proportioned to the tower;
- the wood construction including the horizontal bevel siding without corner boards;
- the classically-inspired, large-scale detailing at the cornice and entrance and the vertical alignment of multi-pane wood sash windows with projecting pedimented window heads;
- the surviving finishes and features of the original interior.
The manner in which the Tower is compatible with the maritime character of its coastal setting and is a well-known landmark within the area, as evidenced by:
- its overall scale, massing, design and materials, which complement the harsh, coastal climate;
- its visibility due to its role as a seacoast marker of the associated remote coastal environment;
- its role as a lighthouse museum, which is frequented by visitors and makes it familiar.