Description of Historic Place
The medium-height Tower is the most prominent element at the East Point Light Station on Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.). It is an elegant, tapered octagonal wooden tower, clad in white-painted shingles with a projecting cornice that supports a gallery and a multi-sided, red-painted steel lantern. Decorative elements include the well-proportioned fascia and cornice, the distinctive cross-braced wood railing, the vertically aligned gabled windows and the gabled door and window at the low-level fog detection balcony. 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 values.
The Tower is closely associated with the provision of maritime aids to navigation and illustrates the importance of maritime traffic in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Northumberland Strait. 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 light eastern coasts and harbours inexpensively.
The Tower is valued for its very good aesthetic and functional design. It is one of a number of square tapered wooden towers built during the nineteenth century, favoured because they were economical to construct and easy to maintain. In its form and decoration, the tower exhibits the aesthetic favoured by early lighthouse designers. The very good functional design of the structure is evidenced in its heavy timber frame construction on a stone foundation, typical of the era. The colour scheme featuring a white tower with contrasting red-painted steel lantern and fog balcony railings has an operational purpose in contributing to the structure’s visibility. Its very good craftsmanship is demonstrated in its wood shingle cladding without corner boards.
The Tower is compatible with the maritime character of its coastal setting and is a well-known symbol of Prince Edward Island. Its role as a maritime museum contributes to this prominence.
Sources: Gordon Fulton, Lighttower and Fog Alarm Building, East Point, Prince Edward Island, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report, 90-256; Lighttower, East Point, Prince Edward Island, Heritage Character Statement, 90-256.
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 medium-height, octagonal-tapered structure with a well-proportioned fascia and cornice;
- the red-painted steel lantern that is appropriately proportioned to the tower;
- the distinctive cross-braced wood railing;
- the heavy timber frame structure clad in painted wood shingles without corner boards;
- the exposed stone foundation;
- the fog detection balcony with red-painted steel guardrail;
- the vertically aligned, gabled wood sash windows, and the gabled door;
- 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 regional landmark, as evidenced by:
- its overall scale, massing, design and materials, which harmonize with its associated buildings and complement the coastal climate;
- its visible role as a seacoast marker of the associated remote coastal environment;
- its role as a seasonal maritime museum which contributes to its prominence as a landmark of the eastern P.E.I. region.