Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
A severely handsome example of the High Victorian Gothic Revival style, St. Paul’s United Church National Historic Site of Canada features the bold muscularity of the style, meshing historical revival details from several periods, richly varied and textured materials, and a voluminous interior designed for excellent acoustics. Located in downtown Fredericton, New Brunswick, the church with its tall spire is a city landmark. Official recognition refers to the building on it legal property as of 1990.
St. Paul’s United Church was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1990 because:
- it is a fine representative example of the High Victorian Gothic Revival Style.
Fashionable in Canada during the second half of the 19th century, the High Victorian Gothic Revival style is marked by a bold and vigorous approach to design, which freely interprets earlier Gothic precedents. This former Presbyterian church, built in 1886, features typical stylistic features including a soaring corner tower, intersecting roof ridges, richly varied details, and rusticated and polychrome stonework. The rose window, derived from the French Gothic, indicates a new openness toward non-English design sources at this time. The huge interior well is surrounded on three sides by a capacious sloping balcony and features pews arranged in a semi-circle so that they face the pulpit and the large Casavant organ. The sumptuous interior decor includes rich Gothic-inspired woodwork, decorative painting, stained glass, and a vaulted ceiling.
Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, February 1990, and November 1993.
The key elements that contribute to the heritage character of this site include:
- those aspects which speak to the High Victorian Gothic Revival architecture, namely the two-storey elevations, the steeply pitched roofs, triple portal, the corner tower with its tall spire, the varied textures of the stone masonry and the use of polychromy notable in the dark stone stringcourses, foundations, quoins, and window surrounds;
- the interior plan with large auditory hall, pews and canted balcony arranged in a semi-circle;
- the Gothic-inspired interior decor with stained glass windows, historically derived detailing including the rose window, rich woodwork, decorative painting and vaulted ceiling.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Facility or Place of Worship
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection