Home / Accueil

Former Moncton and Regional Public Library

51 Highfield Street, Moncton, New Brunswick, E1C, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2006/02/20

Former Moncton and Regional Public Library - looking east - 2006; Moncton Museum
51 Highfield Street - 2006
Front cover artwork for Moncton's 1963 telephone directory; Moncton Museum
Moncton and Regional Public Library
No Image

Other Name(s)

Former Moncton and Regional Public Library
Albert Westmorland Kent Regional Library
Bibliothèque régionale Albert-Westmorland-Kent
Moncton Public Library
Bibliothèque publique de Moncton

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1961/01/01 to 1962/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/07/08

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Built in 1961-1962, the Former Moncton and Regional Public Library Building, is a two-storey Modern institutional building on the east side of Highfield Street in Moncton. The distinctive scalloped concrete roof “floats” above clerestory windows that provided natural lighting to the originally open-concept library.

Heritage Value

The Former Moncton and Regional Public Library Building was designated a Local Historic Place for its architecture and for its representation of the modernization of public institutions in Moncton in the 1960’s.

The Former Moncton and Regional Public Library Building is recognized as an excellent example of institutional architecture from the Modern Movement in Moncton during the 1960’s. Up until this period, most public buildings, churches and institutions conveyed more monumental design where the exterior expressed the strength of the overall building’s construction, as well as that of the institution it housed. When the Moncton and Regional Public Library was designed, emphasis was placed on creating lightness in the building. Traditional solid masonry walls were replaced by brick, glass and porcelain panels. The scalloped concrete roof set upon clerestory windows give the roof a “floating” character, a predominant feature of many Modern style institutions. The use of this type of roof for the new library would influence schools, churches and other institutions in the region throughout the rest of the decade and into the early 1970’s. The building’s exterior wall surfaces, placed over a reinforced concrete frame, were an indication of architect choice as opposed to structural necessity.

The Former Moncton and Regional Public Library Building is also recognized for its association with the growth of the library system in Moncton. From the time of the first movement towards a public library system in 1911 until the construction of the new library building 1962, the Moncton Library had been located in six different buildings on five different sites throughout the city. With the creation of the first Regional Library Board in 1927, the intention to serve the citizen beyond the city itself became apparent. When tenders were called by City Council and the Regional Library Board to replace the wooden private residence that was serving as the library at the time on Highfield Street, the plan was to create a municipal and regional library that would be modern, bilingual and would serve all of Westmorland and Albert counties. This would also be the first purpose-built library in Moncton. The garage bays at the rear of the building facilitated vehicles from the bookmobile service that served areas of the region that were within the mandate of the Regional Library, but not in close proximity to local libraries. Bookmobile services became even more important in 1973 when Kent County, with no local libraries, was added under the regional umbrella. Again, needing more space, the library would move to a larger complex on Main Street in 1988.

Source: Moncton Museum, 20 Mountain Road, Moncton, New Brunswick, Historic Places File “51 Highfield Street”

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements that describe the Former Moncton and Regional Public Library Building include:
- location on the site of a previous library building;
- rectangular two-storey massing;
- reinforced concrete frame;
- scalloped concrete roof;
- clerestory windows;
- various exterior wall surfaces, including brown brick, glass panels and porcelain panels;
- garage bays at the rear of the building.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

New Brunswick

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NB)

Recognition Statute

Local Historic Places Program

Recognition Type

Municipal Register of Local Historic Places

Recognition Date

2006/02/20

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Learning and the Arts
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Sports and Leisure

Function - Category and Type

Current

Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building
Commerce / Commercial Services
Studio
Health and Research
Clinic

Historic

Leisure
Library

Architect / Designer

LeBlanc, Gaudet and Associates

Builder

Abbey Landry

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Moncton Museum, 20 Mountain Road, Moncton , New Brunswick, Historic places File "51 Highfield Street"

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

1005

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

SEARCH THE CANADIAN REGISTER

Advanced SearchAdvanced Search
Find Nearby PlacesFIND NEARBY PLACES PrintPRINT
Nearby Places