Description of Historic Place
The Cape Bauld Light Tower is a tapered, concrete octagonal light tower, topped by an octagonal, aluminum lantern. The gently tapered walls of the tower are painted white and rise to a flared cornice, above which a railed observation platform surrounds the red lantern. A vertical row of three windows with simple, concrete lintels runs up one side of the light tower. The Cape Bauld Light Tower is located in a rocky, barren landscape on the northern tip of Quirpon Island at the northern entrance to the Strait of Belle Isle. The light station is visible from L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site of Canada and World Heritage Site, located on the Island of Newfoundland. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Cape Bauld Light Tower is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Cape Bauld Light Tower is a very good example of the theme of aids to navigation in Canadian waters. The landfall light, which has a range of 17 nautical miles, is located on the northern tip of Quirpon Island, and guides international and coastal shipping at the northern entry of the Strait of Belle Isle. The importance of a light tower at this location is emphasized by the fact that the Dominion government built the first tower here soon after Confederation in what were then non-Canadian waters. The current light is the second replacement structure on the site.
The Cape Bauld Light Tower is a good example of the freestanding, concrete, tapered, octagonal type of light tower. Its solid and competent design is notable for its simplicity, its minimalist approach and its good proportions. The light tower adequately fulfills its function of providing a secure base for the lantern and conveying the iconographic message as a day marker. The light tower is a good example of a standardized plan that was prepared by the Department of Transport and refined throughout the 20th century. The tower was built of common materials for its time. The structure has been well maintained and has stood up well, demonstrating good craftsmanship.
Sitting atop a steep, rocky, barren point in an isolated area only accessible by boat, the light tower reinforces the maritime character of the area. The relationship between the light tower, the rugged landscape and the surrounding small structures has retained its character despite the replacement of some structures. The light tower is a familiar reference point and a known landmark for local navigation and tourists visiting L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site of Canada.
Sources: Dana Johnson, Lighttower, Cape Bauld Lighstation, Quirpon Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report 06-023; Cape Bauld Lighstation, Quirpon Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Heritage Character Statement, 06-023.
The character-defining elements of the Cape Bauld Light Tower should be respected.
The features that illustrate the theme of aids to navigation in Canadian waters, as reflected in:
- its design and materials typical of the concrete, tapered, octagonal light tower type;
- its location on the northern tip of Quirpon Island, at the northern entry to the Strait of Belle Isle.
Its good aesthetic design, its good functional design, and good quality of materials and craftsmanship, as manifested in:
- its good proportions and simple, minimalist approach, characterized by its smooth tapered walls, the octagonal forms of its base and lantern, its tall shaft, flared cornice, and railed platform;
- the vertical alignment of its three window openings;
- its simple and functional detailing, including slightly projecting concrete lintels over window and door openings and the slightly projecting foundation at the base of the tower;
- the octagonal aluminum-and-glass lantern, with its gently sloping roof and finial;
- its straightforward interior spatial arrangement, divided vertically into three floors connected by interior metal stairs leading up to the lantern;
- the use of durable material for its construction, including its poured concrete foundation, reinforced concrete walls and floors, and prefabricated metal elements such as its interior stairs, railings and lantern.
The manner in which it reinforces its maritime setting, as evidenced in:
- its location on a steep, rocky, barren and isolated point of land at the northern tip of Quirpon Island;
- its relationship to the other structures at the site;
- its visibility from the water.