Description of Historic Place
The Cape Anguille Light Tower consists of a freestanding reinforced concrete tapered octagonal tower surmounted by an aluminum and glass lantern. The elegant tall white tower with its red lantern is situated within a multi-building lightstation at an isolated seaside location on Newfoundland’s most westerly point in Cape Codroy. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Cape Anguille Light Tower is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Cape Anguille Light Tower is a very good illustration of the theme of aids to navigation in Canadian waters. With a range of 15 nautical miles, it guides international and coastal shipping at Newfoundland’s most westerly point on Cape Codroy. Constructed between 1958 and 1960, the light tower replaces an earlier 1907-1908 octagonal cast iron and reinforced concrete light tower. The current light tower is a late example of the types of facilities erected by the Government of Canada to fulfill its commitment of providing and maintaining aids to navigation in Newfoundland, as part of an extensive modernization program initiated after the province joined the Canadian Confederation in 1949. The light tower is also closely associated with the Patry family, members of which served as lightkeepers from the opening of the lightstation in 1908 until 1982, and who continue to be associated with the tower by means of operating a bed and breakfast in the former lightkeeper’s dwelling.
The good aesthetic qualities of the Cape Anguille Light Tower are derived from its graceful proportions created by the tall octagonal shaft surmounted by an octagonal lantern. This simple, utilitarian design was widely used across Canada in the 1950s and the 1960s. The basic interior layout of the tower fulfills adequately the simple functional program of providing support to the lantern and warning ships of the proximity of the coastline. Built according to a standard plan prepared by the Department of Transportation, using durable materials such as concrete and steel and displaying a good quality of craftsmanship, the structure has endured well despite the harsh climatic conditions to which it is exposed.
Located between the Atlantic Ocean and a landscape of meadows and hills, the Cape Anguille Light Tower reinforces its maritime setting through its visual and functional prominence in the surrounding coastal landscape. The light tower sits on tended grounds at the end of a main road in an isolated seaside location surrounded by other smaller structures. Since its construction, the site has undergone several changes, including the construction and removal of a fog alarm and oil storage building; the demolition of the old lighthouse and boathouse; and the construction of two staff residences, a helicopter landing area, two utilitarian storage buildings and a fence. Despite these changes, the site continues to possess the essential elements of a lightstation and the relationship between the light tower and its site has been retained. The lighthouse is a familiar landmark to the community and visitors who stay at the bed and breakfast in the old lightkeeper’s residence, a provincial Registered Heritage Property, and is an important reference point for local coastal fishery.
Sources: Dana Johnson, Light Tower, Cape Anguille Lighstation, Codroy, Newfoundland and Labrador, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report 06-033; Cape Anguille Light Tower, Codroy, Newfoundland and Labrador, Heritage Character Statement, 06-033.
The character-defining elements of the Cape Anguille Light Tower should be respected.
Features that illustrate the theme of aids to navigation by the Government of Canada for international and coastal shipping:
- its prominent and visually exposed location between the Atlantic Ocean and a landscape of meadows and hills;
- its standardized free-standing octagonal concrete light tower design which was widely used across Canada in the 1950s and 1960s.
Its good aesthetic design, good functional design and good quality materials and craftsmanship, as manifested in:
- the tapered, octagonal form of the light tower consisting of a tall concrete shaft surmounted by a small lantern;
- the symmetrical placement of the openings, consisting of three small windows stacked vertically on the rear elevation and a door centrally located;
- the prefabricated glazed lantern and the surrounding open exterior gallery protected by steel handrails;
- the simple exterior of the tower with minimal use of decorative elements, including smooth concrete surface, a flared cornice, and projecting concrete hood over the window and door openings;
- the white shaft and red lantern;
- the simple, utilitarian interior plan comprising of a vestibule and a space with the stairway connecting the three levels and the lantern;
- the use of standard methods of construction and durable materials consisting of concrete, steel, aluminum, and glass.
The manner in which the building reinforces the maritime character of its remote location on the shoreline, as evidenced in:
- its prominent location on the seashore;
- its recognizable silhouette, simple form and traditional colours;
- its focal and dominant presence within the lightstation.