Lunenburg Academy National Historic Site of Canada
Académie de Lunenburg
Lunenburg Elementary School
Links and documents
1849/01/01 to 1895/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Lunenburg Academy is a large, late 19th century school building in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. It is a three-storey, wooden building in the Second Empire style, surrounded by a spacious, open playground area. Its key location atop Gallows Hill is visible from most viewpoints when approaching Lunenburg. The property abuts Old Town Lunenburg Historic District National Historic Site of Canada. Official recognition refers to the building on its legal lot.
Lunenburg Academy was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1983 because
- constructed of wood in the Second Empire style, it is a rare survivor from Nova Scotia’s 19th century academy system of education.
Lunenburg Academy illustrates a significant stage in the evolution of the education system in 19th century Nova Scotia, which had developed from one-room schoolhouses into the Academy system. The county academies were publicly funded and offered high quality secondary education within the public school system. This was reflected in their design, curriculum and quality of teachers and facilities. The Lunenburg Academy was constructed between 1894-1895 to the designs of prominent local architect Harry H. Mott.
Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, June 1983.
The key elements that contribute to the heritage character of this site include:
- the prominent hilltop location at the edge of Old Town Lunenburg Historic District National Historic Site of Canada;
- the setting of the school in a green space with playgrounds;
- the timber frame construction with wooden cladding;
- the substantial, three-storey, cubic massing;
- the mansard roof in the French Empire style with segmental dormer windows, massive central chimney, and the three projecting towers with pyramidal roofs;
- the lively elevations with their projecting and receding masses, defined by a twelve-bay façade with projecting frontispiece flanked by towers housing entrances and nine-bay side elevations with central projecting frontispieces;
- the lively, classically inspired ornamentation with pediments over openings, oval windows, and intricate brackets;
- the horizontal emphasis of the moulded belt courses;
- the large school bell housed in a tower;
- the large windows with wooden frames and muntins;
- the use of a variety of exterior textures and colours;
- the surviving interior configuration and ornamental detailing including the wooden wainscoting, stairs and banisters, paneled doors with transoms, and the original hardware.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Education and Social Well-Being
Function - Category and Type
- Primary or Secondary School
Architect / Designer
Harry H. Mott
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection