Links and documents
1891/01/01 to 1893/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Lunenburg Town Hall is a prominent three-and-a-half storey, red brick building, centrally located in Old Town, Lunenburg, NS, a Heritage Conservation District. Its mass, height and proximity to the street make it an integral part of the viewplane and streetscape. The building is surrounded by public park space on the east and west of the building, and has main entrances on both Cumberland and Townsend Streets. The heritage designation applies to the building and the lot on which it sits.
The heritage value of Lunenburg's Town Hall lies in its role in the community and as a landmark building. It is a key anchor building located in the heart of Old Town Lunenburg. It was built in 1893 by well known architect Henry Busch to serve as the Town's administrative and judicial offices, and continues to operate in that function. In the early 1890s there was considerable debate over whether Lunenburg or Bridgewater would be home to a new courthouse, and the debate continued even after both communities had commenced construction of their buildings. This was only resolved in 1893 with the "Act to Settle Difficulties That Have Arisen With Regard to the Courthouse in the County of Lunenburg", and sessions have since that time been held jointly with Bridgewater.
Built in the Second Empire style of red brick with granite embellishments, the building is unusual in a town where wooden construction has always been more common. The Town Hall is a key contributing building to the streetscape and viewplanes in Old Town Lunenburg and is a central building to the institutional area of the Old Town.
Source: Heritage Designation File 66400-40-35, Town of Lunenburg.
Character-defining elements of the Lunenburg Town Hall relate to its function as a public building and its architectural style, including:
- the location in the institutional area as originally laid out in Old Town Lunenburg's 1753 town plans, surrounded by park space;
- the mass of the building, and its height in relation to neighbouring buildings;
- Second Empire elements, such as the mansard roof, with projecting dormer windows and a curb at the roofline, tall round headed windows, and on three of the four façades, central projecting pavilions with separate convex-sloping roofs, adding height;
- brick exterior, accented with granite coursing, keystones above the windows, steps and foundation;
- large central doorways formed by Tuscan pilasters meeting above the door in a semi-circular fanlight, with the words "Town Hall" and "Courthouse" over the Cumberland and Townsend Street entrances respectively, reflecting the dual use of the building;
- significant original interior ornamental work remaining: entablatures and cornices over doorways, wooden stair rails, newel posts and bannisters, wooden wainscotting.
Local Governments (NS)
Heritage Property Act
Municipally Registered Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Governing Canada
- Government and Institutions
Function - Category and Type
- Town or City Hall
- Courthouse and/or Registry Office
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Town of Lunenburg, 119 Cumberland Street, P.O. Box 129, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, B0J 2C0
Cross-Reference to Collection