Description of Historic Place
St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church is located on the corner of Townsend and King Streets in Old Town Lunenburg, NS. Built in 1828, it is a neo-gothic structure, clad in clapboard, with a prominent steeple and with the side of the nave flush with the street line. The property is located within a designated municipal heritage district and municipal designation includes the building and surrounding property.
St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church is valued as the home of the oldest Presbyterian congregation in Canada, as well as being a fine example of nineteenth century ecclesiastical neo-gothic architecture. Built in 1828 it replaced an earlier church that was built on the same site. St. Andrew's is a prominent landmark in the centre of Old Town Lunenburg; the church's importance is demonstrated by its location adjacent to an area designated by the original 1753 town plans as the institutional core of the town, with the town hall, courthouse and Anglican church.
In 1879, the church was substantially renovated: it was lengthened to 83 feet, broadened to 40 feet and the spire's height was increased to 118 feet. In 1909, further renovations were carried out on the interior and the church was renovated to its present Gothic Revival/High Victorian Gothic style, which is typical of Lunenburg churches and adds to its value as a Lunenburg landmark. At this time, the chancel on the eastern end of the building was constructed.
Source: Notice of Recommendation to Register as a Town Heritage Property, Heritage Designation File 66400-40-12, Town of Lunenburg
Character-defining elements relate to the prominence of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Lunenburg, as well as the neo-Gothic architecture, including:
- elements relating to the prominence of the church and congregation in Lunenburg, including a central location adjacent to the institutional area of Old Town Lunenburg as originally laid out in Old Town Lunenburg's 1753 plans, and landmark status, accentuated by a tall central tower with small, paired gablets on each side that support the 118 ft. spire; each gablet sheltering a hooded louvre window;
- elements relating to the neo-Gothic architecture of the church, including a steep gable roof over the nave, with a chancel at the rear of the nave, a row of six gothic hooded windows with stained glass along the nave, the arched and hooded ornamentation on the doors and windows of the tower, matching the nave windows, large three-paned central window with gothic-style tracery on the tower, also with a hooded arch, and fully hipped bell cast gable roof over the nave, with an end gable over the three-sided end chancel;
- elements that are typical of Old Town Lunenburg nineteenth century architecture including white clapboard cladding, with wide corner boards and frieze under the eaves in black trim, and the entrances in the central tower, and to the sides of the tower in the adjacent porch area, located close to the street.