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Factory/Advocate Building

Port Union, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0C, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2002/04/13

Exterior view of side facade, Fishermen's Protective Union Factory/Advocate Building (Port Union, NL); 2004 Sir William F Coaker Heritage Foundation
FPU Factory/Advocate Building
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/01/18

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The FPU Factory/Advocate Building is a three storey wooden structure, located on Main Street in Port Union, NL. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The FPU Factory/Advocate Building is designated because of its historical associations and aesthetic significance .

The building has historical value because of its associations with the Fishermen’s Protective Union (FPU). Sir William Coaker founded the FPU in 1908 and in 1917 established Port Union, a rare example of a town intentionally built by a labour organization. Port Union was envisioned as a place where the full wealth of the fishery could be used to the advantage of many, rather than a privileged few. Coaker stressed the importance of economic diversification, encouraging the establishment of new industries and services. The FPU Factory/Advocate Building was the site of one such diversification project, a woodworking shop which was located on the second floor and serviced by an electric elevator, possibly the only one outside St. John’s at the time. The building was also home to the Fishermen’s Advocate, an influential, often controversial and very popular newspaper established in 1910 as a means to communicate the ideals of Cocker and the union. In 1924 the newspaper’s headquarters were moved from St. John’s to Port Union and remained there until publication ceased in 1980. The FPU Factory/Advocate Building stands as a physical reminder of Sir William Coaker’s vision for Newfoundland and its working masses.

The building has aesthetic value as an example of early twentieth century industrial style construction in a outport context. It is a physical reminder of the drive to diversity sponsored by the FPU in Port Union. The building is an important component of the built landscape of this intentionally built town.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property designation file M-046-008, Port Union - Factory/Advocate Building

Character-Defining Elements

All those exterior features that are reflective of the age, industrical character, and original function of the property including:
-elevator shaft head;
-number of storeys;
-flat roof;
-use of narrow clapboard with corner board trim;
-exterior colours (ochre and cream);
-window size, style, trim and placement;
-size, style, trim and placement of exterior doors; and
-scale, location and orientation of building.



Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Authority

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Statute

Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Registered Heritage Structure

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Social Movements

Function - Category and Type



Communications Facility

Architect / Designer



Fishermen's Protective Union

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador 1 Springdale Street St. John's, NL A1C 5V5

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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