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Longshoremen's Protective Union (LSPU) Hall

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, A1C, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1998/08/17

View of front facade, L.S.P.U. Hall, St. John's; HFNL 2005
L.S.P.U. Hall, St. John's
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1923/01/01 to 1926/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/01/18

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The LSPU Hall is a three-storey timber framed building with a mid-pitched gable roof. It is located at 3 Victoria Street, St. John’s. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The LSPU Hall has been designated a registered heritage structure because of its historical and architectural values.

Historically, the LSPU Hall is significant because of the land on which it sits and the organizations associated with it. In 1789, this site was the location of the first Congregationalist Church in Newfoundland. Following a fire which destroyed the building, it was rebuilt in to a meeting hall, and again rebuilt by the Sons of Temperance in 1853. In 1912, the Longshoremen’s Protective Union purchased this building on what was then known as “Meeting House Lane” to be used as their union hall. This location was preferred by the Longshoremen because of its view of the harbour, allowing the secretary to see when ships were arriving in port. In the decades that followed the union's purchase of the hall, the building was used for both union meetings and local activities including speeches and bingo. Though many buildings in the Downtown area served this dual function, the LSPU Hall is one of the last remaining of this type still standing. Currently, this building houses the Resource Centre for the Arts, non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the visual and performing arts in Newfoundland. As of today, it is one of the most important centers for the arts in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Although the interior has been extensively changed over the years, the exterior of the building has remained virtually unchanged since 1922. Earlier reminders of the sites past uses are still visible along the sides of the building where, within the massive stone retaining walls, remnants of the original retaining wall built for the foundation of the Congregationalist Church in 1789 can still be seen. The building itself is quite basic with plain narrow clapboard and un-adorned windows, typical of Newfoundland meeting halls in the early 20th century. The few decorative features on this building include exposed rafters along the gable ends of the roof and a decorated two storey porch, complete with original windows and signage.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador unnumbered property designation file, 1 Springdale Street, St. John's, NL, A1C 5V5

Character-Defining Elements

All original features which relate to the age and vernacular lodge design of the building including:
- Gable roof;
- Narrow wooden clapboard;
- All original 6/6 windows including arched and picture window on front facade;
- Size and placement of windows and doors;
- Two storey porch on front façade;
- Size and location of signage on front façade including painting of Republic of Newfoundland flag;
- Exposed rafters along gable ends;
- Eaves brackets along porch;
- Remnants of early stone retaining wall;
- Minimal exterior decoration;
- Orientation and overall dimensions 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

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type



Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

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

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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