Links and documents
1925/01/01 to 1926/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Corner Brook Public Building is a neo-classical concrete structure located at 2 West Street, Corner Brook. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Corner Brook Public Building was designated a registered heritage structure because it has architectural, historic and cultural values.
The Corner Brook Public Building has architectural value because it is a fine example of neo-classical, 1920s architecture. Situated in downtown Corner Brook the Public Building is a large, 3 storey government structure featuring strong, crisp lines formed by poured, reinforced concrete. The pilasters, moulded frieze and projecting architrave all suggest classic revival details. The art nouveau cresting over the main entrance is balanced by a cast concrete coat of arms. It features many fine interior details of high quality, including solid birch and oak doors and Quebec imported Missisquoi marble. This building is the only one of its kind in the region.
The Corner Brook Public Building is historically significant for several reasons. It was constructed as a government building for the Dominion of Newfoundland. Holding the first customs house, courthouse and post office for the area the building represents a period of history when Newfoundland governed itself from this very building.
The Public Building is also historically valuable because it represents a style which is unique to the region. Constructed by accomplished architect J. Melville Miller and builder William J. Bishop Ltd. the building features interior and exterior qualities that suggest the importance of the business carried on within the walls.
It is also historically important because it was built under a cloud of controversy. There was great debate over the proposed site of the building, and because the building was late in being completed, as well as going over budget, the builder lost the contractors fee.
Finally, the Public Building is historically valuable because it was used for the jail in Canadian actor Gordon Pinsent’s film The Rowdyman (1972).
The Public Building is culturally valuable because it has housed many businesses since its construction and remains important to the community because it now holds Corner Brook’s only Museum and Archives.
Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador unnumbered property designation file, 1 Springdale Street, St. John's, NL, A1C 5V5
All elements that define the building's Neo-classical design including:
-exterior decoration including cornice mouldings, pilasters, moulded frieze and fretwork;
-original interior features including: solid wood doors, faux stoneworkd, marble pilasters and stairs, brass hardware and wooden skylight; and,
-orientation, location and dimensions.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador
Historic Resources Act
Registered Heritage Structure
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Customs Building
Architect / Designer
J. Melville Miller
William J. Bishop Ltd.
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, 1 Springdale Street, St. John's, NL
Cross-Reference to Collection