Description of Historic Place
The Hartt Boot and Shoe Factory was established by Odbur Hartt in 1898. It is a three storey brick factory structure with a distinctive look due to its central tower. The factory fronts on the west side of York Street in Fredericton, with a boiler and engine house extending out the back at the southern end of the building.
The heritage value and the reason for designation of the former Hartt Boot and Shoe Factory resides in its association with Fredericton’s successful, early industrial development.
Located near the railway in a traditionally industrial area in Fredericton’s town plat, this factory is an illustration of local economic growth and prosperity. Completed in 1899, the opening of the Hartt Boot and Shoe Factory stimulated the local economy by ushering in a housing boom in the surrounding area.
As the 20th century dawned, both the Hartt Boot and Shoe Factory and Fredericton became synonymous with quality shoemaking. Modern machinery, equipment, and facilities defined operations at the factory and ensured a high quality product. Hartt’s earned a world-wide reputation over the course of a century. This factory produced boots for the military during both world wars and the “Strathcona” boot for the RCMP.
Heritage value also resides in the influence that the factory manager and Fredericton native, Odbur Hartt, had on its construction. Hartt oversaw all aspects of construction, using local skill and materials. For example, City architect William Minue of Gibson prepared the building plans, and the masonry work on the prominent central tower was undertaken by Alderman John Maxwell. Local contractors completed different construction elements of the factory, with commendable and handsome results.
In the last century the Hartt Boot and Shoe Factory became not only a recognizable landmark but a measure of local pride.
Source: City of Fredericton Property Files
Character-defining elements associated with the Hartt Boot and Shoe Factory typifying Fredericton’s successful, early industrial development include:
- the structure set back from the street with a short manicured lawn, its symmetrically designed footprint, defining the corner and end of a standard city block
- three story brick faced structure, common bond, with stone foundation and low overhanging pitched roof;
- regular repetitive fenestration on all levels of the main structure consisting of pairs of six over six double hung wooden windows, with matching number of bays per floor on the east and west facades, and matching number of bays per floor on the north and south facades;
- segmental arch in each window opening and arch detailing;
- decorated central tower with shingled mansard roof;
- tower fenestration matching that of the main structure;
- symmetrical façade on York Street with two first floor lateral entrances at each end of the building;
- Hartt’s name and date established in a sign on the north facing side of the factory, below which reads “Canada’s Quality Shoemaker”.