Description of Historic Place
The Lighthouse at Peggy’s Point is a tapered, octagonal, reinforced concrete structure with a plinth-like base, a tapered shaft, a flared cornice, and a lantern platform. The Lighthouse also features long, narrow windows each of which is capped with a simple concrete pediment, and a small vestibule with a sloped roof at the ground floor entrance. The Lighthouse is located on a barren rock outcrop at the entrance to St. Margaret’s Bay, and is visible from many vantage points. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Lighthouse is designated a Classified federal heritage building due to its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Lighthouse is associated with the important national historical theme of the federal government’s provision of navigational aids, which saw the construction of lighthouses along the country’s coast. The Lighthouse replaced an earlier lighthouse at the same location with a stronger more prominent light, continuing the primary function of supporting the fishing industry of the local communities. Being open to public visitation very early in its history, the Peggy’s Point Lighthouse also became the focus of the community’s tourism industry, a significant contributor to the local economy.
The Lighthouse is a very good example of a modern interpretation of the classic lighthouse form, and is characterized by balanced proportions, an elegant profile and stylised detailing. The Lighthouse is a relatively early example of the use of reinforced concrete for the construction of a lighthouse, and its present condition testifies to the high level of craftsmanship employed in its execution.
By virtue of its elevated profile and siting at the entrance to St. Margaret’s Bay, Lighthouse is highly visible and reinforces the dramatic character of its maritime setting. Located on a barren rock outcrop with no visible paths or access roads leading to its door, the lighthouse is a prime tourist destination and a regional and provincial symbol, and is widely recognized beyond its provincial borders.
Alexandra Mosquin, Peggy’s Point Lighthouse, Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report 01-082; Peggy’s Point Lighthouse, Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia, Heritage Character Statement 01-082.
The character-defining elements of the Lighthouse should be respected.
Its role as an illustration of the federal provision of navigational aids and the establishment of the regional tourist trade is reflected in:
-its strategic location on Peggy’s Point at the mouth of St. Margaret’s Bay; and,
-its proximity to the city of Halifax and other coastal tourist destinations.
The building’s modern interpretation of the traditional lighthouse form, its successful functional design, high quality craftsmanship and materials, are manifested in:
-the well-balanced proportions of the structure’s base, tapered shaft and lantern, which are accentuated by the vertical alignment of the three tall narrow window openings on two of the elevations;
-the octagonal shape, elegantly curved cornice and stylized window caps which reflect a modern aesthetic;
-the construction of the small attached entry vestibule with sloped roof which offsets the monolithic character of the lighttower;
-its relatively early, but significant use of reinforced concrete technology for and octagonal lighthouse; and,
-the high quality materials and craftsmanship exhibited by the exterior concrete .
The building’s unchanged site, reinforcement of its setting’s dramatic maritime character and important landmark status, is evidenced in:
-its relationship with the site, which consists of a barren rock outcrop and natural vegetation without visible paths leading to the building or any other structures in the immediate vicinity;
-the prominent and highly visible position of the light at the entry to St. Margaret’s Bay which emphasizes the contrast of the structure’s profile and white colour with the setting’s rugged landscape and ocean view; and,
-its value as the centerpiece of a tourist destination in the St. Margaret’s Bay area.