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Lenoir Building

1659-1663 Hollis Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1982/02/03

Front façade, Lenoir Building, Halifax, 2005.; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2005
Front façade
One of two Hollis Street entrances (no longer in use), Lenoir Building, Halifax, 2005.; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2005
Entrance Detail
Top stories showing set back modern addition and remnants of slate roof, Lenoir Building, Halifax, 2005.; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2005
Top Stories

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1816/01/01 to 1816/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/07/22

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Lenoir Building was built in 1816 as a three-storey, Georgian-style building located in Downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia. It is close to the Halifax Harbour Waterfront in what was once known as the “brick district.” The heritage designation applies to the building and the land it occupies.

Heritage Value

The Lenoir Building is valued for its age, historical commerical associations, (including pre-Confederation newspaper offices), and Georgian architecture.

The Lenoir Building is valued as one of the oldest remaining commercial buildings in Downtown Halifax; built in 1816, shortly after a fire destroyed many commercial buildings in the area. The Lenoir Building, like many of its neighbours, is built of brick, a direct response to the 1816 Hollis Street fire. This area of Halifax was once referred to as the ‘brick district.’ The building is a relic of the early commercial days of Halifax's downtown area. In the years leading up to Confederation, the building housed newspaper offices.

The Lenoir Building is also valued for its association with the Lenoir family who occupied the building for over sixty years. Peter Lenoir, who was a lawyer and Queen’s Counsel, used the ground level as an office for his practice and the upper stories served as a residence for his family. Among Lenoir’s clients was Adele Hugo, daughter of famed writer Victor Hugo. In 1936 Lenoir's wife Fanny, at age 103, was presented with a bronze medal by Premier Angus L. MacDonald as she was the only living person to have walked the decks of the first Cunard steamship, the “Britannia.” Another significant association is L.W. Fraser, former MLA and Nova Scotia leader of the Progressive Conservative Party who at one time resided in the building.

The Lenoir Building is a three storey simple Georgian building. At one time the brick walls were covered with stucco, however the façade has been returned to its original brick appearance. Originally two Scottish dormers were located on the gable roof; however, a modern addition is setback from the façade. Part of the roof line and slate shingles remain visible. The building has undergone considerable renovations and the only original part of the building remaining is the front façade. Alterations to the wooden storefront have been made, however it still has the appearance of a nineteenth century shop with large shop windows at street level.

Source: HRM Heritage Property File 1659 - 1663 Hollis Street, Lenoir Building, Founder’s Square, found at HRM Planning and Development Services, Heritage Property Program, 6960 Mumford Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Lenoir Building relate only to the front façade Georgian style and includes:

- brick construction;
- wood store front facade at ground level;
- remnats of slate shingled gable roof
- plain cornice;
- contrasting sandstone string course located;
- flat-headed, vertical sash windows with sandstone lugsills;
- double storefront with fluted pilasters;
- large display windows;
- framed doorways.



Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NS)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Municipally Registered Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building


Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

HRM Planning and Development Services, 6960 Mumford Road, Halifax, NS B3L 4P1

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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