Links and documents
1920/01/01 to 1920/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
St. Mark's Church is a notable structure built in the Gothic Revival style. It is located on the corner of Russell and Gottingen Streets in the North End of Halifax, Nova Scotia. The original church, built in 1866, was completely destroyed in the 1917 Halifax Explosion. The cornerstone of the new church was laid July 18, 1920. The rebuilding of the church was part of a larger reconstruction project following the explosion. The heritage designation applies to the building and the land it occupies.
St. Mark’s Church is valued for its association with the military history of Halifax, with the Halifax Explosion, and for its Gothic Revival architecture.
Since its founding, Halifax has been the host to a large military presence and for much of that time the Anglican Church was the official church of the garrison. St. Mark's Church was founded in 1866 and later given the status of being the garrison church of the Royal Canadian Regiment and the Royal Canadian Navy. Between 1920 to 1970 the church was enlarged three times to accommodate the growing armed forces presence in the city. Each Sunday military parades marched from Wellington Barracks and the Dockyard to St. Mark's Church.
On December 6, 1917 two ships, one carrying explosives, collided in the section known as the Narrows of the Halifax Harbour. The resulting explosion devastated much of the North End of Halifax, flattening wooden buildings on either side of the Narrows, including the original wood framed St. Mark’s Church. Those buildings that were not destroyed by the force of the explosion were destroyed by fires caused by overturned stoves. The Explosion killed 1600 people, including seventy-percent of St. Mark’s parishioners, and wounded 9000. The Explosion also caused roughly thirty-five million dollars damage. The Halifax Relief Commission was established to deal with the tragedy and its aftermath. St. Mark's Church was rebuilt during the massive reconstruction on the North End of Halifax and reopened in 1920.
The new St. Mark's Church was constructed using brick in the Gothic Revival style. This style is easily recognized and is the typical of church buildings constructed since the mid-nineteenth century. Gothic Revival style is seen in the flanking towers, gothic round headed windows, and a large rose window on the east façade. The building stands out on the corner and commands presence in the neighbourhood. It continues to serve the North End Anglican community.
Source: Heritage Property File: 5522 Russell Street, St. Mark’s Church, found at HRM Planning and Development Services, Heritage Property Program, 6960 Mumford Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The character-defining elements of St. Mark's Church relate to its Gothic Revival style and include:
- steeply pitched gable roof;
- brick construction;
- symmetrical façade;
- flanking towers at front entrance;
- rectangular south bell tower;
- octagonal north tower on top of rectangular base;
- round headed windows with cloverleaf design on second storey of north tower;
- large rose window above central doorway;
- lancet windows;
- louvered windows.
Local Governments (NS)
Heritage Property Act
Municipally Registered Property
1917/01/01 to 1920/01/01
1866/01/01 to 1866/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Religious Institutions
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Facility or Place of Worship
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
HRM Planning and Development Services, 6960 Mumford Road, Halifax, NS B3L 4P1
Cross-Reference to Collection