Home / Accueil

Cochrane Street United Church Municipal Heritage Building

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, A1C, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1989/07/21

View of main facade following tower restoration, 2005.; HFNL 2008
Cochrane Street United Church, St. John's, NL
Detail of church tower, Cochrane Street United Church, Cochrane Street, St. John's, NL, following tower restoration, 2005; HFNL 2006
Cochrane Street United Church, St. John's, NL
Interior photo of church sanctuary, Cochrane Street United Church.; Cochrane Street United Church, 2006
Cochrane Street United Church interior, St. John's

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/05/04

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Cochrane Street United (formerly Methodist) Church, is a steel-framed church reminiscent of the Mediterranean style of architecture. Built in 1915, Cochrane Street United Church is located on Cochrane Street in downtown St. John’s. This designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

Cochrane Street United Church is designated as a municipal heritage building by the City of St. John's due to its architectural and environmental values.

Cochrane Street United Church is architecturally valuable for its unique design. Designed in a Mediterranean style of architecture reminiscent of Romanesque Revival, Cochrane Street United Church is the only church of this type in St. John’s. The church features many unique elements, including Roman arched windows, arcading and an impressive, open bell tower. The red and white colours of the building are further indicators of the Mediterranean style, as is the use of Corinthian capitals throughout the structure. The interior of the church also features a number of unique elements including barrel vaults and a soaring Byzantine style dome. It exhibits features of the Arts and Crafts/Art Nouveau styles of Architecture, such as the use of wood for the doors and stairs, the geometric, opalescent stained glass windows in the stairwells and the leaded stained glass in the sanctuary.

Built during World War I, the architecture of Cochrane Street United Church is a reminder of what is possible during times of restraint. Circumstances such as fire, wartime and limited resources prompted the congregation of Cochrane Street United Church to think and act in a more contemporary manner. The result was an architecturally unique structure designed by a leading architectural firm.

Cochrane Street United Church is also architecturally valuable for its association with the architectural firm of Ross and McDonald. Ross and McDonald are credited with being the longest continuous architectural firm in Canadian history, conducting business between 1913 and 1942. The Montreal firm is credited with many architecturally important buildings throughout Canada including the Royal York Hotel in Toronto and numerous buildings on the McGill University Campus in Montreal.

Cochrane Street United Church is environmentally valuable for its location in St. John’s. Situated just outside the official boundaries of the St. John's Ecclesiastical District, it is generally recognized that Cochrane Street United Church plays an important role in defining the overall historic locale. It is situated just south of Newfoundland's Government House and grounds, as well as the Colonial Building - the former seat of Newfoundland's government. This church forms part of a complex of select buildings which symbolize the early governmental, religious, and military history of Newfoundland.

Source: City of St. John's Appendix to the St. John's Development Regulations, updated July 5, 2005.

Character-Defining Elements

All elements that define the building's Mediterranean and Romanesque Revival design including:
-use of local materials;
-location in St. John’s;
-steel frame construction;
-colours of building;
-Roman windows and arcading;
-Byzantine dome;
-bell tower;
-decorative brickwork around doors and windows;
-eaves brackets;
-interior barrel vaulting;
-window style and placement; and

All those interior elements that reflect the Arts and Crafts/Art Nouveau styles of architecture, including:
-stained glass windows;
-geometric, opalescent stained glass windows; and
-use of wood in doors and staircases.



Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Authority

City of St. John's

Recognition Statute

City of St. John's Development Regulations

Recognition Type

City of St. John's Heritage Building

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions

Function - Category and Type


Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship


Architect / Designer

Ross and McDonald


Downing Cook Construction Company

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, 1 Springdale Street, St. John's, NL, A1C 5V5

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places



Advanced SearchAdvanced Search
Nearby Places