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O'Brien Conservatory and Heating Plant

62 St. Patrick's Drive, Miramichi, New Brunswick, E1N, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2004/11/25

O'Brien Conservatory and heating plant, front elevation, 2004.; City of Miramichi
Front elevation
O'Brien's conservatory and heating plant, rear elevation, 2004.; City of Miramichi
Rear elevation.
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Other Name(s)

O'Brien Conservatory and Heating Plant
O'Brien's Heating Plant
Installation de chauffage O'Brien

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/05/11

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

O'Brien's Conservatory and Heating Plant are located in the City of Miramichi. It consists of two adjacent buildings on the former estate grounds of J. Leonard O'Brien, overlooking the banks of the Miramichi River and Beaubear's Island.

Heritage Value

O’Brien’s Conservatory and Heating Plant are designated a Local Historic Place because of their functions and their association with J. Leonard O'Brien.

O’Brien’s Conservatory and Heating Plant were built in 1944 by J. Leonard O'Brien to house a wood fired boiler. The boiler fed a hot water radiator heating system connected by underground piping to the two O'Brien homes situated on each side of the heating plant and the O'Brien Store across the street from the property. The conservatory was used for the O'Brien greenhouse. The fish that were in the estate fountain were kept in the conservatory during the winter months.

O’Brien Conservatory and Heating Plant are recognized for their association with J. Leonard O'Brien, who acquired many distinctions in his lifetime including being the youngest Speaker of the House at the age of 31, MLA, MP, Lieutenant Governor and benefactor. One of his greatest gifts to the Miramichi was Beaubear's Island. In his will, he bequeathed the island to Parks Canada to be protected as an historic site.

Source: City of Miramichi, Heritage Office Site File # 04-17.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the O'Brien Conservatory and Heating Plant exterior and grounds include:
- situated facing northerly scenic view of river under shade of mature softwood on landscaped grounds;
- conservatory in rear with southern exposure;
- two one and a half storey utilitarian storage buildings similar in dimensions, one being of brick, connected by a one storey segment that housed the conservatory;
- extreme westerly boiler building exterior wall connected to freestanding square brick flue;
- steep pitched roof on two extreme buildings and low pitched on connector conservatory with hexagonal cupola and wind direction finder atop;
- two dormer bay windows on north side of conservatory centered by entrance;
- clad in clapboards, eaves with returns, corner boards with capitals;
- original 6/6 balanced window placements;
- southern conservatory wall with three original 20 pane window placements with transoms to contain most of wall.



New Brunswick

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NB)

Recognition Statute

Community Planning Act

Recognition Type

Local Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Technology and Engineering
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Governing Canada
Politics and Political Processes

Function - Category and Type




Food Supply
Horticultural Facility or Site
Power Generation Facility

Architect / Designer



J. Leonard O'Brien

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Miramichi - Heritage Office - site file #04-17

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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