Links and documents
1897/01/01 to 1897/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Built in 1897, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church is a large and imposing structure located in the rural community of Rose Bay, Nova Scotia. Boasting a large Gothic Revival spire it stands out against the surrounding flat landscape. The municipal heritage designation applies to the building and building footprint.
St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church is valued for its association with the locally renowned architect Henry Frederick Busch. Busch designed numerous ornate public buildings in Nova Scotia including the Normal School at Truro (1879); the bandstand in the Halifax Public Gardens (1887); and the Lunenburg Town Hall (1891-1893). Similarly, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church demonstrates the ornate features common to Busch’s designs; however, its Gothic Revival style and wooden construction is a departure from the Second Empire and Romanesque brick buildings designs that are more common in Busch’s designs.
The construction of this church by Boehner Bros. of LaHave and the design by a renowned architect from Halifax is perhaps one of the best examples of the separation of the crafts of designing and constructing buildings that had begun to effect tradesmen in rural Nova Scotia at the end of the nineteenth century. The departure of Busch from his preferred styles of architecture and the original building plans for St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church indicate that although the congregation was prepared to seek out a professional architect, they maintained their autonomy and ensured they received the Gothic Revival church they desired.
The architectural value of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church is based on its Gothic Revival style. Although Gothic Revival style churches in Nova Scotia are not uncommon, the presence of this type of church, with well defined ornamentation, is less common in rural communities such as Rose Bay. The building provides an excellent example of the Gothic influenced open cage belfry, common to Lunenburg County in particular.
In addition to the exterior features that comprise the architectural value of St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran Church, many of the original interior features of the church have been preserved, including a Casavant organ, and also contribute to its architectural value.
Source: Municipality of the District of Lunenburg, Heritage Property Book 1, Site 2 St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran Church.
The character-defining elements of St. Matthew’s Evangelist Lutheran Church relate to its Gothic Revival architecture and include:
- original form and massing;
- large spire topped with a finial cross;
- open cage belfry supported by Romanesque arches topped with a peaked roof;
- arched window with tracery over main entrance;
- quatrefoil finishing across three of the gables;
- paired ornamented brackets supporting a wide eave;
- carved wide bargeboard;
- ornate molded corner boards;
- steeply pitched cross gabled roofs;
- arched windows;
- wooden clapboard siding;
- bronze plaque identifying the builders and age of the structure.
The character-defining elements of St. Matthew’s Evangelist Lutheran Church that relate to its interior include:
- Casavant organ;
- original ornamental ventilation system;
- triple brace iron support bars that anchor into two sides and ceiling, meeting at an ornately carved wooden linkage joint.
Local Governments (NS)
Heritage Property Act
Municipally Registered Property
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
Busch, Henry Frederick
Location of Supporting Documentation
Municipal Heritage Properties Book 1 Site 2, Planning Library, Municipality of the District of Lunenburg, 210 Aberdeen Rd, Bridgewater, NS, B4V 4G8
Cross-Reference to Collection