Description of Historic Place
The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) Station at McAdam N.B. is a large Chateau-style station and hotel built in 1900-1901. It is prominently located in Heritage Park surrounded by railway artifacts. It stands on raised land overlooking Saunders Road, McAdam’s main street, just in front of an immense pond that has become a sanctuary for wild geese.
The CPR station at McAdam has been designated a heritage railway station on the basis of its historical, architectural, and environmental significance. It has also been commemorated as a National Historic Site (1976).
This is an imposing Château style station designed by prominent Canadian architect Edward Maxwell. It was constructed in 1900-1901 as the CPR emerged from depression to begin two decades of expansion. As McAdam’s second station it was much more substantial than its predecessor. Its presence reflects not only the CPR’s improved financial status, but also McAdam’s prominence as a railway centre. Established as a centre on the original Canadian Atlantic Railway (CAR) line through the maritimes, the village of McAdam thrived after the CPR assumed control of the CAR line in the late 19th century. The station itself was expanded in 1910-1911 (W.S. Painter, architect), and during the 20th century has served the CPR, VIA Rail, and, most recently, the CAR which has been revived as an independent CPR subsidiary.
The McAdam station is an imposing example of the Château style. The upward thrust of its hipped gable roof and the busy rhythm of its many gabled dormers, turrets, pinnacles and pavilions, plus the smooth quality of the upper level walls, recall key elements of the style. The station is also a rare surviving example of the combined railway station/hotel, accommodating both station and hotel facilities under the same roof. As a result, the architectural presence of the McAdam CPR station is amplified much beyond that warranted by its functional requirements.
Today the station retains its prominent role as the symbol of McAdam’s railway heritage. It sits high on its original site overlooking commercial Saunders Road, adjacent to the track and surviving railway outbuildings. Behind it is a six acre pond originally created to provide water for railway steam engines.
The heritage value of the McAdam CPR station resides in its well-resolved Château style design, its materials of construction, and its visual and symbolic prominence.
·Heritage Character Statement, Canadian Pacific Railway Station, McAdam, N.B.,19 December 1990. Heritage Assessment Report RSR-020, 1990.
Character-defining elements of the Canadian Pacific Railway Station at McAdam include:
- its substantial rectangular footprint and 1 ½ storey massing under a steeply pitched roof cut by irregular dormers and a 2 ½ storey tower,
- the lively visual interest incorporated in its roofline by high dormer peaks, the steep pitch and bell-cast edges of the hipped tower roof, the presence of a subsidiary tower with a conical roof, a pair of small symmetrical dormers and an eyebrow window on the main tower, the generous use of finials and ridge caps, and the presence of prominent chimneys,
- its substantial proportions,
- definition of the ground floor as a series of eight regular bays, seven of which are arcaded,
- the care with which the horizontal balance of the roofline is resolved by counter-balancing the off-centre main tower with a prominent subsidiary tower, and also by the irregular placement of dormers,
- the balance inherent in the station’s vertical definition,
- the seemless manner in which the 1910-1911 additions are integrated into the overall aesthetic design of the station,
- the smooth incorporation of special railway features such as a projecting telegrapher’s bay and broad eaves at the first storey to provide passenger shelter,
- the station’s carefully articulated Chateau-style features: stone-gabled dormers, a tower with a pointed spire, stone corbelled stringcourses at the second floor level of the central and north pavilions, steeply pitched hipped roofs with bellcast eaves, extravagant roof detail, and a variety of fenestration,
- the varying textures of its original materials: its rough-faced grey granite walls, Welsford red granite window surrounds and quoins, copper roof details, multi-paned windows, wood panelled doors,
- the high degree of craftsmanship evident in its masonry: large, regularly coursed, rough-faced blocks on the walls below the wide platform eaves, and randomly coursed, smoother faced rubble above; dressed stone copings with spherical finials articulating the stone-gabled dormers along the roof; distinctive corbelled stringcourses accentuating the central and north pavilions,
- continued legibility of the station’s dual function as a hotel and station,
- continuing legibility of the volumes and details of its main public features, particularly the large passenger waiting room and dining room occupying the entire width of the building on the ground floor,
- continuing legibility of its original layout and traffic patterns, in particular the double-loaded corridor configuration of the small repetitive offices and hotel rooms on the second floor,
- all original fabric and finishes inside the station, in particular surviving original partitions, wall and floor coverings, surviving millwork including decorative pilasters and beam casings, window and door casings, carved newel posts and stair components, V-grooved wainscoting, and baseboards, original light fixtures and furnishings,
- the overall integrity of the building’s form, plan, material, and detail.