Description of Historic Place
Powell Block is a three story brick building in the Italianate style. The building is located in the business area of Sackville, at Crane’s Corner, the intersection of Main, York and Bridge Streets.
Powell Block is designated a Local Historic Place for its location, its association with Henry A. Powell, its architecture and its tenants.
Powell Block is recognized for its prominent location in the business area of Sackville, at the intersection of three major streets, and for the long association of the building with both the legal profession and the banking business. The location also represents the site of the second of four Methodist churches in Sackville.
Henry A. Powell graduated from Mount Allison University in 1875 and became a barrister in 1880. He represented Westmorland in the Provincial Legislature from 1890-95, and House of Commons from 1895 to 1900. He was appointed Queens Counsel in 1894. Looking for suitable office space, he planned the construction of Powell Block.
Powell Block was built in 1886-1887 as a distinctive three storey brick building in the Italianate style. Renovations in 1930 changed the entrance to the building and the stairway to the upper floors to gain entrance to the Law offices, at that site for over seventy-five years. The staircase was included in a new section to the building that filled in the 9 foot gap between this building and the Wood Block.
Powell Block is also recognized for its tenants. The ground floor tenant was The Merchant Bank of Halifax. It became the Royal Bank of Canada in 1901. The second floor was set aside for Henry A. Powell law offices and the third floor available for the social activities of numerous Sackville lodges. In 1909, when the Royal Bank moved into another building across the street, the Bank of Nova Scotia acquired the ground floor and they remained at this site until 1978.
Source: Town of Sackville, Historic Places File Cabinet, Powell Block File
The character-defining elements that describe Powell Block’s location:
- orientation on a corner lot at the most important intersection in the business district of Sackville, Crane’s Corner, the intersection of Main, York and Bridge Streets.
The character-defining elements that describe Powell Block include:
- rectangular three storey massing in brick;
- flat roof;
- angled main entrance;
- prominent decorative stone cornice under wide eaves;
- locally quarried stone details, including: quoins, lintels, sills, pilasters, door entablature, date stone;
- heavily painted modillions supporting the overhang in the cornice.