Description of Historic Place
The Former Intercolonial Railway (ICR) Station at Sussex N.B. is situated opposite a treed meridian on Broad St. where it faces a row of commercial buildings in the centre of the downtown area. It is a picturesque one-and-a-half-storey red brick station with a high-hipped roof that consists of separate passenger and freight buildings joined by a covered passageway.
The Former Intercolonial Railway (ICR) Station at Sussex N.B. has been designated a heritage railway station for its historical, architectural and environmental significance.
Built in 1913-1914 at the peak of the ICR's prosperity, this station represents pre-World War I railway boom years. It is a large, architecturally ambitious station that was built on an existing line, and as such is a statement of the ICR's success and its commitment to the bustling town of Sussex. After World War I the ICR became part of Canadian National Railways (CNR), and the Sussex station is the last extant station in New Brunswick to be erected before that transition.
Designed in the ICR company's offices in Moncton, the station has elements of the Queen Anne Revival style, and is constructed of brick with stone trim that is beautifully crafted and installed. Many original features of the interior and exterior are in good condition, and are of a quality that exceeded the typical station design of the era.
The presence of the railway supported the economic viability of dairy farming, furniture manufacturing, and iron founding in the Sussex area. Today this is still visible in the mixed industrial, commercial and residential area surrounding the station.
The heritage value of the Sussex station resides in its bold and picturesque massing, varied roofline, door, window and roof detailing, interior finishes and fittings, and striking architectural presence on its downtown Sussex site.
Sources: Heritage Character Statement, Canadian National Railways Station, Sussex, N.B., September 1993; Heritage Assessment Report RSR-159, 1992.
Character-defining elements of the Former Intercolonial Railway Station include:
- the footprint of the passenger station and the footprint of the freight building set on a connecting platform, their one-and-a-half-storey massing under high-hipped roofs with slightly bellcast edges: a central dormer on the track and town facades of the passenger terminal and a high-hipped canopy joining the buildings,
- the substantial proportions of this two-part station,
- the prominence of the station’s roof from all perspectives, the variety and interest generated by the gables on the main facades, and the irregular rhythm of the various levels of the roofline from the track and town sides,
- the smooth aesthetic integration of special railway features, such as a projecting telegrapher’s bay and broad eaves to provide passenger shelter,
- the Queen Anne inspired details such as roof gables, ornamental chimneys, multi-paned windows, the Palladian window at the streetside gable, pediments over entrances, and wood details such as chamfered brackets and decorative rafter tails,
- the varying colours, textures and high quality of the station’s historic exterior materials,
- its high quality masonry craftsmanship,
- all remnants of the high-quality original fabric and finishes on the interior of the public areas of the station, as well as in the utilitarian areas of the interior,
- legibility of such longstanding spatial volumes,
- all remnants of the original layout.