Home / Accueil

Antigonish County Court House National Historic Site of Canada

170 Main Street, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, B2G, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1981/11/13

View of the main entrance to the Antigonish County Court House, 1987.; Parks Canada Agency/ Agence Parcs Canada, 1987.
Façade
No Image
No Image

Other Name(s)

n/a

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1855/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/05/14

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Antigonish County Court House is situated in the town of Antigonish on the northeastern shore of mainland Nova Scotia. Built in a simple, vernacular style, the Court House is symmetrical, wood-frame building. It is distinguished by a Greek revival, temple-like front consisting of a pedimented portico supported by four large fluted columns. The county jail, built of stone, is attached at the rear. Official recognition refers to the building on its legal lot.

Heritage Value

Antigonish County Court House was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1981 because it is one of the best examples in Nova Scotia of the typical mid-19th century Maritime Court House.

The court houses erected in Nova Scotia toward the mid-19th century were small wooden buildings which accommodated a large court room, a judge’s chambers, a barrister’s room, as well as rooms for grand and petit juries. They were simple frame buildings, the design of which incorporated classicized ornamental details, giving them a monumental presence suitable for courts of law. The Antigonish Court House is a good example, designed and constructed in 1855 by local carpenter Alexander McDonald. The building has undergone some modifications, having survived a major fire in 1945 and having undergone subsequent renovations. It continues to serve as a court house.

Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, November 1981.

Character-Defining Elements

The key elements that contribute to the heritage character of this site include:

- the two-and-a-half storey , rectangular massing under a front-sloping gable roof;
- the wood-frame construction with clapboard siding;
- the symmetrical principal elevation with pedimented portico supported by four large voluted columns of the Greek Ionic order;
- the five-bay façade with central principal entrance and regularly placed double-height, multi-pane windows;
- the wooden exterior detailing that includes a prominent pediment, a wide frieze under the eaves, a series of fluted pilasters marking the bays of the façade;
- the double doors of the main entrance with a semi-circular fanlight above;
- surviving evidence of the original features, finishes, and the original interior configuration defined by the large courtroom directly beyond the high main entry vestibule with split stairs leading to a gallery above.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date

1981/11/13

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Security and Law
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type

Current

Government
Town or City Hall

Historic

Government
Courthouse and/or Registry Office

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

Alexander McDonald

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

256

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

SEARCH THE CANADIAN REGISTER

Advanced SearchAdvanced Search
Find Nearby PlacesFIND NEARBY PLACES PrintPRINT
Nearby Places