Links and documents
1826/01/01 to 1827/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Arts Building is a large, three-storey, classically inspired masonry structure located on College Hill, at the centre of the picturesque, hillside, campus of the University of New Brunswick. Noted as the oldest university building in Canada still in continuous use, the Arts Building overlooks the city of Fredericton and the Saint John River. The formal recognition refers to the building on its footprint.
The Arts Building was designated a national historic site in 1951 because it is the oldest university building in use in Canada.
The heritage value of the site resides in its historical associations with the beginnings of tertiary education in Canada as illustrated by its site, design and materials. The Arts Building was built in 1826-8 for King's College, a post-secondary institution that became the University of New Brunswick in 1860. The building opened and the first classes were held there in 1829. A mansard roof providing the building with a third storey was added in 1876. For many years the building housed the offices and living quarters of the university president. It is presently used by the University of New Brunswick as administrative offices.
The building is also known as Sir Howard Douglas Hall, so-named in honour of Sir Howard Douglas (1776-1861), Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick and founder of King's College, who spearheaded the construction of the Arts Building in the 1820s.
Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minute, May 1951.
Key elements which relate to the heritage value of the Arts Building include:
- its siting on a hillside above Fredericton on the campus of the University of New Brunswick;
- elements of its design and materials which mark it as an early-19th century institutional building, including its stone construction, its conservative architectural design with its classical rectangular massing with slightly projecting central and end pavilions, symmetrical placement of window openings, central entry with a top- and sidelights, and the columned portico, classical proportions and detailing, and its multiple chimney stacks;
- elements of its design which relate to its continued and evolving use as part of an educational institution, including remnants of its original layout and interior finishes;
-its continued use as a university building.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
1876/01/01 to 1876/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Education and Social Well-Being
Function - Category and Type
- Post-Secondary Institution
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection