Description of Historic Place
Harmony Lodge #52 is located on Victoria Street in Aylesford, Nova Scotia. This one-and-a-half storey wood frame building, with pressed metal cladding, was built in 1929. The building and property are included in the provincial designation.
Harmony Lodge #52 is valued because as a rare example of a largely intact Masonic lodge building; for its association with architect Leslie Fairn; and for its association with role of fraternal societies in Nova Scotia.
Freemasonry in Canada can be traced to a lodge instituted at Annapolis Royal in 1738. For much of the intervening period, Masonic lodges, and similar organizations, have played a significant role in the social life of many Nova Scotian communities. Harmony Lodge #52 was chartered on February 24, 1866 to serve members in the community of Aylesford, under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. The first temple was a donated building, which was destroyed by fire in 1872. After several decades of utilizing rented space, the lodge members built a new temple in 1916, with design work provided by local architect, Leslie Fairn. In 1928, this building also burned. In the following year, the current structure was erected, a replica of the original Fairn design.
Harmony Lodge #52 is a one-and-a-half storey, wood frame building, with a gable roof. The windows are six-over-one sash windows, typical of the 1920s. A gabled portico surmounts the front entrance, supported by turned columns. The most unique architectural feature is the pressed metal cladding, an imitation of stone. This design is carried throughout the interior of the building where both walls and ceilings demonstrate elaborate examples of pressed metal finish.
Although a simple design, Harmony Lodge #52 is an excellent intact example of a building type once very common in small Nova Scotia communities; however increasingly less so. The building continues to serve as a Masonic lodge.
Source: Provincial Program property file, no. 225, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax, NS.
Character-defining elements of Harmony Lodge #52 relate to its use as a fraternal lodge building and include:
- one-and-a-half storey wood frame construction;
- pressed metal cladding;
- gable roof;
- six-over-one sash windows;
- gabled portico surmounting front entrance, supported by turned columns;
- interior walls and ceilings with pressed metal finish.