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George Nixon Building

84-88 King Street, Saint John, New Brunswick, E2L, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1982/03/18

This photograph shows the contextual view of the building, 2005; City of Saint John
George Nixon Building - Contextual View
This photograph shows the cornice and upper storey windows, 2005; City of Saint John
George Nixon Building - Cornice
This photograph shows the deeply recessed entrance, 2005; City of Saint John
George Nixon Building - Entrance

Other Name(s)

Taylor and Dockrill Building
George Nixon Building
Édifice Taylor et Dockrill

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/01/21

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The George Nixon Building is a three-storey brick Italianate commercial/residential building with two shops at the storefront level and apartments above. It is located on King Street in the Trinity Royal Preservation Area of Saint John.

Heritage Value

The George Nixon Building is designated a Local Historic Place for its architecture and for its association with its former occupants.

Built circa 1878, the George Nixon Building is an expression of the significance of the rebuilding period after the Great Saint John Fire of 1877 destroyed two-thirds of the city. This building is one of a collection of residential/commercial Italianate buildings that were built between 1877 and 1881. The use of brick sent a message that the city would be more fire resistant in the future and the elements and design in this building demonstrate that the city was going to be rebuilt as well or better than the city that was lost.

The George Nixon Building is also recognized for its association with two of the building's original occupants. Taylor and Dockrill's grocery establishment occupied the western section of the building and George Nixon's wallpaper establishment occupied the eastern section of the building. Taylor and Dockrill remained in the George Nixon Building until 1892. They operated one of the leading wholesale grocer establishments in Canada with business extending throughout Canada.

George Nixon’s wall paper store operated from this location for nearly 100 consecutive years, from 1870's to 1970's. It was the first wallpaper establishment in Saint John. George Nixon established the business in 1855. He handled everything in the line of wall paper and window shades in retail and wholesale. Nixon's trade was largely in the Maritime Provinces to dealers and they had commercial travelers on the road.

Source: Planning and Development Department - City of Saint John

Character-Defining Elements

The character defining elements that describe the George Nixon Building include:
- sharing similar set-back with neighbouring buildings;
- rectangular three-storey massing;
- brick exterior walls;
- roof-line cornice with brick corbel bands and brackets;
- wooden vertical sliding windows;
- shaped sandstone headers and sandstone sills;
- brick pilasters at the ends of the front façade ;
- street-level storefront with projecting cornice, cast iron pilasters, plate glass windows, deeply recessed entranceway with transom windows and wood panelled bulkheads.



New Brunswick

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NB)

Recognition Statute

Municipal Heritage Preservation Act, s.5(1)

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Preservation Act

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type



Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Planning and Development Department - City of Saint John

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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