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Port Royal Habitation

Lower Granville Road, Highway 217, Port Royal, Nova Scotia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1993/03/18

General view of the Port Royal Habitation showing the handmade, traditional method of construction throughout the entire structure and fittings and the spirit of historic veracity, 1990; Parks Canada Agency/Agence Parcs Canada, B. Pratt, 1990.
General view
Port-Royal Habitation; Canadian Inventory of Historic Buildings, Historical Collection, n.d
Exterior photo
General view of the Port Royal Habitation, 1990.; Public Works Canada / Ministère des Travaux publics, B. Pratt, 1990
General view

Other Name(s)

Port-Royal
Port-Royal
Port Royal Habitation

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1939/01/01 to 1940/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/06/25

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Prominent and highly visible, the Habitation is the dominant structure in Port Royal National Historic Site. It consists of six contiguous structures around a central courtyard that are constructed of hewn timber and brick, with steeply pitched roofs and tall stone chimneys. Small windows and numerous entrances face the inner courtyard. The absence of openings in the outer walls combined with the palisade and a cannon platform, create a dramatic overall form. The structure is situated in an open setting overlooking the waters of Digby Sound. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Port Royal Habitation is a Classified Federal Heritage building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value:
The Port Royal Habitation is one of the best examples of a structure built to present and commemorate a significant early phase Canadian history and events directly associated with Samuel de Champlain. Additionally, it is one of the best examples of the type of project implemented with funds made available by the Public Works Construction Act of 1934 which was introduced during the Great Depression to provide relief in the form of spending on Public Works. The Port Royal Habitation was constructed with the intention of achieving a degree of historical accuracy. This was done through the replication and commemoration of the original structures of the early European settlement based on written descriptions and a drawing from the Works of Samuel de Champlain and also expert analysis of historic Quebec architecture. The intention was also to illustrate early Acadian building techniques. The museum is associated with L. M. Fortier the Honorary Superintendent of Fort Anne and H.T. Richardson of The Associates of Port Royal who met in 1924 which resulted in the idea of the reconstruction of the Habitation.

Architectural Value:
The Port Royal Habitation is an excellent example of a construction which attempts to replicate the architectural style and methods of construction used by the settlers of early Acadia. The value of Port Royal is in its simple early settlement inspired design, and the very good quality of its materials and craftsmanship.

Environmental Value:
Prominent and highly visible, the Habitation is the dominant structure in Port Royal National Historic Site and establishes the historic character of the area. It is a familiar and symbolic landmark to both residents and visiting tourists.

Sources:
Shannon Rickets, Fort Royal Habitation, National Historic Site, Lower Granville Road, Port Royal, Nova Scotia. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 92-085; Port Royal Habitation, National Historic Site, Lower Granville Road, Port Royal, Heritage Character Statement 92-085.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Port Royal Habitation should be respected.

Its early settlement inspired design and good quality materials and craftsmanship as evidenced in:
-the steeply pitched roofs clad with hand split shakes;
-the tall stone chimneys of local fieldstone and other stone elements such as the well and pathways;
-the palisade and cannon platform;
-the hand-hewn timbers of the board-walls and floors, and the hand-made brick construction;
-the small windows and numerous entrances facing the inner courtyard;
-the absence of openings on the outer walls;
-the handmade door latches and other visible pieces of interior hardware;
-the handmade, traditional method of construction throughout the entire structure and fittings and the spirit of historic veracity.

The manner in which the building establishes the present character of the historic site within the dramatic open landscape of the area.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Classified Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date

1993/03/18

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Community
Settlement

Architect / Designer

K.D. Harris

Builder

n/a

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

6119

Status

Published

Related Places

General view

Port-Royal National Historic Site of Canada

Port-Royal National Historic Site of Canada consists of a group of wooden buildings within a stockade, erected as a historic reconstruction of an early 17th-century French fort.…

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