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Sievert's Tobacco Building

1573 Barrington Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2001/02/14

Sievert's Tobacco Building, Barrington Street façade, 2004; Heritage Division, Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2004
Front Elevation
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1842/01/01 to 1852/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/08/09

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Sievert's Tobacco shop is a traditional Vernacular-style, three-storey building located in the Central Business District of Halifax. The building's modest façade with wood cladding and plainly trimmed sash windows is unique to the district because of its design and small scale. The designation applies only to the building and building footprint.

Heritage Value

Sievert's Tobacco building is valued because it is home to the longest running business on Barrington Street and is further distinguished by the fact that it is the only remaining wooden building facade on the street. Operating as a tobacco shop for over ninety years, the building is associated with the Sieverts, a Prussian family of tobbacconists. The family operated the tobacco business since the early 1870's in and around the Downtown Halifax prior to purchasing the property in 1915. In 1907, L.E. Sievert moved into the building as a tenant. His son bought the building in 1915 and the store is now owned and operated by his grandson. Though the age of the building is not known, its exterior and interior Maritime Vernacular features are evidence that it could have been built around 1842. This includes feature such as the wood shingle cladding, bracketed cornice with large carved consoles, wood framed storefront with traditional awning, the side entranceway, plainly trimmed sash windows and decorative feature in the interior. Architecturally, the building stands out because of its modest style in relation to the larger more elaborate surrounding buildings. The small scale of the historic place brings a unique flavor to Downtown Halifax.

Garrett, David F., Maurice Lloyd, Bill Plaskett and The Urban Marketing Collaborative. "Downtown Barrington: A Strategy for the Rejuvenation of Barrington Street, Halifax. Final Report," Halifax: Downtown Halifax Business Commission, Nov.1998.

Character-Defining Elements

Key character-defining elements of Sievert's Tobacco building include:
-characteristics of the traditional Maritime Vernacular-style, including the wood shingle cladding, original wooden cornerboards and details such as the plainly trimmed sash windows;
-interior features such as the pressed tin ceilings, wooden tongue and groove wall paneling, period counters and display cases;
-elaborate upper façade that contains a prominent bracketed cornice with large carved consoles;
-original wood-framed storefront with recessed entrance, separate entrance for the upstairs apartment and wooden doors with transoms windows above;
-features of the storefront such as the wide wooden pilasters, simple moulded cornice, signband, large wooden brackets; and a pull-out awning, one of the few traditional awnings remaining on the street;
-store windows set over panelled baseboards and divided in traditional fashion into large display windows and upper transoms.



Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NS)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Municipally Registered Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1907/01/01 to 1907/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type



Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Multiple Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

HRM Planning and Development Services, 6960 Mumford Road, Halifax NS, B3L 4P1, File 1573 Barrington Street

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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