Home / Accueil

Lunenburg Town Hall

119 Cumberland Street, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, B0J, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1996/05/03

Town Hall, Old Town Lunenburg, Cumberland Street elevation, 2004; Heritage Division, Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2004
Cumberland Street elevation
Town Hall, Old Town Lunenburg, west elevation including firemen's memorial, 2004; Heritage Division, Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2004
Town Hall, west elevation
Town Hall, Old Town Lunenburg, Townsend Street elevation, 2004; Heritage Division, Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2004
Townsend Street elevation

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1891/01/01 to 1893/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/09/29

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Lunenburg Town Hall is a prominent three-and-a-half storey, red brick building, centrally located in Old Town, Lunenburg, NS, a Heritage Conservation District. Its mass, height and proximity to the street make it an integral part of the viewplane and streetscape. The building is surrounded by public park space on the east and west of the building, and has main entrances on both Cumberland and Townsend Streets. The heritage designation applies to the building and the lot on which it sits.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of Lunenburg's Town Hall lies in its role in the community and as a landmark building. It is a key anchor building located in the heart of Old Town Lunenburg. It was built in 1893 by well known architect Henry Busch to serve as the Town's administrative and judicial offices, and continues to operate in that function. In the early 1890s there was considerable debate over whether Lunenburg or Bridgewater would be home to a new courthouse, and the debate continued even after both communities had commenced construction of their buildings. This was only resolved in 1893 with the "Act to Settle Difficulties That Have Arisen With Regard to the Courthouse in the County of Lunenburg", and sessions have since that time been held jointly with Bridgewater.

Built in the Second Empire style of red brick with granite embellishments, the building is unusual in a town where wooden construction has always been more common. The Town Hall is a key contributing building to the streetscape and viewplanes in Old Town Lunenburg and is a central building to the institutional area of the Old Town.

Source: Heritage Designation File 66400-40-35, Town of Lunenburg.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Lunenburg Town Hall relate to its function as a public building and its architectural style, including:
- the location in the institutional area as originally laid out in Old Town Lunenburg's 1753 town plans, surrounded by park space;
- the mass of the building, and its height in relation to neighbouring buildings;
- Second Empire elements, such as the mansard roof, with projecting dormer windows and a curb at the roofline, tall round headed windows, and on three of the four façades, central projecting pavilions with separate convex-sloping roofs, adding height;
- brick exterior, accented with granite coursing, keystones above the windows, steps and foundation;
- large central doorways formed by Tuscan pilasters meeting above the door in a semi-circular fanlight, with the words "Town Hall" and "Courthouse" over the Cumberland and Townsend Street entrances respectively, reflecting the dual use of the building;
- significant original interior ornamental work remaining: entablatures and cornices over doorways, wooden stair rails, newel posts and bannisters, wooden wainscotting.



Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NS)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Municipally Registered Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Government and Institutions

Function - Category and Type


Town or City Hall


Courthouse and/or Registry Office

Architect / Designer

Henry Busch



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Town of Lunenburg, 119 Cumberland Street, P.O. Box 129, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, B0J 2C0

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places

Lunenburg from Haulback Head

Lunenburg Old Town Heritage Conservation District

Lunenburg is located on the southwest coast of Nova Scotia. The Old Town Heritage Conservation District is located on a hilly peninsula between Lunenburg (Front) Harbour and the…


Advanced SearchAdvanced Search
Nearby Places