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Centre Culturel Aberdeen

140 Botsford Street, Moncton, New Brunswick, E1C, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2005/01/01

This south view of the Centre Culturel Aberdeen shows the placement of the building at the north end of the Parc du Sommet Park.; Moncton Museum
Centre Culturel Aberdeen - 2004
In the early morning hours of February 3, 1915, a few teetering walls and chimneys were all that remained of the school. The blaze was reported to have been visible from the neighbouring town of Dorchester.; Moncton Museum
Aberdeen High School - Destroyed By Fire - 1915
This postcard view of Aberdeen School, dated c1930, shows the Greek Revival elements of the façade of the new school rebuilt in 1916.; Moncton Museum
Aberdeen School - c1930

Other Name(s)

Centre Culturel Aberdeen
Aberdeen High School
École secondaire Aberdeen
Aberdeen School
École Aberdeen

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/12/08

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Centre Culturel Aberdeen, formerly the Aberdeen High School, is a three-story Greek Revival style pavilion located at 140 Botsford Street in Moncton. This structure, the third school to be built on this property, sits at the north end of the art park known as Parc du Sommet Park.

Heritage Value

The Centre Culturel Aberdeen was designated because it is a well-preserved example of the Greek Revival architectural style. The Greek Revival style is reflected in the overall massing and pavilion layout of the structure. The common bond red brickwork is complemented by terra cotta details. Much of the interior is original and has been preserved. The Centre Culturel Aberdeen was originally known as Aberdeen High School when it was built in 1897 and dedicated to Lord and Lady Aberdeen. The school building was destroyed by fire in 1915 and rebuilt the following year on the grounds of several previous schools and school related buildings. It was designed by architect F. Neil Brodie of Saint John and built by the Paul Lea Company of Moncton. The Centre Culturel Aberdeen is significant as the largest school in the province of New Brunswick in its time and it was the first “free” school built in Moncton. It is also associated with the educational history of Moncton due to the notable people educated there. Noted educator Miss Ethel “Queenie” Murphy taught at Aberdeen for more than 45 years. Another educator, W. A. Cowperwait, wrote a grammar text that was eventually used throughout the entire province. Its most noted graduate was Northrop Frye. Frye graduated in 1928 at the age of 15 and went on to become a world-renowned literary critic. The Centre Culturel Aberdeen is also designated for its cultural and artistic significance for Acadian artists. Since the 1970’s, Aberdeen School has been a creative space for Acadian artists of all media and has served as artists’ studios, an art gallery, production studios and an auditorium. In 1996, Aberdeen School was designated as a Moncton Heritage Property under By-Law #Z-1102. Source: Moncton Museum, Moncton, New Brunswick - second floor files – “140 Botsford”.

Character-Defining Elements

The identified heritage values are associated with the character-defining elements listed below. The character-defining elements relating to location and context include: - Park du Sommet Park built to commemorate the Sommet Francophonie in 1999. Artists’ works are exhibited throughout the park grounds. The character-defining elements relating to the exterior of the structure include: - symmetrical fenestration; - terra cotta quoins, nameplate and frames; - terra cotta entablature with finial decorated Swan’s Neck pediment over south entrance; - eight red brick stringcourse bands; - plain lug sills on single windows; - continuous lug sills and lentils on grouped windows; - plain parapet over south frontispiece and pavilion wings; - rectangular windows with three vertical panes; - thin black columns separating windows within groups; - wide frieze and fascia separating moulded classic cornice and architrave; - simple corbel detailing under fascia; - grey freestone stairway; - dentilated band between frieze and fascia; - east and west entrances have moulded terra cotta frame with ribbed panel under second-story sills with brackets; - checkered coloured tiles under cornice; - windows over stairway landings have semicircular fanlight transom windows; - cornerstone with contents from 1897 and 1916 dedications. The character-defining structural elements include: - three-story pavilion layout; - classical proportions to massing; - grey freestone foundation; - common bond red brick, complemented by terra cotta details. The character-defining elements that relate to the interior include: - square carved newel posts; - engaged newels posts; - round carved newels; - closed wood paneling railing; - original classroom cabinets with 3 drawers, double glass doors, solid panel door; - original hardwood flooring; - original moulded baseboards throughout; - trim running 2 feet from ceiling throughout; - windows on staircase landings with wide stool and moulded apron; - original radiators; - original tall thin doors and hardware; - entablatures on top of classroom doorways; - moulded wooden trim on classroom doors; - wood panel wainscoting with moulded trim on entrance foyer; - original south main entrance with segmented arch opening in wood with double swinging doors:1 light panel each, sidelights and shaped transom with 3 lights; - moulded wood trim mid wall in hallways; - east, west and central original wooden staircases; - short step intervals on stairs; - bathroom areas with wooden wainscoting topped with wide wooden moulding; - wooden bathroom stalls with saloon-style doors; - segmented arch openings to rooms and foyers at east end of hallways; - painted brick walls throughout; - simple wooden frames and lentils on tall thin doors in basement; - basement window with bevelled cement sills.



New Brunswick

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NB)

Recognition Statute

Community Planning Act

Recognition Type

Local Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1996/01/01 to 1996/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Learning and the Arts
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being

Function - Category and Type


Auditorium, Cinema or Nightclub
Special or Training School
Commerce / Commercial Services


Composite School

Architect / Designer

F. Neil Brodie


Paul Lea Company

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Moncton Museum, 20 Mountain Road, Moncton, New Brunswick - second Floor, back office files - filed by civic address

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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