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Former Church of England Institute

1588 Barrington Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1981/09/30

Former Church of England Institute, Halifax, turretted spire detail, 2004; HRM Planning and Development Services, 2004
Spire Detail
Former Church of England Institute, Halifax, front façade, 2004; Heritage Division, NS Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2004
Front Elevation
No Image

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1888/01/01 to 1888/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/02/24

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Church of England Institute is a three storey, brick building designed in an eclectic Victorian style with a strong Gothic Revival influence. The building is set among other former institutional buildings of the same era on the south-west side of Barrington Street, Halifax, NS. The designation applies to the building and the land it occupies.

Heritage Value

The Church of England Institute is valued for its association with Bishop Hibbert Binney and architect Henry Busch. Bishop Binney was an active proponent of the use of the Gothic Style for use on Church buildings in the late 1800's, and he left a legacy which enabled the construction of this building that had an original purpose to "diffuse a knowledge of the Church's work." Busch was well versed in traditional European styles, and for this Institute he designed a highly decorative Gothic composition with an eye-catching, suspended side spire. Other buildings designed by Busch in Halifax include the Halifax Academy, and the Halifax Public Gardens Bandstand.

The Church of England Institute, one of several church-related institutional buildings on Barrington Street, is recognized architecturally because of its ornate, eclectic Victorian style and Gothic Revival features that include window arches, trims and roof dormers. The building's most prominent feature is an ornate corner oriel window connected to a single engaged column below and a turreted spire above. The building is a part of a trio of adjacent buildings constructed in the late nineteenth century in the same scale and proportion, and contributes to the High Victorian architectural ambience of the area.

Source: HRM Planning and Development Services, Heritage Property File no.

Character-Defining Elements

Key character-defining elements of the Church of England Institute include:
- Victorian Eclectic and Gothic Revival features such as the asymmetrically, highly ornate façade with arched windows, Gothic roof dormers and a projecting centre bay that is topped with a steeply pitched, hooded gabled dormers;
- horizontal articulation provided by a solid sandstone foundation, dentilled stringcourse on the first floor and a bracketed cornice at the eaves;
- prominent oriel window connected to a single engaged Corinthian column below and a turretted spire above with a weather vane at the top of the spire;
- mansard roof with steeply pitched, Gothic dormers on the front sides of the roof;
- materials: granite foundation, red brick structure and sandstone details;
- variety of window styles including arched forms and elaborate sandstone caps and prominent keystones.



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

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Learning and the Arts
Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions

Function - Category and Type


Special or Training School


Social, Benevolent or Fraternal Club
Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer

Henry Busch



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

HRM Planning and Development Services, 6960 Mumford Road, Halifax, NS B3L 4P1

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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