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New St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church

321 Carnarvon Street, New Westminster, British Columbia, V3L, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1994/10/20

Exterior view of New St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, 2004; City of New Westminster, 2004
Front elevation
Exterior view of New St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church; City of New Westminster, 2004
Oblique view
No Image

Other Name(s)

New St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church
Emmanuel Pentacostal Church
New St. Andrew's Church

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1888/01/01 to 1889/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/08/31

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

New St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church is a large red brick Victorian Gothic Revival church with a square corner tower and a partial lower level, on Carnarvon Street adjacent to its Carpenter Gothic predecessor, Old St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church. It is located in the neighbourhood of Albert Crescent, near New Westminster's historic downtown core.

Heritage Value

Built in 1888-89, the New St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church is associated with the expansion of Old St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, which sits adjacent to this more recent building. The original St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church was the first Presbyterian church to be built in the Mainland Colony of British Columbia, and reflects the faith of the Royal Engineers who settled in the city after their disbandment in 1863. Both churches are significant for having survived the Great Fire of 1898, which devastated much of downtown New Westminster. The growing congregation necessitated the construction of this larger new church in 1888-89, and in 1922 the original church was raised and remodelled for use as a church hall and Sunday school.

The New St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church is of architectural significance as a fine representative of the Victorian Gothic Revival style. The interior is particularly noteworthy - a soaring space with Douglas Fir hammer beams connected by tension bars, native cedar wood-lined ceiling and a stained-glass rose window that forms a backdrop for the organ. At the west end is a gallery with a carved wooden balustrade. The organ, manufactured by Warren and Son of Toronto, was installed in 1891, and was at the time one of the largest organs West of Winnipeg. Much of the interior wooden carving is original, executed in native alder to designs of the architect by the Royal City Planing Mills.

The church is valued as a significant surviving design by George William Grant (1852-1925), a prolific architect who designed much of the built environment in downtown New Westminster before and after the Great Fire. Grant undertook over one hundred commissions in New Westminster during the period 1888-1892 including landmarks such as the Provincial Exhibition Building at Queen's Park (1889), and the New Westminster Court House (1890-91).

Source: Heritage Planning Files, City of New Westminster

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the New St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church include its:
- location on Carnarvon Street, part of a grouping of late Victorian and Edwardian era commercial buildings in historic downtown New Westminster
- location adjacent to the earlier Old St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, now the Emmanuel Pentecostal Church Hall
- ecclesiastical form, scale and massing as expressed by its irregular, picturesque massing, side entry and prominent corner tower
- front gabled roof with side gabled projections, clad with cedar shingles
- masonry construction, including a battered rubble-stone granite base, and red brick cladding and walls, with a stretcher bond every six courses and corbelled courses at the top of the walls
- Victorian Gothic Revival features such as the parged Gothic arches over the pointed arch window openings, large inset Gothic pointed arches on the front and side facades, side elevation buttresses and a rose window
- fenestration, with openings of vertical proportions, including: multi-paned wooden-sash windows with opening central panels, flashed with coloured glass; rose window in apse; groups of three windows in gable ends; and circular windows at peak of gables
- interior features such as: cedar wood-lined ceiling; Douglas Fir hammer beams connected by tension bars; stained-glass rose window; massive lamps; 1891 pipe organ; gallery with a carved wooden balustrade; wooden pews; and carved interior woodwork



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.967

Recognition Type

Heritage Designation

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions

Function - Category and Type



Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer

George William Grant


Ackerman Brothers (Theron Ackerman & O.B. Ackerman)

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Planning Files, City of New Westminster

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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