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Emmerson Hall

Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, B4P, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1989/04/17

Front elevation, Emmerson Hall, Wolfville, NS, 2005.; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2005
Front Elevation
Front elevation, Emmerson Hall, Wolfville, NS, 2005.; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2005
Front Elevation
Side elevation, Emmerson Hall, Wolfville, NS, 2005.; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2005
Side Elevation

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1913/01/01 to 1913/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/02/02

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Situated to the left of Carnegie Hall, Emmerson Hall is a two-storey, stone building whose ornate Italianate-style architecture is unique to the Acadia Campus. Though one of the smallest academic buildings of the university, Emmerson Hall is a landmark of the campus and its central location overlooks a parkland setting that is dotted with several mature trees and paved walk-ways connecting to other campus buildings. Only the building is included in the designation.

Heritage Value

Emmerson Hall is valued for its architectural design and its association with Rev. Robert H. Emmerson, his son, the Hon. Henry R. Emmerson, and architect Andrew Cobb.

Rev. Robert H. Emmerson was an influential Baptist Minister. He was the first pastor of the First Baptist Church in Moncton, New Brunswick and was known for advancing the influence of the Baptist Church in the Maritimes. Emmerson’s son, the Hon. Henry R. Emmerson, was a prominent figure in both the Acadia University community and in his native province of New Brunswick, where he held numerous influential positions, including Minister of Public Works, Attorney General, and Premier. Remembered perhaps best for his generous nature, Emmerson served twice as Governor of Acadia. In 1913 Emmerson and his family significantly contributed towards the construction of the Emmerson Memorial Library.

The only structure on the Acadia campus in the Italianate style, the hall is architecturally unique among Acadia’s academic buildings. It is also one of the few stone structures still standing in the Wolfville community. Its rectangular shape has wide eaves supported by large brackets and a low-pitched hip roof topped with a cupola. The Doric columns, rusticated quoins, and symmetrical façade emphasize the formal balance of the building. The building was designed by former Acadia student and well know architect Andrew Cobb. Cobb is known for designing many distinguished Arts and Crafts residences, religious structures and educational buildings, including several on the Dalhousie and Acadia University campuses.

In 1967 the library was converted into classrooms and offices for the School of Education and is now known as Emmerson Hall.

Source: Town of Wolfville Heritage Property Program files, Emmerson Hall file.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of Emmerson Hall related to its Italianate style include:

- upper walls, entrance pillars, and door and window trim constructed of red sandstone;
- vertical brick panels brick form the lower section of the building and the area between the upper and lower windows on the south side;
- low-pitched roof with cupola;
- three-bay symmetrical façade with large Palladian windows and voussoirs;
- inset entrance with arched stone transom;
- Doric pillars on either side of entrance;
- Acadia crest between transom and doors;
- rusticated quoins on all walls.



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
Education and Social Well-Being

Function - Category and Type


Post-Secondary Institution



Architect / Designer

Andrew Cobb


James Reid

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Inventory Site Form found at Planning and Development Services, Town of Wolfville, 200 Dykeland Street, Wolfville, NS B4P 1A2

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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