Coldspring Head Lighttower
Tour de Phare de Coldspring Head
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Tower is isolated at the outermost point on the north side of a peninsula, at Coldspring Head. It is a modest, square-tapered wooden tower with classically inspired details. The tower features a square wooden platform that supports an octagonal lantern with a low-pitched roof. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Tower is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Tower is associated with campaigns to improve the safety of maritime commerce at remote coastal locations by building navigational aids. The simplicity and economy of construction reflect the desire of the government to expediently build a large number of towers.
The Tower is a very good example of a typical, early prototype of the square-tapered wooden tower. It also exhibits very good craftsmanship as evidenced in the wood frame construction and classical details. Its medium taper and solidity of form mark it as a type developed in the 1860’s and 1870’s and continued until the turn of the century.
The Tower is compatible with the character of its maritime setting. As a coastal light serving the northern shore of Nova Scotia and the Northumberland Strait it is well known in its locale.
Sources: Martha Phemister and Gordon Fulton, Square Tapered Wooden Lightowers, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Informal Building Report 90-106; Tower, Coldspring Head, Nova Scotia, Heritage Character Statement, 90-106.
The character-defining elements of the Tower should be respected.
Its square taper design, functional design and quality craftsmanship, for example:
-the low, square massing and profile comprised of a tapered shaft with a square wooden gallery and octagonal lantern;
-the wood frame construction;
-the simple forms of the classically inspired detailing at the main entrance and the bracketed frieze contrast with the fine-scaled texture of the horizontal bevel siding without corner boards;
-the pedimented projecting window heads and gallery platform;
-the lantern with metal and glass detailing;
-the multi-paned sash windows.
The manner in which the Tower is compatible with the character of its maritime setting and is a well-known landmark in the region, as evidenced by:
-its low scale and massing which complements its isolated setting surrounded by trees in the coastal environment;
-the high visibility of the tower to passing seagoing vessels.
Government of Canada
Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy
Recognized Federal Heritage Building
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Navigational Aid or Lighthouse
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection
Coldspring Head Lighthouse
The Coldspring Head Lighthouse is an 11-metre (35 feet) square, tapered, wooden lighthouse surmounted by a superimposed gallery and a red hexagonal lantern. Constructed in 1889,…