Cape Bauld Light Tower

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Quirpon, Newfoundland and Labrador
General view of Cape Bauld Light Tower, showing the octagonal aluminum-and-glass lantern, with its gently sloping roof and finial, 2005. (© Fisheries and Oceans Canada/ Pêches et Océans Canada, 2005.)
General view
(© Fisheries and Oceans Canada/ Pêches et Océans Canada, 2005.)
Address : Cape Bauld Lightstation, Quirpon, Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Statute: Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property
Designation Date: 2007-02-02
Dates:
  • 1960 to 1961 (Construction)

Event, Person, Organization:
  • Department of Transport  (Architect)
Custodian: Fisheries and Oceans Canada
FHBRO Report Reference: 06-023
DFRP Number: 01729 00

Description of Historic Place

The Cape Bauld Light Tower is a tapered, concrete octagonal light tower, topped by an octagonal, aluminum lantern. The gently tapered walls of the tower are painted white and rise to a flared cornice, above which a railed observation platform surrounds the red lantern. A vertical row of three windows with simple, concrete lintels runs up one side of the light tower. The Cape Bauld Light Tower is located in a rocky, barren landscape on the northern tip of Quirpon Island at the northern entrance to the Strait of Belle Isle. The light station is visible from L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site of Canada and World Heritage Site, located on the Island of Newfoundland. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Cape Bauld Light Tower is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical value
The Cape Bauld Light Tower is a very good example of the theme of aids to navigation in Canadian waters. The landfall light, which has a range of 17 nautical miles, is located on the northern tip of Quirpon Island, and guides international and coastal shipping at the northern entry of the Strait of Belle Isle. The importance of a light tower at this location is emphasized by the fact that the Dominion government built the first tower here soon after Confederation in what were then non-Canadian waters. The current light is the second replacement structure on the site.

Architectural value
The Cape Bauld Light Tower is a good example of the freestanding, concrete, tapered, octagonal type of light tower. Its solid and competent design is notable for its simplicity, its minimalist approach and its good proportions. The light tower adequately fulfills its function of providing a secure base for the lantern and conveying the iconographic message as a day marker. The light tower is a good example of a standardized plan that was prepared by the Department of Transport and refined throughout the 20th century. The tower was built of common materials for its time. The structure has been well maintained and has stood up well, demonstrating good craftsmanship.

Environmental value
Sitting atop a steep, rocky, barren point in an isolated area only accessible by boat, the light tower reinforces the maritime character of the area. The relationship between the light tower, the rugged landscape and the surrounding small structures has retained its character despite the replacement of some structures. The light tower is a familiar reference point and a known landmark for local navigation and tourists visiting L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site of Canada.

Sources: Dana Johnson, Lighttower, Cape Bauld Lighstation, Quirpon Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report 06-023; Cape Bauld Lighstation, Quirpon Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Heritage Character Statement, 06-023.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Cape Bauld Light Tower should be respected.

The features that illustrate the theme of aids to navigation in Canadian waters, as reflected in: its design and materials typical of the concrete, tapered, octagonal light tower type; its location on the northern tip of Quirpon Island, at the northern entry to the Strait of Belle Isle.

Its good aesthetic design, its good functional design, and good quality of materials and craftsmanship, as manifested in: its good proportions and simple, minimalist approach, characterized by its smooth tapered walls, the octagonal forms of its base and lantern, its tall shaft, flared cornice, and railed platform; the vertical alignment of its three window openings; its simple and functional detailing, including slightly projecting concrete lintels over window and door openings and the slightly projecting foundation at the base of the tower; the octagonal aluminum-and-glass lantern, with its gently sloping roof and finial; its straightforward interior spatial arrangement, divided vertically into three floors connected by interior metal stairs leading up to the lantern; the use of durable material for its construction, including its poured concrete foundation, reinforced concrete walls and floors, and prefabricated metal elements such as its interior stairs, railings and lantern.

The manner in which it reinforces its maritime setting, as evidenced in: its location on a steep, rocky, barren and isolated point of land at the northern tip of Quirpon Island; its relationship to the other structures at the site; its visibility from the water.

Heritage Character Statement

Disclaimer - The heritage character statement was developed by FHBRO to explain the reasons for the designation of a federal heritage building and what it is about the building that makes it significant (the heritage character). It is a key reference document for anyone involved in planning interventions to federal heritage buildings and is used by FHBRO in their review of interventions.

Description of Historic Place

The Cape Bauld Lighttower is a tapered, concrete octagonal lighttower, topped by an octagonal, aluminum lantern. The gently tapered walls of the tower are painted white and rise to a flared cornice, above which a railed observation platform surrounds the red lantern. A vertical row of three windows with simple, concrete lintels runs up one side of the lighttower. The Cape Bauld Lighttower is located in a rocky, barren landscape on the northern tip of Quirpon Island at the northern entrance to the Strait of Belle Isle. The lightstation is visible from L’Anse-aux-Meadows National Historic Site and World Heritage Site, located on the mainland. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Cape Bauld Lighttower is a “Recognized” Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical value:
The Cape Bauld Lighttower is a very good example of the theme of aids to navigation in Canadian waters. As a landfall light with a range of 17 nautical miles located on the northern tip of Quirpon Island, it guides international and coastal shipping at the northern entry to the Strait of Belle Isle. The importance of a lighttower at this location is emphasized by the fact that the Dominion government built the first tower here soon after Confederation in what were then non-Canadian waters. The light is the second replacement structure on the site.

Architectural value:
The Cape Bauld Lighttower is a good example of the freestanding, concrete, tapered, octagonal type of lighttower. Its solid and competent design is notable for its simplicity, its minimalist approach and its nice proportions. The lighttower adequately fulfills its function of providing a secure base for the lantern and conveying the iconographic message as a day marker. The lighttower is a good example of a standardized plan that was prepared by the Department of Transport and refined throughout the 20th century. The tower was built of common materials for its time. The structure has been well maintained and has stood up well, demonstrating good craftsmanship.

Environmental value:
Sitting atop a steep, rocky, barren point in an isolated area only accessible by boat, the lighttower reinforces the maritime character of the area. The relationship between the lighttower, the rugged landscape and the surrounding small structures has retained its character despite the replacement of some structures. The lighttower is a familiar reference point and a known landmark for local navigation and tourists visiting L’Anse-aux-Meadows National Historic Site.

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of the Cape Bauld Lighttower should be respected:

The features that illustrate the theme of aids to navigation in Canadian waters, as reflected in:
- Its design and materials typical of the concrete, tapered, octagonal lighttower type; and,
- Its location on the northern tip of Quirpon Island, at the northern entry to the Strait of Belle Isle.

Its good aesthetic design, its good functional design, and good quality of materials and craftsmanship, as manifested in:
- Its nice proportions and simple, minimalist approach, characterized by its smooth tapered walls, the octagonal forms of its base and lantern, its tall shaft, flared cornice, and railed platform;
- The vertical alignment of its three window openings;
- Its simple and functional detailing, including slightly projecting concrete lintels over window and door openings and the slightly projecting foundation at the base of the tower;
- The octagonal aluminum-and-glass lantern, with its gently sloping roof and finial;
- Its straightforward interior spatial arrangement, divided vertically into three floors connected by interior metal stairs leading up to the lantern; and,
- The use of durable material for its construction, including its poured concrete foundation, reinforced concrete walls and floors, and prefabricated metal elements such as its interior stairs, railings and lantern.

The manner in which it reinforces its maritime setting, as evidenced in:
- Its location on a steep, rocky, barren and isolated point of land at the northern tip of Quirpon Island;
- Its relationship to the other structures at the site; and,
- Its visibility from the water.