Tower

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Caissie Point, New Brunswick
General view of the Tower, showing the wood framing and wood shingles without corner boards, 1990. (© Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1990.)
General view
(© Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1990.)
Address : Caissie Cape, Caissie Point, New Brunswick

Recognition Statute: Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property
Designation Date: 1991-09-05
Dates:
  • 1872 to 1872 (Construction)

Event, Person, Organization:
  • Department of Marine and Fisheries  (Architect)
  • Joseph Tomlinson  (Architect)
Other Name(s):
  • Tower, Caissie Point  (Other Name)
Custodian: Fisheries and Oceans Canada
FHBRO Report Reference: 90-091
DFRP Number: 04434 00

Description of Historic Place

The Tower at Caissie Point is a low, square-tapered, shingle-clad structure that features a wooden platform. Its form is distinguished by a prominent multi-sided lantern and a painted steel gallery guardrail. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Tower is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.

Historical Value
The Tower is associated with campaigns to improve the safety of maritime commerce at 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.

Architectural Value
The Tower is a good example of a tower with a simple design, utilitarian character and very good craftsmanship. Its simple design and use of less expensive wood construction represents a pragmatic solution to light eastern coasts and harbours inexpensively. Its good functional design is also reflected in the wooden platform, which was designed to allow it to be relocated on occasion to suit shifting channels.

Environmental Value
The Tower reinforces the character of its maritime coastal setting. Functioning as a seacoast marker for the associated coastal environment, it is well known in the region.

Sources: Tower, Cassie Point, New Brunswick, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report 90-091; Tower, Cassie Point, New Brunswick, Heritage Character Statement, 90-091.

Character-Defining Elements

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

Its simple design with utilitarian character and quality craftsmanship, for example: the simple geometric massing and square footprint of the tapered low structure; the wood framing and wood shingles without cornerboards; the wooden platform; the prominent multi-sided lantern, the painted steel gallery guardrail and the simple
wood detailing at the door and windows with shed-roofs; the understated bracketed frieze; the metal and glass detailing of the lantern.

The manner in which the Tower reinforces the character of the maritime coastal setting, and is well known in the region, as evidenced by: the simple design and profile of the tower set in a simple coastal landscape; the high visibility of the tower as a seacoast marker for passing sea vessels.

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.

The lighttower at Caissie Point was constructed in 1872. It was designed by the Department of Marine and Fisheries under Joseph Tomlinson. The lighttower has had details altered, and is currently a fully automated light. The Canadian Coast Guard is the custodian. See FHBRO Building Report 90-91.

Reasons For Designation
The lighttower is designated Recognized because of its architectural importance and environmental significance, and also for its historical associations.

The architectural design of the tapered form is simple, relying on pleasing proportions and scale for its attractiveness. The additional detailing at the cornice, windows and doors is simple, contributing to the overall weighty, solid appearance. The wood platform framing was designed to be relocated occasionally to suit shifting channels.

The building is well known in its locale and the scale and silhouette is compatible with the maritime character of the site. The significance of the building is related to the contrast with the associated low-scale environment. The lighttower functions as a seacoast marker of the associated coastal environment.

The lighttower 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 lighttowers. This lighttower represents a pragmatic solution to light eastern coasts and harbours inexpensively. The secondary strategic importance of the lighttower is reflected in the use of less expensive wood construction.

Character Defining Elements
The heritage character of the Caissie Point lighttower resides in its overall form, proportions, construction materials, architectural details, and site relationships.

The lighttower is comprised of a tapered low structure with a square footprint. The simple profile includes a prominent multi-sided lantern and the gallery guardrail which reinforce the utilitarian design of the structure and should be maintained. The lantern is a prominent feature, appropriately proportioned to the tower, and contributing to a sturdy and durable appearance.

The geometric form of the tower is reinforced by the fine-scaled texture of the wood shingles without corner boards. The utilitarian character is expressed in the simple wood detailing at the door and windows with shed-roofs and the painted steel guardrail and lantern. The understated bracketed frieze is a feature which adds visual interest and should be maintained. The simple contrasts of materials and texture contribute to the heritage character of the structure. The metal and glass detailing of the lantern is expressive of the industrial character of this component. The materials, siding and metal would benefit from an ongoing maintenance program.

The multi-paned wood sash windows appear to be sympathetic to the original design, and should be maintained. The wood entrance door appears to be a modern replacement with simpler detailing and when being replaced it would be appropriate to select a door of a style more in keeping with the age of the structure.

Surviving features and finishes of the original interiors should be documented and maintained.

The simple landscape materials of the lighttower site reflect the harsh coastal climate and underscore the intended utilitarian aspect of the original site, and should be maintained.