Recognized Federal Heritage Building
Alma, New Brunswick
© Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, c./v. 1990.
Fundy National Park of Canada, Alma, New Brunswick
Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property
1948 to 1949
Event, Person, Organization:
FHBRO Report Reference:
Description of Historic Place
The Superintendent’s Residence sits in a parkland setting above the mouth of the Upper Salmon River overlooking the sea. It is a one-and-a-half-storey, asymmetrical gable-roofed structure with exterior walls of rubblestone. Its basic rectangular plan is enlivened by front and rear projections while the roof features dormer windows of different sizes. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Superintendent’s Residence is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Superintendent’s Residence is associated with the federal commitment to preserving an area geographically representative of Canada’s natural heritage. As a residence for the senior park administrator, it represents the Canadian Parks Service within Fundy National Park of Canada.
The Superintendent’s Residence is a very good example of English cottage vernacular style. Its limited use of bold materials and construction methods established a design theme for subsequent park buildings. Built in a modest, domestic scale, the building exhibits a high standard of materials and workmanship.
The Superintendent’s Residence is compatible with the central parkland character of its setting. The building is a familiar landmark to those who work at the park and also those visiting.
Sources: Shannon Ricketts, Superintendent’s Residence, Clubhouse Restaurant and Assembly Hall, Fundy National Park, New Brunswick. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 90-240, 90-241 and 90-242; Superintendent’s Residence, Fundy National Park, New Brunswick. Heritage Character Statement 90-240.
The character-defining elements of the Superintendent’s Residence should be respected.
Its English cottage vernacular design, good quality materials and craftsmanship for example: the one-and-a-half-storey rectangular structure, the steeply pitched, shingled, gable roof with a stone chimney, the dormer windows of different sizes, the decorative braces and trim under the gables, the entrance porch created by the extension of the roof over the entrance and the gable-ended extensions to the front and rear-faced with vertical wooden siding; the randomly-laid stone facing on all the exterior walls; the windows with multi-pane upper-sashes and the sandstone window and door trim; the room configuration, the coved ceilings, maple floors, pine paneling in the front vestibule, spruce wainscoting in the rear vestibule, and the moulded pine mantel in the living room.
The manner in which the Superintendent’s Residence is a familiar landmark as evidenced by: its proximity to the road, overlooking the sea, where it is highly visible to visitors.
Heritage Character Statement
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 Superintendent's Residence, Fundy National Park, New Brunswick was built in 1948-49 to designs by H.S. Brenan. The custodian is Parks Canada. See FHBRO Building Report 90-240.
Reasons for Designation
The Superintendent's Residence was designated Recognized for its design, craftsmanship and environmental significance.
The rustic vernacular English Cottage style used for the overall design theme of Fundy National Park was popular for both American and Canadian park architecture during the first half of the 20th century. Stone facing was chosen for the park buildings to project a rustic character and for its permanence.
The development of Fundy National Park was intended to revive the local economy of the Alma Parish area, and to fulfil the broader Parks objective of preserving an area geographically representative of Canada's natural heritage. The house, situated on the sea side of the road leading from Alma to Point Wolf, sits on the edge of the central parkland which was landscaped by park engineers in conjunction with landscape architect Stanley Thompson in 1949-1950. The house was carefully oriented such that the major views were of the sea.
Character Defining Elements
The heritage character of this property is defined by its picturesque exterior design and craftsmanship, its interior plan and detailing, and its relatively unchanged site.
The Superintendent's residence is a modest, gable roofed, storey-and-a-half structure with asymmetrical massing, rubblestone facing, vertical wooden siding in the upper gables, decorative braces and trim under the gables, windows with multi-pane upper sash, cedar shingle roof, and sandstone window and door trim. The stone facing is randomly laid with hammer dressed joints. The building's exterior design and decorative elements, and the muted earth-tones of its finishes, should be retained. Repair work should be carried out with attention to the quality of the original materials and in keeping with the overall character of the English Cottage style.
At the interior, the original centre hall plan, the coved ceilings and maple floors in the major ground floor rooms, the pine panelling in the front vestibule, the spruce wainscoting in the rear vestibule, and the brick fireplace with moulded pine mantel in the living room, contribute to the rustic domestic character and should be retained. Modifications required for the ongoing usefulness of the building should be designed to have minimal impact on historic fabric.
The original landscape design, the building's orientation toward the sea and the open character of its site should be preserved.