Gulf Fisheries Centre

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Moncton, New Brunswick
Façade of the Gulf Fisheries Centre, showing the planar quality of the simple façade of local limestone with minimal decoration, 1993. © Department of Fisheries and Oceans / Ministère des Pêches et des Océans, 1993.
Façade
© Department of Fisheries and Oceans / Ministère des Pêches et des Océans, 1993.
Façade of the Gulf Fisheries Centre, showing the planar quality of the simple façade of local limestone with minimal decoration, 1993. © Department of Fisheries and Oceans / Ministère des Pêches et des Océans, 1993.Rear view of the Gulf Fisheries Centre, showing the abundant and regular fenestration with its strong vertical emphasis and grid like pattern, 1993. © Department of Fisheries and Oceans / Ministère des Pêches et des Océans, 1993.
Address : 343 Archibald Street, Moncton, New Brunswick

Recognition Statute: Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property
Designation Date: 1995-02-16
Dates:
  • 1948 to 1948 (Construction)

Event, Person, Organization:
  • Sam Roy  (Architect)
Custodian: Public Works and Government Services Canada
FHBRO Report Reference: 93-127
DFRP Number: 29885 00

Description of Historic Place

The Gulf Fisheries Centre is situated among other institutional buildings in downtown Moncton. The plain, formal five-storey building forms an elongated rectangle with a modestly projecting frontispiece, salient wings and a flat roof. Virtually devoid of decoration the simplicity of the façade is distinguished by its planar quality. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Gulf Fisheries Centre is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value
The Gulf Fisheries Centre is closely associated with post-secondary education for Acadian women within their own cultural context. It was built as College Notre-Dame d’Acadie, a college and boarding school for Acadian girls founded and run by the Sisters of Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Coeur, that closed in 1965. Soeur Bella-Marie Léger founded the college and served as principal until 1954. She was appointed Member of the Order of Canada in 1989. The Acadian writer Antonine Maillet was a distinguished graduate. Renovated in 1982 to house the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, it is now also associated with the Federal Government’s Atlantic fisheries program.

Architectural Value
The Gulf Fisheries Centre is an example of institutional architecture. Its monumentality, its symmetry, the regular fenestration and the unadorned façades are typical of educational institutions, hospitals and government buildings from the mid-1930s to about 1950.

Environmental Value
The Gulf Fisheries Centre is compatible with the residential, institutional and industrial area of downtown Moncton among other institutional buildings such as the Hôpital Georges-Dumont and the Université de Moncton. The building is a conspicuous landmark in downtown Moncton and familiar within the city.

Sources: Katherine Spenser-Ross, Gulf Fisheries Centre, 343 Archibald Street, Moncton, New Brunswick, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 93-127; Gulf Fisheries Centre, 343 Archibald Street, Moncton, New Brunswick. Heritage Character Statement 93-127.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Gulf Fisheries Centre should be respected.

Its aesthetic and good quality materials and craftsmanship, for example: the monumental, symmetrical massing of the concrete structure with its elongated five-storey rectangular shape, modestly projecting frontispiece, projecting wings and flat roof; the planar quality of the simple façade of local limestone with minimal decoration; the principal entrance centered on the modestly pedimented frontispiece; the abundant and regular fenestration with its strong vertical emphasis and grid-like pattern that articulates functions of the building’s interior; the interior layout including the central corridors, four original stairwells and converted chapel, and also the simple wood door and window mouldings.

The manner in which the Gulf Fisheries Centre is compatible with the residential, institutional, and industrial area of downtown Moncton and also the building’s role as a prominent local landmark as evidenced by: its location amongst other institutions such as the Hôpital Georges-Dumont and the Université de Moncton; its size, formality, and profile that house government services in the area.

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 building that is now occupied by the Gulf Fisheries Centre was built in 1948 for the Collège Notre-Dame d'Acadie, a college and boarding school for Acadian girls founded and run by the Sisters of Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Coeur. The college closed in 1965 and the building was entirely renovated in 1982 to house its new occupants. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is the custodian. See FHBRO Report 93-127.

Reasons for Designation
The building that houses the Gulf Fisheries Centre was designated Recognized for its historical and sociocultural importance as the first post-secondary institution created for Acadian women within their own cultural context. It relates directly to the theme of higher education for women and their advancement in society.

The Centre fits well in its immediate environment, which consists of other institutional buildings such as the Hôpital Georges-Dumont and the Université de Moncton. Of note is its formal, monumental and symmetrical design that clearly reflects its institutional character.

Character Defining Elements
The heritage value of the Gulf Fisheries Centre resides in its simple and unadorned design, and in its park-like setting, which are typical of educational institutions of the mid-1930s to 1950 period.

The building forms an elongated rectangle, five stories high, with a flat roof, a modestly projecting central frontispiece, and projecting wings. The concrete structure is faced with local limestone from the Smith Quarry in Shediac, the same material that was used for the local cathedral. The simplicity of the main facade is reflected in the planar quality of the building, broken only by the very slight projection of the frontispiece, and by the stepping back of the equally flat side wings. This planar quality should not be compromised.

Another important feature of this building is its abundant and regular fenestration that articulates the functions of the building's interior. For example, the shape and size of the basement windows were appropriate for the gymnasium and workshops. The large windows in the middle stories provided abundant light for classrooms and offices, while the upper storey windows, significantly smaller, opened into bedrooms for sisters and students. The strong vertical emphasis and grid-like pattern of the window openings should be respected in all future interventions.

The layout of the building was not greatly altered by the 1982 renovations. The facility retains its central corridors and four original stairwells. The two-storey chapel was successfully converted to a library. Less skilful were the modifications to the lobby, where the space was opened to the second floor and the central staircase demolished, sacrificing an important feature of the entry space. The building's original layout should be respected where possible in all future renovations.

The size of the building and of its property makes the Gulf Fisheries Centre a prominent component of the immediate environs. The campus-like setting in which the building is situated should be respected.