St. Andrews Historic District National Historic Site of Canada
Saint Andrews, New Brunswick
© Provincial Archives of New Brunswick /Archives provinciales du Nouveau-Brunswick, P11-189, c. 1914.
Harriet, Prince of Wales, Patrick and Augustus Streets, Saint Andrews, New Brunswick
Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
1784 to 2007
1783 to 1850
Event, Person, Organization:
Charles Morris (surveyor)
United Empire Loyalists
St. Andrews Historic District
Research Report Number:
1995-038, 2003-072, 2003-073
Existing plaque: Water Street, east of King, Saint Andrews, New Brunswick
Founded by Loyalists in 1783, St. Andrews is a fine and rare surviving example of a Canadian town whose plan and character clearly reflect its 18th-century origins. The town retains the four key elements of a British colonial settlement of that period: a gridiron plan, provision for public spaces, well-defined sites for defensive works, and a commons area surrounding the original townsite to provide a clear delineation between settled and non-settled areas. St. Andrews is further distinguished by its fine collection of commercial and residential buildings spanning the town's history, the majority of which feature design motifs inspired by British classicism. The earliest of these buildings date to the era of the founding of the town and are of wood construction with simple exterior treatments. As the local economy matured, new houses were more elaborately embellished, and the largest and most expensive were constructed of brick. The consistent use of classical architectural features, the retention of the original street layout, and the division of the town blocks into generously sized lots have resulted in a community with a distinctive appearance and a strong sense of place.
Description of Historic Place
The St. Andrews Historic District comprises the original part of the present town of St. Andrews, New Brunswick. It is laid out as a grid of sixty blocks running back from the shoreline and has been built, over the years, with variations of classically inspired architecture. Commercial buildings are concentrated on the street running parallel to the harbour. The relatively spacious lots and the largely unbuilt commons surrounding the district provide a balance of greenery to this built landscape.
St. Andrews Historic District was designated a national historic site because:
it is a rare and fine example of a Canadian town that retains key elements of an 18th-century British colonial town plan; it is distinguished by a fine collection of commercial and residential buildings spanning the history of the community and consistent in the use of classicism in their design; and the retention of the original grid layout, the consistent character of the architectural resources and the division of blocks into generously sized lots have resulted in a community with a distinctive appearance and feel.
Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, July 1995.
Key features contributing to the heritage value of this site include:
the surviving elements of the grid plan with its sixty blocks divided into eight lots each, the smaller lots along Water Street with its more densely built commercial structures, the remnant of Market Square as a wider space at the junction of King and Water streets, the relatively consistent scale and setback of buildings, one-and-a-half to three storeys high, the generous proportion of landscape to built elements, the variety of classically inspired architectural language used in domestic, public and commercial buildings, the occasional appearance of Gothic Revival motifs, particularly in ecclesiastical architecture, the predominant use of wood construction with clapboard sheathing, along with occasional use of brick or stone, the Charlotte County Court House National Historic Site of Canada in its form, massing, materials and interior design and classically inspired detailing, the Greenoch Church National Historic Site of Canada in its massing, materials, Palladian treatment of the meeting house form, and classically inspired detailing, twentieth-century interpretations of classicism at 106 Parr Street and 76 Montague Street by Edward Maxwell.