Art Gallery of Nova Scotia - Halifax, NS
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 44° 38.907 W 063° 34.383
20T E 454559 N 4944058
Quick Description: Originally the Dominion Building, this magnificently embellished stone edifice became home to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in 1988
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Date Posted: 1/3/2018 9:08:40 PM
Waymark Code: WMXEWM
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member GT.US
Views: 4

Long Description:
Both Italianate and Roman Renaissance in style, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is itself a work of art, elaborately decorated with stone carvings and figurines. Built in 1868 and modeled after fifteenth and sixteenth century Italian palazzos built during the Renaissance, it was known as the Dominion Building, constructed to house the Post Office, Customs House and Railway Department, all vitally important to the economic growth and stability of Nova Scotia. Shortly after, in 1871, the building was purchased from the province by the federal government. It thereafter served as post office, later Bank of Canada offices and, still later, it housed the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

The gallery was founded in 1908 as the Nova Scotia Museum of Fine Arts. Renamed in 1975 as the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the gallery came to inhabit the building in 1988. The old Dominion Building, designed by architect David Stirling, is a superb choice of locations for the gallery as it has on its exterior a cornucopia of artwork, including highly decorated keystones and brackets, garlands and floral motifs, small Corinthian columns, large modillions, shields, starburst seashells and sculptures, both animal and human. My favourites are a pair of lion heads spewing garlands from their mouths.

The Dominion Building-Art Gallery of Nova Scotia was formally recognized as a provincial heritage property on October 17, 1988, the year it became the art gallery. In 1998, the Gallery expanded, opening new exhibits on two floors of the neighbouring Provincial Building.

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

DESCRIPTION OF HISTORIC PLACE
The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is a three and a half storey, Italianate style building located in the core of downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Art Gallery was built in 1868, modeled after the fifteenth and sixteenth century Italian palazzos built during the Renaissance period. Nova Scotia sandstone faces the exterior of the building and is included in much of the decorative elements of the building. Both the building and the surrounding property are included in the designation.

HERITAGE VALUE
The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is valued as a representation of the peak of Nova Scotia’s existence as a self-governing colony within the British Empire. Also referred to as the Dominion Building, the Nova Scotia Legislature voted in 1863 to erect a building to house the Post Office, Customs House and Railway Department, as these institutions had vital roles in the economy of nineteenth century Nova Scotia. Upon Confederation in 1867, the Post Office, Customs and Railways became federal responsibilities, though it was not until 1871 that the new federal government purchased the building from the province. After its service as a Post Office, the building housed for a time the Bank of Canada and later the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia now occupies the building.

The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is also valued as an excellent example of late nineteenth century Italianate style architecture. Designed by David Stirling and built in 1868 under the direction first of contractor George Lang and competed by John Brookfield, the gallery is a three and a half storey, sandstone building. The design of the building was influenced by the fifteenth and sixteenth century Italian palazzos of the Renaissance period. The height of the building reduces the buildings proportions, while the triplet composition of the vertical and horizontal divisions and the grouping of the round-arched windows give the building a simple rhythm.

CHARACTER-DEFINING ELEMENTS
Character-defining elements of the Nova Scotia Art Gallery include:
- Nova Scotia sandstone used throughout the exterior of the building including the statue of Britannica;
- decorative parapets.

Character-defining elements of the Italianate style of the Nova Scotia Art Gallery include:
- horizontal band of round-arched windows, separated by projecting stone cornices at the first, second and roof levels;
- windows grouped in threes, bordered by a single widow on the east and west side of the main façade;
- windows decorated with round arched hoods, keystones and recessed sills;
- quoins on the principle corners of the building;
- central window elements on the third floor;
- pedimented gable ends on both the east and west facades and a broken pedimented gable with return eaves on the three-storey main entrance projection;
- cornice at the roof level with dentils and heavy massing;
- two large stone-clad chimney flues.
From Historic Places Canada


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Artist: David Stirling

Address:
1741 Hollis Street Halifax, NS B3J 1V9


Web URL to relevant information: [Web Link]

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