8 // Black-Binney House

1472 Hollis St.

// Kelly Mark

The Black-Binney House is a classic example of Georgian stone construction, built in about 1819. The granite was brought from Aberdeenshire, Scotland, as ballast in the ships of John Black, for whom it was built. Black made his money as co-owner of a ship commissioned as a privateer in the war of 1812 and built the mansion with part of his profits.

7 // School of Architecture

Dalhousie Ralph M. Medjuck Building of Architecture and Planning
5410 Spring Garden Rd.

// molitor & kuzmin

The Dalhousie Medjuck Architecture Building was designed by Herbert Elliot Gates and built in 1908-1909. The neoclassical style building was built to house the Nova Scotia Technical College, later known as the Technical University of Nova Scotia. The building was renovated many times over the years to expand its facilities, including in 1927-28; 1931; 1961-63; 1965; and 1970. The construction of a gymnasium addition in 1931 revealed two cannons buried beneath the school. Because the Provincial Museum of Science had no room for the artifacts, they were reburied. Both were excavated and moved to the Halifax Citadel in 1959. More renovations in 1961 prepared for the opening of the School of Architecture that fall. The building was also home to the Nova Scotia Museum of Science for more than a decade, ending when it moved to a new facility in 1970. Renovations in 1970 were delayed by the strikes of carpenters, labourers, and electrical and sheet metal workers, which led to the temporary closure of the building. The Technical University of Nova Scotia merged into Dalhousie University in 1997. Previously known as the H Building, the structure was renamed the Ralph M. Medjuck Building of Architecture and Planning in 2005 after the donor.

2 // Anna Leonowens Gallery

Anne Leonowens Gallery [Anna]
Granville Mall, 1891 Granville St.

// Cuppetelli | Mendoza
// Ghorbel | Mhiri
// Duane Linklater

The block of Granville Street known as the Granville Mall was completely destroyed by fire on September 9th, 1859. All of the buildings in the traditionally commercial block were simultaneously re-built soon afterward according to the plans of architect Cyrus Pole Thomas of the firm William Thomas & Sons. The designs borrowed various architectural styles, but are noted for the over-all harmony of the block. Like most of the buildings on the street, the building that now houses the Anna Leonowens Gallery features large storefront windows for displaying dry goods, clothing, and textiles. By the 1970s, the block was in disrepair, and the city planned to tear down the buildings to complete a waterfront highway. In 1971-1972, faculty members at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design advocated for the historic buildings to be rehabilitated, and for the school to move there. The extensive 1970s project of modernizing the buildings’ utilities while preserving their period characteristics is a notable early success of urban renewal and heritage conservation.

The Anna Leonowens Gallery, commonly referred to as ‘the Anna’ by NSCAD community members, is named for NSCAD’s founder, the star The King and I. Leonowens moved to Halifax and founded the school in 1887, naming it the Victoria School of Art and Design in honor of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. Exhibition openings at the gallery, held on Monday evenings, are a staple of the community life of NSCAD.

1// ArtBar +Projects

ArtBar +Projects [Bar]
1873 Granville Street [Granville Court]

// Info / Desk
// Meeting space

The Art Bar +Projects space is independently operated by the Alumni Association of NSCAD. It was created as a space to showcase performance and installation art, relational aesthetics, and art happenings. The Alumni Association aims to create an inviting atmosphere that will promote the discussion and celebration of art and design in Halifax. Art Bar +Projects is community-focused with a global view; it is a space for students, faculty, alumni, and our community. The Art Bar +Projects has been very successful with all constituencies and is becoming recognized across Canada.

5 // St. David’s Church

St. David’s Church
1544 Grafton St.

// Kurt Laurenz Theinert | Lucas Pearse

Architect David Stirling designed the brick and sandstone church on Grafton Street, built 1868, to house the Grafton Street Methodist Church. When the United Church of Canada was created in 1925 by amalgamating Presbyterians, Methodists, and Congregationalists, the congregation of the Grafton Street Methodist Church joined with St. Andrew’s Presbyterian to form St. Andrew’s United Church. A congregation formed by Presbyterians in Halifax who did not want to join the United Church then purchased the building.

6 // Halifax Memorial Library

Halifax Memorial Library
5381 Spring Garden Rd.

// Hartung | Trenz

The Halifax Memorial Library was proposed in 1946 to commemorate those killed and wounded in World War II. Previously housed on the upper floors of the Halifax City Hall, the Citizens’ Free Library had become too large for its site, and it was agreed that the collection should be moved to the new building at Grafton Park when it was completed. The province of Nova Scotia gave the land to the city on the condition that it only be used as a site for a park or a library. Construction began in 1949, and the library opened its doors to the public in 1951. It closed in 2014, when construction of the new Halifax Central Library, at 5440 Spring Garden Rd., was complete. The future of the old Halifax Memorial Library building is currently uncertain.

3 // Halifax City Hall

Halifax City Hall
1841 Argyle St.

// joeressen+kessner

The Halifax City Hall’s location at the north end of the Grand Parade was the outcome of 12 years of argument. City council proposed an alternative site for the building in 1874, which was popularly opposed. Although the aldermen refused to change their decision to reflect citizens’ concerns, Mayor John Sinclair rejected the agreement due to popular opposition. Then the south end of the Grand Parade was proposed as a building site, in front of St. Paul’s Church. The church opposed that proposition, and influenced the House of Assembly to support their opposition. The city negotiated with Dalhousie College to purchase its property at the north end of the Grand Parade. The deal was finally secured through a $20,000 donation to the school, on top of the price of the land. Local architect Edward Elliot won a competition to design the building, which was built in 1887-1890. The building is constructed in cream and red sandstone, and the north face of its clock tower is fixed at 9:04 to commemorate the 1917 Halifax Explosion.

The first floor of the building originally contained police offices and jail cells, from which Harry Houdini escaped in 1896. The Citizens’ Free Library was housed in the building from 1890-1949, when it moved to the now-closed Halifax Memorial Library on Spring Garden Road. The City Hall building started a major restoration project in 2011, which saw 80% of the exterior stone replaced with new sandstone. The building is a designated National Historic Site of Canada.

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