NL Gazette

Forsaken for 50 years, Newfoundland’s ancientest residential structure is getting some TLC

Nfld and Labrador

Key takeaways: 

  • Bonavista’s Alexander Bridge House was constructed between 1811 and 1814.
  • The Alexander Bridge House has been forsaken for half a century. 
  • Efforts are underway to fix the ancientest residential structure in Newfoundland. 

The vacant oldest structure gets restorations: 

The sounds of hammers and woodworking will shortly ring out over Bonavista as renovations begin on the Alexander Bridge House, the ancientest known residential property in the region.

The Georgian-style residence was constructed between 1811 and 1814 on Church Street, the town’s major road, which runs along the harbour. In the previous few decades, it has descended into ruin but one group has mobilised to preserve it.

“When it’s fixed and it’s finished, when you’re driving down the street it’ll stand out amongst the rest. When you repair a town you’ve got to have whatever was in the town,” stated Bonavista Historic Townscape Foundation treasurer David Hiscock.

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The oldest house in Nfld and Labrador gets repair after being vacant for almost 50 years

Work is planned to begin in April and it could take at least two years ere the careful repair work is covered up, he stated. An architect lately walked through the house to consider the situation and see what work had to be done, and Hiscock stated they heard good things.

“They’re stating it was in way better shape than they had expected.… It’s 200 years old and has been living in since the 1960s, so you can suppose it looks pretty sloppy from the outside.” Source-

“But the design is sound.… Inside, a lot of the old mouldings and the old stairwells and old doors are sound. So that’s a good thing.” Source-

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