Old Arts Building

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Building Name: Sir Howard Douglas Hall
Old Arts Building, [after 1929]. UA PC 9; no. 24 (1). Photo credit: Photogelatine Engraving Co. Ltd

Other Names: Old Arts Building, King’s College Building, Administration building, the “Old Pile”, New College Building.

Civic Address: 3 Bailey Drive

Sod Turning: 1826

Cornerstone Laying: 11 September 1826

Opened for Use: 1828

Official Opening: 1 January 1829

Architect: John Elliot Woolford

Named for: Sir Howard Douglas, Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick (1824-1829) who secured a Royal Charter for the college and first chancellor of King’s College. The building was dedicated on 23 October 1999.

Renovations/changes/additions: In 1876 a third story and central dome were added. The building was remodelled in 1926 to accomodate increased enrollment. The Sir Howard Douglas Memorial Window was unveiled in 1949. New ceilings on the top floor, repairs to the heating system and replacement of a post with a load-bearing I-beam were completed in the summer of 1952. Also during the summer of 1952 the addition of a new roof, an observation platform, steel fire escape and the removal of several chimneys took place. A memorial window depicting the petition to Governor Thomas Carleton for the foundation of a school of liberal arts and sciences was unveiled by the class of 1905 on 17 May 1956. The chapel was dedicated as the Edwin Jacob Chapel on 15 May 1963 in memory of Dr. Edwin Jacob, Principal of King’s College. A new cornerstone was laid 17 May 1979 by Lieutenant-Governor Hedard J. Robichaud which features a time capsule, a feature of the original cornerstone.

Plaque Inscription: Sir Howard Douglas Hall Officially opened on January 1, 1829, by Lieutenant Governor Sir Howard Douglas, CB, KCB, GCMG, and GCB, DCL (OXON). As King's College, predecessor to UNB, Sir Howard Douglas selected this site, worked with architect J.E. Woolford, obtained a Royal Charter for King's, saw to its financing and set forth a magnificent vision of what this institution could in time become. His hopes live on in this university and now so, too, does his name. Unveiled by Chancellor Fredrik S. Eaton, OC, B.A., LL.D., 23 October 1999.

Notes: The main building of King’s College, it served as a residence to students and professors, a meal hall, and housed all of the classes taught until the construction of the Engineering Building. Designated as the oldest university building still in use in Canada in 1953. On 9 June 1993 the building was designated as a national historic site.

Source(s):

  • UA Case 123; Section 3, Box 2; Old Arts Building.
  • Plaque Inscription: UNB Public Relations Dept. Photograph Collection, Series 2, Sub-series 4, File 820, no.1.
  • MacNutt, W. Stewart. "The University in the Twentieth Century." The University of New Brunswick Memorial Volume. Ed. Alfred G. Bailey. Fredericton: University of New Brunswick, 1950, p. 47-56.


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