Cast Iron Façade / Coomb's Old English Shoe Store National Historic Site of Canada
Cast Iron Façade / Coomb's Old English Shoe Store
Ancien magasin de chaussures anglaises Coombs
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Cast Iron Façade / Coombs Old English Shoe Store is a mid-19th-century commercial building with a cast-iron facade. It is located in the Granville Street area of downtown Halifax. The Coombs building forms part of a block of historically and architecturally significant commercial buildings. The formal recognition consists of the building on its property at the time of recognition.
The Cast Iron Façade / Coombs Old English Shoe Store was designated a national historic site in 1980 because it provides a rare and early example of a full, cast-iron facade in Canada.
Built in 1860, the Coomb's building is one of the first cast-iron-front structures constructed in Canada and the only building in Halifax known to have a facade composed entirely of cast iron. The four-storey facade was designed and manufactured by the Architectural Iron Works of New York City, a major supplier and promoter of cast iron architecture in North America.
Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minute, June 1980
The key elements that relate to the heritage value of the Cast Iron Façade / Coombs Old English Shoe Store include:
-its cast-iron facade, extending the full, four-storey height of the building;
-the distinctive white colour of the façade;
-the Italianate detailing and fenestration of the façade, illustrating the sculptural potential of cast iron, including: a large, semi-circular window opening extending the full width of the façade at the second storey; and three, large, arched window openings separated by Corinthian columns on each of the third and fourth storeys;
-the building's construction, whereby the iron front is attached by rods to solid brick side walls.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Shop or Wholesale Establishment
- Composite School
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection