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After the old Lunenburg Academy (near the Town Hall) was destroyed by fire in 1893, it became necessary to build a new school.
H.H. Mott, a noted architect from Saint John, N.B. was contracted to provide plans for the new school and tenders were advertised in July 1894. The contract was secured by the Oxford Furniture Company, the agreed price being $25,000.00. Construction began in the fall of 1894 and proceeded smoothly until early 1895 when the Oxford Furniture Company went bankrupt. At that point, work was continued under the direction of Solomon Morash, a local master builder. The final cost of the building was $30,000.00. It was opened on November 7, 1895.
The Lunenburg Academy is the only intact 19th century Academy building surviving in Nova Scotia.
The Academy is entirely a wood frame structure. It is 96 x 125 feet in dimension and stands three stories high with a mansard roof.
The front and rear elevations each have a large central projecting frontispiece flanked by towers of slightly different design. At roof level large, segmental dormer windows flank the towers.
The Educational Review of February, 1896 described the Academy as follows:
"The new school building occupies one of the finest and most commanding sites in the Province, being visible for many miles around. The ground floor contains six large classrooms with separate cloakrooms for boys and girls. The second floor contains six classrooms, cloakrooms, laboratory and library. There is a large assembly hall (on the third floor) capable of seating over 160. The ceilings throughout are of white wood and beautifully panelled. The floors and wainscotting are of white birch while the rest of the interior is finished in ash and birch. Four towers adorn the building in one of which a large bell weighing over 600 pounds has been placed."
(Note: the Lunenburg Iron Company cast this bell).
Standing on top of "Gallows Hill," the Academy, like a great Victorian Matriarch, surveys her family of distinctive and beautiful homes in the old Town. Visible for miles around, it is an outstanding landmark and one of the most remarkable heritage buildings in the Province. It has been designated as a Municipal, Provincial and Federal Heritage site, and was recently restored.