The No. 2 Engine House at 24 Sydney Street in Saint John has been designated a Provincial Historic Site due to its association with the famous architect, John Cunningham. This charming stone fire hall is located in King’s Square, the oldest public park in the heart of Saint John, and stands between a large court house and a row of commercial buildings.
With its two-story pitched roof, the small building is a testament to its time and purpose as the earliest known Canadian example of a fire hall specifically designed for a volunteer brigade using manual fire engines.
The building was first occupied in 1841 and was in use until 1949, after which it was utilized by various organizations until it opened as the Saint John Firefighters Museum in 1991.
The museum showcases a collection of artifacts related to the history of firefighting in Saint John and is a valuable resource for those interested in the history of firefighting.
No. 2 Engine House is also significant for being the work of the renowned local architect, John Cunningham. This building is a rare and one-of-a-kind survivor from the early phase in fire hall design and the development of municipal firefighting in Canada. Its sophisticated Neo-classical facade, which was a common style used in government buildings during the mid-18th century, is a testament to John Cunningham’s exceptional architectural skills. Additionally, he also designed the adjacent Court House.
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