The Old Provincial Building is recognized as a local historic site for its architecture, its role in Saint John‘s hospitality industry during the late 19th century, and its contribution to the judicial system in the Province of New Brunswick.
Constructed around 1893, the Old Provincial Building is an excellent example of a three-and-a-half-storey Italianate-style commercial building made of brick, with Roman elements on its facade. Its significance in the early 1800s hospitality industry stems from accommodating a wide range of guests, including important dignitaries, commercial travelers, and tourists. In 1894, it was named Hotel Aberdeen in honor of the visit by Lady and Lord Aberdeen. By the late 1800s, the hotel had become a central hub for tourists and commercial travelers arriving in Saint John and the Maritimes via rail and sea.
In 1902, the Old Provincial Building became the location for the Supreme Court Chambers, Judge in Equity Chambers, County Court Chambers, Probate Court Chambers, and the Law Library.
Established in 1892, the first New Brunswick School of Law relocated to the Law Library the same year. Today, it is known as the Faculty of Law at the University of New Brunswick. The Law Library remained in the building until 1953, and the courtrooms were housed there until around 1960.
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