This striking brick and stone building, situated on Queen Street in Fredericton, replaced the original 1876 Victorian structure that served as a Normal School for teacher training before being destroyed by fire in 1929.
This is the reason for the two dates, 1876 and 1930, on the frontispiece, as well as the shields bearing the initials PNS (Provincial Normal School).
Some older sections still stand, such as the 1913 rear annex made of lighter brick and the triple-arched entrance with its pink granite pillars, salvaged from the ruins of the 1876 fire.
At present, the building functions as the Provincial Government’s Justice Building, while also housing cultural and studio spaces in its rear annex.
Joseph Marshall de Brett Maréchal, carrying the title of Baron d’Avray (November 30, 1811 – November 26, 1871), belonged to the French aristocracy and later emerged as an educationist in the Province of New Brunswick.
In the year 1848, d’Avray, accompanied by his wife and daughter, Laurestine Marie, moved to Fredericton, N.B., following his appointment to set up the province’s inaugural teacher training institution.
Serving as the principal of the normal school until it succumbed to a fire in November 1850, and subsequently as the chief superintendent of education from 1854 to 1858, d’Avray brought about a series of educational transformations that contemporary scholars have hailed as “ultra-progressive.”
In his memory, Marshall d’Avray Hall at the University of New Brunswick was named after him.
Marshall d’Avray is buried in the Forest Hill Cemetery in Fredericton.
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