Endangered Building – the Denis Building.

The Heritage Canada Foundation publishes a list on the top 10 endagered heritage buildings. The latest list Includes one Nova Scotia Example – the Denis Building. this Building located on the Corner of Granville and George, is surounded by parking lots, since its neighbors were demolished. For more on those buildings, see Missing from Barrington Street.

You can view the full endagered list here

Here is What The Heritage Canada Foundation has to say about the Denis Building. (content below taken from Heritage Canada Website)


Once called bthe finest office building in eastern Canada,b Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister now says building may be bpast its due date.bB
Why it matters

A landmark on the corner of Granville and Georges Streets in downtown Halifax, the Dennis Building was constructed in 1863 to house the dry goods firm T. & E. Kenny, owned by brothers Thomas and Edward, both highly influential in provincial and national affairs. Of stone construction with horizontal string courses and prominent bracketed cornices, it was specifically designed to complement the architectural context of Province House Square. William Dennis, owner of the Halifax Herald, purchased the building in 1900 when T. & E. Kenny relocated. Ravaged by fire 1912, it was almost completely lost. Prominent architect Henry David Jost was hired to renew the interior and add three stories. He also had the original granite faC’ade reinforced. The Herald later moved, and it was taken over by the Government of Nova Scotia for office space.

There are confirmed tunnels no longer in use that run under some of the buildings in the area, and one of the known entrances lies in the basement of the Dennis Building.

Why itbs endangered
In May 2013, the provincial government evacuated 50 employees for safety concerns after a mould problem was discovered in one of the upper floors. Water leaks and air quality issues are an ongoing concern. Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Maurice Smith said it is not clear whether employees will be returned to the building, as crews are still evaluating the problem.
Other historic buildings in the vicinity of Province House Square that also followed its classical-inspired design have been demolished. An unrealized 2006 redevelopment plan included several scenarios for the Dennis building: partial to full demolition that could incorporate the faC’ade into a new building.

Where it stands
There is no word from the Hon. Maurice Smith on whether or not the mould problem can be fixed, but after years of inadequate maintenance and repair, the building is in poor condition. It was closed earlier in the year due to water infiltration. Advocates for the retention of the Dennis Building fear the condition issue may be used by the Province to abandon it.

About the author


BuiltHalifax delves into architectural history and theory with a local slant. Produced by Peter Ziobrowski, it is the sister project to HalifaxShippingNews.ca