Partners Charles Hazell and Jill Taylor attended the 2019 National Trust / Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals Conference in Manitoba where they accepted an Ecclesiastical Insurance Cornerstone Award for the Heritage Conservation of Sambro Island Lighthouse in Nova Scotia.
Sambro Island Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in Canada, and stands on a glacially rounded island making the entrance to Halifax Harbour. The Lighthouse began operations in 1760 and it had been in continuous operation until the automation of the light, making it the longest serving lighthouse in North America.
With the automation of the light, the lighthouse was abandoned and visits to it were infrequent resulting in extensive damage. This was, however, not good enough for the community who noticed, and in particular the Sambro Island Lighthouse Heritage Society, people whose family and friends for generations lived on the island, cared for and operated the lighthouse, and laid claim to their heritage through it as living history and narrative. It was these people who decided together that they would do what was necessary to ensure that this most noble and important local, and indeed national landmark, would suffer no further damage.
Their determination was what secured the $1.5M in funding to conserve the lighthouse. This was the classic impulse to action, the activism that can be found at the center of the conservation movement: the drive to rise up, make evident what is of value and why, so that what is important, irreplaceable and sustains us now and in the future will be made strong and whole in our time, and for generations to come.
THA’s work followed from this. In 2015, we were retained by Public Works and Government Services Canada to act as Architects of Record and Heritage Consultant. The work followed the Federal Standards and Guidelines, FHBRO review and recommendations, and THA’s own conservation approach. Read Jones Christoffersen was the Structural Engineer for the project.