Lunenburg is now internationally renowned for the survival and preservation of its distinctive domestic architecture. Visitors have long been impressed with the diversity of the community's individual buildings, which collectively form harmonious streetscapes and give the town much of its unique charm and appeal. Moorsom, writing nearly two centuries ago, was eloquent in his praise of the streetscapes and the tapestry of colour which have survived to the present day:
...every householder, from highest to lowest, appears to possess the means of keeping his tenement in repair and good order: a fact by no means too prevalent in other places. The houses are almost all of wood, constructed with a view to comfort rather than to appearance. A whimsical taste has introduced the custom of painting the exterior white, red, pink and even green, which, on approaching from a distance, raised up before my imagination the original of the little Dutch toys I remember, as a child....
Lunenburg's varied architecture includes examples of Cape Cod style, Neo-Classical (Georgian), Scottish (with five-sided Scottish dormers), Gothic Revival, Second Empire, Queen Anne Revival, Four Square and the modern bungalow. Allen Penney, writing in Houses of Nova Scotia (1989) has identified the town's most recognizable style as the 'Lunenburg House' — a ubiquitous design affectionately known to locals as the 'Lunenburg Bump'. Inspired by the five-sided Scottish dormer, local builders took this architectural detail one step further by extending the central dormer out and down from the roof, thereby creating an overhang or 'bump' above the main entrance.
While nineteenth- and early twentieth-century photographs of Lunenburg houses and streetscapes are fairly common, interior views are less frequently encountered. Nevertheless, photographers moved indoors on occasion and some delightful images of parlours, Christmas trees and period decor have survived.
Invoice for wallpaper for St. John's Anglican Rectory
Date: 29 July 1887
Creator: John Lindsay
Reference: Nova Scotia Archives MG 100 vol. 180 no. 6h
Theme: Hearth and Home
Unidentified house on Montague Street with family and baby carriage
Date: ca. 1900
Reference: Bailly Family Nova Scotia Archives 1985-562 no. 19 / negative FP/ON1425
Theme: Hearth and Home
Nova Scotia Archives — https://archives.novascotia.ca/lunenburg/results/
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