David Humphreys and Sheena Ryan of ACP recently visited St. Johns, Newfoundland to advise on repairs to the historic windows of The Basilica of St. John The Baptist, which is designated as a National Historic Site of Canada. It is also designated as a Registered Heritage Structure and Provincial Historic Site by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland & Labrador.
The Basilica has very strong Irish connections dating back to its foundation in 1839 The architects are John Philpot Jones of Clonmel and James Murphy of Dublin and the contractors are Michael McGrath of Waterford and James Purcell of Cork.
The Basilica-Cathedral of St. John The Baptist is unusual among North Americas 19th century public buildings in that it was constructed using limestone and granite imported from Galway and Dublin. Underneath the main altar there is a sculpture of The Dead Christ by the famous Irish Sculptor John Hogan who also created the bronze statue of Daniel O’Connell in Limerick.
A number of other properties were also inspected during the visit including the Commercial Chambers erected in 1896 and the former Masonic Temple built in 1894 which is now owned by Spirit of Newfoundland and used mainly by artists.
David Humphreys also gave a lecture to architects, engineers and members of the public on ‘The Challenges of Built Heritage Conservation’ organised by The Heritage Foundation.