Old Government House

Old Government House

The official residence of the Lieutenant–Governor of New Brunswick, Old Government House replaced its predecessor destroyed by fire in 1825. Its grand Palladian design consists of a balanced, symmetrical framework of a large central hip–roofed block with Neoclassical–influenced curved lower side wings and round portico. This vice–regal stone residence expresses the influence of British architectural vogue and colonial politics in early 19th century New Brunswick. The building was commissioned by Sir Howard Douglas, an inspired and popular Lieutenant–Governor, who hired military officer James Woolford as architect. Construction lasted from 1826 to 1828, and until the 1890’s, it played a central role in the social and political life of the province, hosting state dinners, balls and parties, as well as 14 Lieutenant–Governors. After 1890, when Lieutenant–Governor Sir Leonard Tilley refused to continue living here due to the lack of a maintenance budget, the decision was made to close Government House. Subsequently, the building would periodically stand vacant, host a Deaf and Dumb Institute, act as a military hospital for veterans, and accommodate the RCMP "J" Division headquarters from 1932 until 1990. All three levels of Government supported a restoration of the structure in the late 1990’s, and since 1999 it has once again become the home of the Lieutenant–Governor.