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Our Lady of Angels Presentation Convent Municipal Heritage Site

Our Lady of Angels Presentation Convent, Placentia, NL
Our Lady of Angels Presentation Convent, Placentia, NL
Our Lady of Angels Presentation Convent, Placentia, NL

Statement of Significance

Formal Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land

Description of Historic Place

Our Lady of Angels Presentation Convent is a two-and-one-half storey stone building with a steep gable roof and a cupola. Built in the French colonial style this convent is prominantly located on the town square in Placentia, NL. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

Our Lady of Angels Presentation Convent had been designated a municipal heritage site by the Town of Placentia due to its aesthetic and historic value.

Our Lady of Angels Presentation Convent has aesthetic value as a rare example of stone construction in Placentia. It is the only remaining stone building in the community and was built mainly out of locally quarried stone, with some limestone possibly imported. Built sometime between 1858 and 1864 this stone building is a testament to quality craftsmanship. Constructed in what was once a French capital, this building displays French Colonial architecture. The keystone motif around the windows and the quoining at the corners are in striking contrast to the dark stone construction. A small gable roofed porch juts out at the main entrance, which is balanced by the light-coloured cupola with a small cross perched at the pinnacle of the roof ridge

Our Lady of Angels Presentation Convent has further aesthetic value for its location in the community of Placentia. The location of the convent in the Town Square is indicative of the importance of the church in the community. Furthermore, the Convent is the last standing structure in a five building ecclesiastical complex located in the Town Square.

Our Lady of Angels Presentation Convent has historic value due to its association with the Presentation Sisters. The Irish Presentation Sisters of the Roman Catholic Church played an important role in communities across Newfoundland and arrived in Placentia in 1864. Under the direction of Rev. Mother M. Joseph O’Dowd the first teacher training school was established outside the building attached to the convent. The Presentation Sisters left Our Lady of Angels Convent in 1989, bringing an end to an era of 125 years of education in Placenta. This convent is a tangible reminder of the longstanding relationship between the convent and the education and religion of the community.

The name of the convent, “Our Lady of the Angels” is also historically valuable as it stands as a memorial to the Franciscan friars of Quebec who established the first monastery in Newfoundland in 1689.

Source: Town of Placentia council meeting October 19, 2006.

Character Defining Elements

All elements that define the building's 19th century vernacular stone design including:
-steep gable roof with cupola that bears a small, simple cross;
-stone construction;
-use of local and imported materials;
-keystone trim around windows;
-quoining at corners of building;
-protruding porch at main door;
-decorative use of alternating shingle colors; and
-building height, massing, dimensions, location and orientation.

Location and History

Community Placentia
Municipality Town of Placentia
Civic Address Town Square
Construction 1864 - 1864
Style 19th Century Mercantile
Building Plan Rectangular Long Façade
Website Link http://www.placentia.ca/