Heritage Sites & Architecture
|The taste and lifestyles of Lunenburg's rich past create a smorgasbord of building styles. In the space of a block or two you'll find a Cape Cod more than two centuries old; a classic Queen Anne Revival; a simple saltbox; a grand Victorian; and a revised-Gothic church! It makes a simple stroll down the streets of Lunenburg an architecture enthusiast's dream.|
Lunenburg was laid out as a model town according to the blueprint for British colonization of the mid 18th century. This grid-pattern has remained virtually unchanged in Old Town over the course of more than 250 years. With the wooden buildings, working waterfront, 19th century Academy building, and historic churches so well preserved and protected, the architecture of Lunenburg speaks volumes about the place and its people.
The unique blend of British classicism, extraordinary carpentry skills of the early inhabitants and the influence of the sea comes together in a style of architecture that is unique to Lunenburg. Both the structures and the words to describe them have a charming vernacular, like houses that sport the Lunenburg Bump (the mundane five-sided Scottish dormer transformed into architectural legend) and widow's walks; churches with ceiling's that evoke the shape of a ship's hull; and elegant homes with intricate gingerbread once painted to specific colours to match the colouring of their owner's schooner.
Today, no less than eight of Lunenburg's Old Town buildings date back to the 18th century. Traditional and new construction live in harmony, blended by attention to detail and devotion to preservation of a proud and unique waterfront, and it's not just for looks. Lunenburg academy, at age 100-plus, remains a stunning example of Second Empire architecture, standing in beauty as it educates yet another generation. And when the sun goes down, the show just begins. Spotlights illuminate the Academy, the churches and the many other landmarks on hill and harbour, perfect for a twilight cruise by land or sea.
The town and its rich heritage resources are the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for genealogy buffs. In addition to a vibrant and dedicated South Shore Genealogical Society and the active and dedicated Lunenburg Heritage Society, the town churches, museums, cemeteries and, in fact, many citizens can trace their link to the past right back to Lunenburg's very beginnings.