Note: In June 2011, the Fairview Inn experienced a devastating fire. At this time, the future of the Inn is unknown.
The Fairview Inn is a large flat-roofed, three-storey hotel. Its bold, square massing and two-storey veranda on the front give the building a southern colonial flavour. This prominent local landmark was built on the top of a steep hill in the centre of downtown Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, and overlooks the LaHave River. Both the building and its surrounding property are included in the heritage designation.
The historical value of The Fairview Inn lies in the building's continued use as an inn. Situated on property where hotels have existed for over a hundred years, it carries the reputation of the oldest operating Inn in Nova Scotia. As one of the oldest continuing businesses in Bridgewater, it has played an integral role in the social and economic development of the town.
Designed Designed by the Boehner Brothers of West LaHave, the present building was constructed in 1916 after a fire destroyed the original hotel. It was known as one of the most popular hostelries on the South Shore, a viable claim that continues to this day.
The architectural value lies in its faithfulness to the original style and function, as well as the intactness of its structural and decorative elements. The magnificent building stands as impressively as it did in the early days of its operation, and the rehabilitation efforts of recent decades have sought to ensure its continued architectural and aesthetic integrity.
Despite the introduction of modern technologies, the place provides a glimpse of the past due to the original hardwood floors, antique furniture and even original silverware used in the dining room. The location on a quiet street at the top of the hill still allows for an experience of the “fair view,” and evokes a feeling of connection with the town's historic character.
The exterior character-defining elements of The Fairview Inn include:
- prominent location on top of a hill, overlooking the town and river;
- all original building materials dating to the time of construction;
- large two-storey veranda, including square wooden columns and balusters;
- all wood trim, including corner boards, dentils lining the upper cornice, simple window mouldings, and brackets in the veranda;
- cedar shingle cladding;
- double-hung sash windows throughout, with two large picture windows flanking the front entrance, contributing to the symmetry of the main front facade;
- glazed wood front entrance door with side-lights and transom windows above.
The interior character-defining elements of The Fairview Inn include:
- interior spatial configuration;
- all original furnishings and those in the style of the original;
- interior wood trim, including original hardwood front desk still in use and original hardwood flooring.