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UNB welcomes public to some of its most interesting buildings as part of Door Open Fredericton

Author: Communications

Posted on Sep 24, 2015

Category: UNB Fredericton

The University of New Brunswick (UNB) is pleased to once again partner with Doors Open Fredericton to welcome the public to some of its most fascinating buildings.

This year, three buildings will open their doors from 1-4 pm on Sunday, Sept. 27 - Sir Howard Douglas Hall, the William Brydone Jack Observatory and Memorial Hall.

Sir Howard Douglas Hall, officially opened in 1829, is the oldest university building still in use on an English-language campus in Canada. It provided accommodation for the faculty and resident students as well as a chapel, classrooms and a library.

In the centre of the building is the Great Hall, which contains portraits of past heads of the university and two stained glass windows depicting scenes from UNB’s history. The Edwin Jacob Chapel located off the Great Hall is rich with treasures from the past, including original pews carved up by generations of students and a set of colourful stained glass windows depicting graduates and professors in 3,500 individual pieces.

The William Brydone Jack Observatory is the oldest astronomical observatory in Canada. Built in 1851 at the initiation of William Brydone Jack, professor of mathematics, natural philosophy and astronomy, and president of the University of New Brunswick from 1861-1885. He equipped the observatory with the best instruments available, and in collaboration with Harvard Observatory determined the longitude of Fredericton and other places in New Brunswick.

Many of the original instruments remain in the observatory, which now serves as a museum, including a 7.5 foot mahogany and brass achromatic telescope, transit telescopes and memorabilia.

Memorial Hall, the fifth building constructed on campus, is dedicated to UNB alumni who served in the Great War. Chemistry and chemical engineering departments were once located in the building as well as a dining hall. Memorial Hall is currently home to the UNB Art Centre and the Centre for Musical Arts.

Doors Open Fredericton is part of a wider Doors Open Canada movement that launched in 2000 as a means of bolstering excitement about our architectural heritage and the many stories of our built environment.

The University of New Brunswick looks forward to sharing that excitement with the public at large once again.

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