Busch, Henry Frederick

BUSCH, Henry Frederick (1826-1902) practised in Halifax, Nova Scotia from 1862 until his death there in 1902. A native of Hamburg, Germany he was born there on 6 January 1826 and is said to have spent a number of years in Austria and Russian Poland before arriving in the state of Kentucky in 1847 (Report of the Provincial Museum of Nova Scotia, 1933-34, 39). The climate of the southern United States was not amenable to his health, and acting on the advice of physicians he moved north to the residence of his uncle Charles Walters, a boat builder at Chester, Nova Scotia in the late 1850's. An offer of employment as a draftsman with the well-known Halifax architect Henry Elliot was accepted in 1860, and within months Busch was capably handling large commissions within the office such as the creation of a new Public Library at Province House, Hollis Street, Halifax (1862). This apprenticeship culminated in a full partnership from 1863 to 1877, after which time the firm of Elliot & Busch was dissolved and both architects launched their own separate careers.

Busch attracted attention in 1878 when his competitive designs for the Halifax County Academy were awarded First Premium. This finely proportioned Second Empire style design still stands today and serves as the headquarters for the Halifax Board of School Commissioners. His formal axial composition, with a central tower and cupola, was a theme that Busch was to use frequently in his later work, including the Pictou Academy (1879) and in the Court House, Lunenburg, N.S. (1891-92). His most admired work in Halifax is the Church of England Institute (1888), a carefully crafted asymmetrical design dominated by a bold corner turret and spire that forms a distinctive landmark on Barrington Street.

Busch registered as a Canadian citizen in September 1874 (PANS, Naturalization Papers, RG 18, Series A, i, 25A), and married the daughter of Capt. John Skinner. In later years he was assisted in his office by his son Ernest, and by a second son Walter Busch, who continued the practise after his father's death in Halifax on 28 January 1902. A photographic portrait of Henry Busch can be found in the Nova Scotia Museum, Photo Coll., Acc. 7761. (obituary in the Halifax Evening Mail, 29 Jan. 1902, 5; Halifax Herald, 29 Jan 1902, 1 and 10; biography in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, xiii, 1994, 141-42; biography in M. Rosinski, Architects of Nova Scotia: A Biographical Dictionary, 1994, 114-15; inf. G. Shutlak)


LEGISLATIVE LIBRARY, PROVINCE HOUSE, Hollis Street, 1862 (Halifax Evening Express, 12 Feb. 1862, 2, descrip.; with correction by Henry Elliot, giving the attribution to Henry F. Busch, 3 March 1862, 2; James W. Macnutt, Building for Democracy, 2010, 46-47, illus. & descrip.)
UNION MARINE INSURANCE BUILDING, Bedford Row, 1862 (Halifax Reporter, 27 Feb. 1862, 2, col. 6, descrip.)
"OAKLANDS", for William Cunard, Robie Street, a mansion in the Italianate style, with adjacent greenhouse, 1862-64; mansion burned c. 1900; but gatekeeper's Lodge House still standing (Evening Mail [Halifax], 31 Dec. 1914, 7, historical article; Founded Upon A Rock- Historic Buildings in Halifax, 1973, 92-93, illus. & descrip.). An original photograph of the mansion, taken c. 1875 by William Notman, can be found in the Nova Scotia Museum, Halifax, Acc. 1983 - 310-50203
GOTTINGEN STREET, 'Fernbank', residence for J. Wesley Smith, 1877 (Nova Scotia Museum, notes of H. Piers)
HALIFAX COUNTY ACADEMY AND HIGH SCHOOL, South Brunswick Street at Sackville Street, 1878 (Acadian Recorder [Halifax], 16 April 1878, 2, t.c.; dwgs. at the Halifax Board of School Commissioners Office; M. Logan, A History of the Halifax Grammar School, 1936, 14-15)
PARKER'S MARKET, Barrington Street at Bell's Lane, a two storey commercial public market block, with tower, for John Parker, 1880; burned 1934 (Nova Scotian [Halifax], 25 Dec. 1880, 3; Morning Herald [Halifax], 27 Dec. 1880, 4, detailed descrip.)
FIRE HALL NO. 2, North Park Street, for the Union Fire Protection Co., 1881 (Morning Herald [Halifax], 9 Aug. 1881, 3, descrip.)
HOME FOR THE AGED (later called Victoria Hall), Gottingen Street near North Street, 1882-84 (Morning Herald [Halifax], 23 October 1882, 1, descrip.; Acadian Recorder [Halifax], 26 Feb. 1884, 2, col. 6, t.c.; E. Pacey & A. Comiter, Landmarks: Historic Buildings of Nova Scotia, 1994, 174-5, illus.)
MAYFLOWER TOBACCO CO., Cornwallis Street near North Park, factory building, 1884 (Acadian Recorder [Halifax], 29 May 1884, 3)
BARRINGTON STREET, loft building for Mr. Cleverdon, 1884 (Acadian Recorder [Halifax], 15 July 1884, 3)
PLEASANT STREET, two houses for J.R. Lithgow, 1884 (Morning Herald [Halifax], 19 Aug. 1884, 2, descrip.)
MORRIS STREET SCHOOL ANNEX, 1885 (Report of the Board of School Commissioners for Halifax, 1885, 109)
PUBLIC SCHOOL, Agricola Street, 1886 (Morning Herald [Halifax], 17 Sept. 1886, 3, payment of fees to Henry Busch)
POOR'S ASYLUM, South Street at Robie Street, a commission won in a competition in 1883; built 1885-86, demol.; this structure was erected to replace the asylum designed by David Stirling which was destroyed by fire in 1881 (Halifax Citizen, 17 March 1883, 3; P. Blakeley, Glimpses of Halifax, 1949, 84; dwgs. at PANS)
VICTORIA GENERAL HOSPITAL, Tower Road at South Street, major extension to the existing building, 1887 (Nova Scotia, Journal of Assembly, 1888, Appendix 3 (b), Public Charities of Nova Scotia; Halifax Herald, 28 Oct. 1893, 4)
NO. 7 FIRE HALL, Quinpool Road, 1888 (Morning Herald [Halifax], 12 Sept. 1888, 3; and 23 Oct. 1888, 1, t.c.)
NURSES HOME, 1891 (Halifax Morning Chronicle, 30 June 1891, 3; C.R., ii, 7 Nov. 1891, 1)
HALIFAX PUBLIC GARDEN, Spring Garden Road, an outdoor Band Stand, 1887 (Morning Herald [Halifax], 14 May 1887, 4, t.c.; Nova Scotia Museum, notes of H. Piers, Acc. Book v, 7761; E. Pacey, Historic Halifax, 1988, 122-23, illus.)
CHURCH OF ENGLAND INSTITUTE, Barrington Street, 1888 (Morning Chronicle [Halifax], 21 May 1886, 2, descrip.; E. Pacey, Historic Halifax, 1988, 88-91, illus.)
HALIFAX PUBLIC GARDEN, Spring Garden Road, a Main Entrance & Office Building, 1889 (Morning Herald [Halifax], 13 May 1889, 2, t.c.)
SOUTH PARK STREET, residence for William Butler, c. 1892 (Nova Scotia Museum, notes of H. Piers)
BRUNSWICK STREET, near North Street, two houses for John Flinn, 1893 (Halifax Herald, 29 May 1893, 6)
SEYMOUR STREET, residence for Arthur Harrington, 1893 (Halifax Herald, 29 May 1893, 6)
BRENTON PLACE, residence for E.P. Ryan, 1893 (Halifax Herald, 29 May 1893, 6)
YOUNG STREET PUBLIC SCHOOL, Young Street and Kaye Street, 1893-94 (Halifax Herald, 27 July 1893, 4, t.c.; C.R., iv, 27 July 1893, 1)
SALVATION ARMY BARRACKS, South Brunswick Street, 1893-94 (Halifax Herald, 16 June 1893, 8; and 6 Sept. 1893, 8; E. Pacey, Historic Halifax, 1988, 112-13, illus.)
QUINPOOL ROAD FIRE ENGINE HOUSE, 1893 (Nova Scotia Museum, notes of H. Piers)
RUSSELL STREET, near Gottingen Street, house at No. 77 Russell Street, c. 1895 (Halifax Herald, 23 March 1898, 5, descrip. in Sale Advertisement)
BRENTON PLACE, residence for Miss Mary Crane, 1895 (C.R., vi, 9 May 1895, 3)
GOTTINGEN STREET, double house for Miss Hubley and Miss Blakeley, 1895 (C.R., vi, 9 May 1895, 3)
SOUTH STREET, residence for Charles L. Morton, 1895 (Morning Herald [Halifax], 20 Nov. 1895, 6)
PLEASANT STREET, residence for Frank A. Marr, 1895 (Evening Mail [Halifax], 9 Sept. 1895, 1; Halifax Herald, 4 Jan. 1896, 9, illus.)
BRUNSWICK STREET, residence for John H. Bertram, 1896 (Morning Chronicle [Halifax], 21 Nov. 1896, 6)
SACKVILLE STREET, commercial block for the Dillon Brothers, 1896-97 (Morning Chronicle [Halifax], 21 Nov. 1896, 6; C.R., ix, 25 May 1898, 6)
GOTTINGEN STREET, residence for Dr. Hartley S. Jacques, 1896 (Morning Chronicle [Halifax], 21 Nov. 1896, 6)
GOTTINGEN STREET, residence for Archibald McCoughan, 1896 (Morning Chronicle [Halifax], 21 Nov. 1896, 6)
BARRINGTON STREET, commercial block for Hamilton & Outhit, 1897 (Morning Chronicle, [Halifax], 25 Feb. 1897, 6)
A.M. BELL & CO. HARDWARE, Upper Water Street, extensive alterations and improvements to existing store, 1897 (Halifax Herald, 18 Dec. 1897, 6, detailed descrip.)
PRINCE STREET, commercial block for Henry W. Barnes, 1898 (C.R., ix, 25 May 1898, 3, t.c.)
GOTTINGEN STREET, a one storey commercial block with three retail stores, for Miss Catherine Murphy of Boston, 1899 (Evening Mail [Halifax], 21 July 1899, 7; and 5 Aug. 1899, 7, descrip.)
MITCHELL'S WHARF, a large 4 storey brick warehouse and shop for William Robertson, 1899 (Evening Mail [Halifax], 27 July 1899, 5; Halifax Herald, 28 July 1899, 2)


DARTMOUTH, N.S., Dartmouth Methodist Church, Ochterloney Street at King Street, additions and alterations, 1877 (Halifax Citizen, 3 Feb. 1877, 2)
TRURO, N.S., Provincial Normal School, Prince Street, 1877-78 (Halifax Morning Chronicle, 9 July 1877, 2, col. 2-4; C. Cameron & J. Wright, Second Empire Style in Canadian Architecture, 1980, 88-89, illus.)
PICTOU, N.S., Pictou Academy, Patterson Street, 1879 (Minute Book of the Pictou Town Council, 24 Aug. 1879; Morning Chronicle [Halifax], 6 Aug. 1879, 2, t.c.)
ANTIGONISH, N.S., College building, 1888 (Halifax Herald, 17 March 1888, 2, t.c.)
SALMON RIVER, HALIFAX CO., Episcopal Church, 1890 (Halifax Herald, 12 May 1890, 2, t.c.; dwgs. at PANS)
LUNENBURG, N.S., Zion Lutheran Church, Fox Street at Cornwallis Street, 1890 (Nova Scotia Museum, notes of H. Piers)
LUNENBURG, N.S., Court House and Town Hall, Cumberland Street, 1891-92; altered (Halifax Morning Chronicle, 18 June; 2 Sept. 1891, 3; M. Carter, Early Canadian Court Houses, 1983, 204, illus.)
LUNENBURG, N.S., County Goal, Cumberland Street, 1893 (Town Minutes, Lunenburg, Book 2, 58, entry for 12 Sept. 1892)


HALIFAX, N.S., Infants Home, Tower Road at Inglis Street,1899. Busch was one of 8 architects who submitted a design in the competition for this large institutional building (Halifax Herald, 15 May 1899, 2, descrip.). He received Second Prize for his effort. The winner was J.C. Dumaresq of Halifax.