A historic building at the entrance to the heart of downtown Halifax has received a new paint job.

The Morse's Tea building, sandwiched between Hollis and Upper Water streets, has long had the words 'Morse's Tea' painted along the top of it. But that's not the case anymore.

Over the weekend, painters covered the words over with white paint. It's struck a chord with many who feel it shouldn't have been done.

"It's been part of Halifax for a long time," said Rob Currie. "I am just amazed that anyone would wipe it out that way."

The building belongs to Starfish Properties, a company owned by Toronto developer Louis Reznick.

In an e-mail to CBC News, Reznick said the lettering was painted over as part of restoration work.

"It's being restored, rejuvenated, and rebranded," said Reznick.

"Our building, which historically, fondly, and most importantly was known as the 'Jerusalem warehouse building' and will remain as the most significant gateway building to Historic Properties and downtown Halifax."

morses-2_220x124_1

Some Haligonians aren't happy with the white paint that was added to the old Morses Tea building over the weekend. (CBC)

According to the building's description on the Nova Scotia Historic Places Initiative web site, the building was built in 1841 to serve as a warehouse for several downtown businesses.

At the time it was referred to as the Jerusalem Warehouse. The name was a reference to when the Jerusalem Coffee House was located at the site before it was destroyed in a fire in 1837.

"I think it's sad, really sad," said Lisa Hamilton. "I think this old building is really beautiful."

Reznick said a new lobby entrance and exterior lighting are also planned for the building.

"We continue to take pride in our efforts, workmanship and the restoration of heritage property, and will continue to do so," Reznick said.