Third Avenue Hotel, Building 14
Recognized Federal Heritage Building
Dawson, Yukon Territory
© Agence Parcs Canada/Parks Canada Agency, 1987.
309-11 Third Avenue, Dawson, Yukon Territory
Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property
1899 to 1899
FHBRO Report Reference:
Description of Historic Place
Located in the business district of Dawson City, the Third Avenue Hotel Complex is situated on a wide, sloped street that descends toward the Yukon River. The complex consists of a two-and-one-half-storey unit and two one-storey units. The principal component is a gable-roofed structure with a Boomtown façade and symmetrically placed upper windows. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Third Avenue Hotel Complex is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Third Avenue Hotel Complex is closely associated with the commercial development of Dawson City during the Klondike Gold Rush. The Third Avenue Hotel provided inexpensive accommodation for the town’s mobile and constantly fluctuating population. The Photographic Studio, operated by Erling Ellingsen from 1907-1933 in the two small annexes adjoining the Hotel is the last surviving studio of the more than 20 established in Dawson City between 1898 and 1909.
The Third Avenue Hotel Complex demonstrates good functional design and is typical of the smaller hotels once common in Dawson City during its boom years. The interior is a valuable illustration of the layout and treatment of lodging house interiors in Dawson at the turn of the century. The Ellingsen Studio, an annex to the hotel, comprises an irreplaceable record of an Edwardian commercial photographic business, retail store and residence. The structure exhibits good functional design and good craftsmanship.
The Third Avenue Hotel Complex maintains an unchanged relationship to its site, is compatible with the historic character of Dawson City and is a familiar landmark in the immediate area to residents and visitors.
The Third Avenue Hotel Complex Third Avenue, Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report notes 88-012
Third Avenue Hotel Complex, Third Avenue Hotel, 309 Third Avenue (1915-1916) Ellingsen Studio (1915-1916), 311 Third Avenue, Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Heritage Character Statement 88-012
The following character-defining elements of the Third Avenue Hotel Complex should be respected:
Its good functional design and good quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
The varied massing of the structure, which speaks to the complex’s evolution. The raised entablature of the false façade with its symmetrically placed windows and door. The smooth planes of the clapboard walls, and the single-storey false facades with expressed gable. The interior partitioning, finishes and fittings of the complex relating to its use as a photographic studio, retail store and residence.
The manner in which the Third Avenue Hotel Complex maintains an unchanged relationship to its site, reinforces the present character of its streetscape setting and is a familiar landmark, as evidenced by:
Its ongoing historic relationship to the boardwalk, the adjacent structures and the streetscape of Third Avenue. Its materials, the detailing, and the treatment of the facades, which visually unify the constituent elements of the hotel complex. Its visual familiarity to residents of Dawson and to visitors.
Heritage Character Statement
The heritage character statement was developed by FHBRO to explain the reasons for the designation of a federal heritage building and what it is about the building that makes it significant (the heritage character). It is a key reference document for anyone involved in planning interventions to federal heritage buildings and is used by FHBRO in their review of interventions.
The Third Avenue Hotel, Dawson, a lodging house, was built in 1899 by the Joseph Ladue Gold Mining and Development Company. External modifications, made in late 1902, include the raising of the entablature on the false facade to cover the gable end and the conversion of the entrance from a double to a single door configuration. The two narrow ground floor windows were replaced by large show windows c.1933.
The two annexes north of the hotel are contemporary with it. External modifications to the northern annex made c.1933, involved the replacement of the original centre door entrance flanking "Queen Anne" windows by an off-centre door and large show window. External modifications to the southern annex,made in late 1902, involved a rear addition which more than doubled its length. Both properties are owned by the Canadian Parks Service, Environment Canada. See FHBRO Building Report 88-12.
Reasons for Designation
The various buildings making up the Third Avenue Hotel Complex were designated Recognized because of the important theme they illustrate, the associations they have with an important individual and the integrity of their historic environment.
The Third Avenue Hotel was for 20 or more years a lodging house for Dawson's mobile and constantly fluctuating population. Located in a working class area of the business district, it is a rare surviving example of this class of accommodation. The photographic studio operated by Erling Ellingsen in the two small annexes adjoining the Hotel from 1907 to 1933 is the last surviving studio of the more than 20 established by Dawson photographers between 1898 and 1909.
When Erling Ellingsen entered the photographic business in 1907 he joined the ranks of such renowned Dawson photographers as Edward C. Adams, Jeremiah Doody, and Joseph N.E. Duclos. By 1918 he was alone in the field. The legacy of photographs he leaves is an invaluable record of Dawson and the creek settlements in their mature and declining years.
The three structures which make up the Third Avenue Hotel Complex have lain abandoned since 1944, and present a very picturesque and evocative appearance. They are important components of the Third Avenue Streetscape.
Character Defining Elements
The heritage character of the Third Avenue Hotel building derives from the 2½ storey, false facade with its original symmetrically designed, upper storey section, and somewhat altered, asymmetrical ground floor section, typical of the smaller hotels which were once so common in Dawson. The partitioning and finishes, particularly those on the second floor date from the building's construction. They document the layout and treatment of lodging house interiors in Dawson at the turn-of-the-century and should be preserved.
The heritage character of the Ellingsen Studio derives from the symmetrically designed, single storey false facades with expressed gable, intact on the southern store, but heavily altered on the northern store. The partitioning, finishes, fittings and artifacts relating to E.O. Ellingsen's occupation of the buildings as a photographic studio, retail store and residence (1907-1933) together comprise an irreplaceable record of an Edwardian commercial photographic business. A conservation treatment which would ensure the long-term protection of this unique asset and, if possible, provide a degree of public access, should be considered.
The historic relationship between the complex and boardwalk is presently impaired by the boarded up windows and padlocked doors. The preservation work necessary to extend the life of the structures and ensure their availability for future use should be initiated.