Recognized Federal Heritage Building
Esquimalt, British Columbia
© Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, I. Doull, 1989.
CFB Esquimalt - Dockyard, Esquimalt, British Columbia
Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property
1889 to 1889
Event, Person, Organization:
FHBRO Report Reference:
Description of Historic Place
CFB Esquimalt, Dockyard, Factory, Building D51 is located on Hospital Road, the main road through the Dockyard at Esquimalt. It is a composite structure with irregular massing consisting of a two-storey, hipped-roof block with a single-storey wing, and two single-storey gable-roofed blocks to the south. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
CFB Esquimalt, Dockyard, Factory, Building D51 is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
CFB Esquimalt, Dockyard, Factory, Building D51, as one of the principal industrial shops in the Dockyard, is central to ship repair operations and was one of the first buildings to be built under the Royal Navy’s rebuilding program of the late 1890s and early 1900s. It was also one of the largest non-warehouse structures built during this period.
CFB Esquimalt, Dockyard, Factory, Building D51 is a good example of naval industrial shop design. It exhibits good functional design and a high level of craftsmanship and materials where the exterior of the building is unified by the brickwork. It is distinguished by its richness of detail and its classical decorative elements.
Although altered the CFB Esquimalt, Dockyard, Factory, Building D51 still reinforces the present character of the dockyard setting. The building is a familiar landmark to familiar with the dockyard. .
Ian Doull, Dockyard, Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, Esquimalt, British Columbia. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 89-204; Building D 51 (former Factory), Esquimalt Dockyard, Esquimalt, British Columbia Heritage Character Statement 89-204.
The following character-defining elements of CFB Esquimalt, Dockyard, Factory, Building D51 should be respected.
Its functional design and good quality materials and craftsmanship, for example: the composite structure exhibiting dissimilar massing consisting of three components: a two-storey, hipped-roof block with a single-storey wing, and two single-storey, gable-roofed blocks to the south; the exterior, which is unified by the consistent use of materials and detailing; the red brick walls, stone dressings, corbelled friezes, vaults and arches; the configuration and treatment of window and door openings with stone sills, arches, labelled surrounds, and tall, divided light glazing on each component of the building; the corners of the elevations marked by stone quoins; the capped buttresses set against the principle façade.
The manner in which CFB Esquimalt, Dockyard, Factory, Building D51reinforces the present character of the dockyard at Esquimalt as evidenced by: its size, design and placement in the urban environment of the dockyard; its form, scale and relationship to the associated surrounding buildings from the same period.
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.
Building D51, the former Factory building, was constructed in 1889 to replace an earlier facility which occupied the site. Additions to it were constructed in 1891 and 1903. This facility provided all steam-powered shop and metal working facilities needed for the maintenance of the Pacific Squadron. This use continued through World War II, but was gradually taken over by other larger facilities. D51 now houses a pipefitters shop. The Department of National Defence is custodian of the building. See FHBRO Building Report 89-202 (volume 1).
Reasons for Designation
Building D51 was designated Recognized because of its direct association with the principal function of the Dockyard, for its architectural design and for its importance in the urban environment of the Dockyard.
As one of the principal industrial shops in the Dockyard, Building D51 was central to ship repair operations and was one of the first buildings to be built under the Royal Navy's 1895-1904 rebuilding program. It was also one of the largest non-warehouse structures built during this period.
The Dockyard derives much of its character from the form and materials of, and relationships among, its many brick buildings constructed during the rebuilding program. Together these buildings give the Dockyard a related identity and a strong sense of place. Constructed in brick and richly detailed with stone dressings, corbels, friezes, vaults and archways, Building D51 is a very good example of this group. The hipped roof on the corner block is unusual.
Situated at a shallow bend in Hospital Road, the main road through the Dockyard, Building D51 is a significant feature in the streetscape and in the related urban environment.
Character Defining Elements
The heritage character of Building D51 resides in features of its architecture and in its role in the urban environment.
Building D51 consists of a two-storey block with a single-storey rear wing, and two single-storey gable-roofed blocks to the south. Removal of any surviving component of the building would have a major negative impact on its heritage character.
Although it is a composite structure, being made up of three main components, the exterior of the building is unified by a consistent use of materials and detailing. Red brick walls, stone dressings, corbelled friezes, rubbed brick, vaults and arches are used. The configuration and treatment of window and door openings is also similar - stone sills, arches, labelled surrounds and tall divided-light glazing - on each component of the building. Proportions and details vary, reflecting the chronology of construction and variety of uses for which the components were built. A series of capped buttresses along the principal facade delineate the component parts of the building while providing further unity to the appearance.
These features should be carefully maintained, and appropriate expertise consulted with respect to any masonry work including repointing or cleaning.
The interior of the building has been much altered due to ongoing changes in functional requirements. Some historic spatial divisions remain, defined by substantial brick walls and archways. Historic surfaces should be investigated and all evidence documented prior to further work on the interior of the building.
Continuation of the traditional and present use as workshop space for trades related to ship repair would be appropriate as it would require limited modification.
Building D51 is a prominent feature in the Hospital Road streetscape and in the urban environment of the Dockyard. This prominence should be respected when development of nearby sites is considered.