Brick Barrack

Classified Federal Heritage Building

Amherstburg, Ontario
Front view of the Brick Barrack, showing its long rectangular bungalow structure with a prominent low hip roof which sweeps out to cover the long low verandah with its simple support posts, 1990. (© Agence Parcs Canada, Bureau Régional de l'Ontario / Parks Canada Agency, Ontario Regional Office, 1990.)
Side view
(© Agence Parcs Canada, Bureau Régional de l'Ontario / Parks Canada Agency, Ontario Regional Office, 1990.)
Address : 100 Laird Avenue South, Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada, Amherstburg, Ontario

Recognition Statute: Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property
Designation Date: 1994-02-13
Dates:
  • 1819 to 1820 (Construction)

Event, Person, Organization:
  • Lieutenant H. Wilson  (Architect)
  • Royal Engineers  (Architect)
Custodian: Parks Canada
FHBRO Report Reference: 91-181
DFRP Number: 10700 00

Description of Historic Place

Defining the eastern edge of the former parade square, the Brick Barrack in the Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada is a long, red brick, rectangular bungalow structure with a prominent low hip roof with projecting chimneys. The roof sweeps out to cover the long low verandah with simple support posts. Its front contains multi-paned wood windows and wood doors. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Brick Barracks is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.

Historical Value
The Brick Barrack Building is a very good illustration associated with providing British Military presence for the British Indian department along the Detroit frontier. It reflects the renewed commitment of the British to the defence of Canada after the War of 1812 and the importance of the military to the development of Amhertsberg.

Architectural Value
The Brick Barrack is a good example of standardized military bungalow barrack design of the early 1800’s. The value of the Brick Barrack resides in its form, overall proportions, architectural details and construction materials. The building is distinguished by its distinctive verandah on the front façade, and its domestic scale and its symmetry.

Environmental Value
The Brick Barrack is an important focal point and established the character of Fort Malden because of its location, scale and appearance within the military earthenworks of the site. The Barrack defines the eastern edge of the former parade square. It is associated with the fort’s interpretation program and familiar as part of a national landmark.

Sources: James de Jonge, Fort Malden and Associated National Historic Sites, Amherstberg, Ontario, Federal Heritage Building Report 91-181; Brick Barrack, Fort Malden National Historic Site, Amhertsburg, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 91-181.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Brick Barrack should be respected.

Its standardized military bungalow barrack design, simplicity of materials and details, as manifested in: its long rectangular bungalow structure with a prominent low hipped roof which sweeps out to cover the long low verandah with its simple support posts; its exterior of red brick walls on a rubblestone foundation with plain stone sills at window openings; the symmetrical design of the façade with doors, windows and chimney locations reflecting the internal division into three parts; its multi-paned double-hung window units and wood doors dating from the restoration; the natural cedar finish which adds to the texture of the building; the kitchen addition featuring loopholes, reflecting defensive concerns at the time of its construction; the original internal layout as a barrack which was recreated during the restoration; the simple interior finishes of wood-plank flooring, plaster walls and ceilings.

The manner in which the Brick Barrack reinforces the present character of Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada in its historicized setting.

Heritage Character Statement

Disclaimer - 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 Brick Barrack was constructed as living quarters for 70 soldiers in 1819-20. It was designed by Lieutenant H. Wilson of the Royal Engineers, and was restored by Parks Canada in the late 1970s. Parks Canada is the custodian. See FHBRO Building Report 91-181.

Reasons for Designation
The Brick Barrack was designated Classified because of its environmental and local significance, its historical associations, and its architectural importance.

The barrack is an important focal point for the character of Fort Malden because of its location, scale, and appearance within the military earthworks of the site. The barrack defines the eastern edge of the former parade square. It is associated with the fort's interpretation program and familiar as part of a national landmark.

The Brick Barrack is a good example of standardized military bungalow barrack design of the early 1800s. It is symmetrical, domestic in scale, with a distinctive verandah on the front facade. Restoration to the 1838-40 period involved reconstructing the chimneys, the verandah, the doors, certain windows, and the kitchen addition.

Fort Malden provided British military presence for the British Indian department along the Detroit frontier. The Brick Barrack reflects the renewed commitment of the British to the defense of Canada after the War of 1812 and the importance of the military to the development of Amherstburg.

Character Defining Elements
The heritage character of the Brick Barrack as restored to the 1838-40 period resides in its form, overall proportions, architectural details and construction materials, surviving interior finishes, and relationship to the site and setting.

The Brick Barrack is a long rectangular bungalow structure with a prominent low hipped roof. The design of the facade is symmetrical, with doors, windows, and chimney locations reflecting the internal division into three parts. The long low verandah with its simple support posts is an important feature of the design. The rectangular footprint, simple roof profile and chimney placement should not be compromised.

The building is characterized by the simplicity of its materials and detailing. The exterior, consisting of red brick walls on a rubblestone foundation, has plain stone sills at window openings. Multi-paned wood double-hung window units and wood doors date from the restoration; they are consistent with the design and should be maintained. The main roof, which sweeps out to cover the verandah, is a distinguishing feature of the building. The natural cedar finish adds to the texture of the building. The kitchen addition of the 1840s features loopholes, reflecting defensive concerns at the time of its construction. These should not be altered.

The original internal layout as a barrack was recreated during the restoration and should be maintained. The simple interior finishes of wood-plank flooring, plaster walls and ceilings are reconstructions except for one original ceiling.

The footprint of the building and the relationship to the enclosing fort embankments should not be compromised. The simple landscape with dirt paths reflects the original simple cleared site and should be maintained without further refinement or embellishment. The reconstructed well with hoisting mechanism contributes to the historic ambience. It would be appropriate to interpret the archaeological vestiges of former outbuildings, as at the nearby latrine.