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Building 51

Annapolis, Subdistrict A, Nova Scotia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1992/09/03

View of the Canadian Forces Base Cornwallis, showing Building 51 in a red circle, circa 1960.; Ministère de la Défense nationale / Department of National Defence, vers / circa 1960.
Aerial view
View of Building 51, showing its two-and-a-half storey, near-symmetrical massing, composed of a prominent, gable roofed centre block, circa 1930.; Ministère de la Défense nationale / Department of National Defence, vers / circa 1930.
Front elevation
View of Building 51, showing its multi-pane windows, dormers and chimneys, 1992.; Ministère de la Défense nationale / Department of National Defence, 1992.
Front elevation

Other Name(s)

Building 51
Base Commander’s Residence
Résidence du commandant de la base

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1845/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/10/08

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Building 51, also known as the Base Commander’s Residence, is a large, wooden building located on a spacious treed and landscaped site. The building is comprised of a prominent gable-roofed central block, in the New England Colonial style, flanked by lower side wings, in the Colonial Revival style. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

Building 51 is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.

Historical Value
Building 51 is associated with the development of large summer homes in Nova Scotia and with the development of naval training centres in Canada. The early central portion was built as a farm house by Lt. Col. William Hallet Ray, a farmer and long-serving provincial politician. During the 1900s, the Annapolis Valley became a popular summer resort area and the house was first used as a summer residence for the Anglican Bishop of Nova Scotia. It was later incorporated into the summer estate of E.F. Morse, a wealthy businessman. During the Second World War, the estate became the Navy’s main training centre and was greatly expanded. The construction of Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Cornwallis had an immense impact on the development of the Annapolis Basin and the local economy, which has benefited over the years.

Architectural Value
Building 51 is a good example of a residential structure that combines the New England Colonial style and the Colonial Revival style. The New England style is evident in the wood construction, the regular placement of bays across the façade, the moderately steep gable roof, the absence of dormers and the spare use of detailing. The Colonial Revival style, one of the most popular domestic styles of the interwar period, is evidenced in the building’s near-symmetrical arrangement with a prominent centre block and lower lateral wings.

Environmental Value
Building 51 reinforces the character of its military neighbourhood setting at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Cornwallis. It is a distinct and familiar building on the base.

Sources: Base Commander’s Residence, Canadian Forces Base Cornwallis, Cornwallis, Nova Scotia, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report 90-320; Base Commander’s Residence, CFB Cornwallis, Cornwallis, Nova Scotia, Heritage Character Statement, 90-320.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of Building 51 should be respected.

Its New England Colonial Style and Colonial-Revival style, for example:
- its two-and-a-half storey, near-symmetrical massing, composed of a prominent, gable roofed centre block, flanked by lateral wings;
- its regular rhythm of openings and bays, symmetrical arrangement of openings, multi-pane windows, dormers and chimneys, low foundation line and spareness of detail;
- its wood construction and finishes including narrow wood siding, corner boards, returned eaves and porches with fluted Doric columns;
- its surviving interior layout.

The manner in which Building 51 reinforces the character of its military neighbourhood setting at CFB Cornwallis and is a familiar building in the area, as evidenced by:
- its overall Colonial style and residential appearance which harmonizes with four buildings which pre-date the construction of CFB Cornwallis, such as the Officer’s Mess (former estate mansion), the Coach House, the Morse barn and Commander’s Garage (former barn);
- its large scale and architectural style which distinguish it from most other buildings at CFB Cornwallis and which contribute to its status as a familiar landmark for residents of the base.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date

1992/09/03

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1934/01/01 to 1934/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Defence
Residential Facility

Architect / Designer

Lt. Col. Wiliam Hallet Ray

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

4818

Status

Published

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General view

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Side view

Coach House

The Coach House is a garage for the former mansion at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Cornwallis. It is a wood frame structure designed in the Colonial-Revival Style. Its centre block…

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