Description of Historic Place
Building 2, also known as the Men’s Barracks, Former Armoury and Former Powder Magazine, stands within the walls of the Québec Citadel National Historic Site of Canada facing the parade ground near the throat of the Prince of Wales Bastion. Building 2 is a long, rectangular, two-storey masonry building built of smooth limestone, with a hipped roof clad in sheet copper. The main façade of the building has little ornamentation and is regulated and orderly, with small, regularly placed, multi-paned windows. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Building 2 is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
Building 2 is associated with the defence of the city of Québec in the colonial defence system under British rule. At the beginning of the 19th century, a deteriorating political and military situation led authorities to increase the number of personnel in the city of Québec. Directly associated with the defence of British North America between 1839 and 1857, the building is more specifically associated with the first phase of improvements to the fortress (1839-1842), which came about as a result of the tension created by the 1837 Rebellion. The building’s strategic position within the fortress made it possible to strengthen the line of defence on the southwest front. Building 2 is also part of the historic district of Old Québec City, which was created in 1963 and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.
Valued for its very good aesthetics, Building 2 is constructed on the principals of English military classicism and reflects the “utilitarian” style, common to British military buildings constructed in Canada, during the first half of the 19th century. Its solid masonry walls are clearly defensive while its good functional qualities can be seen in its simple utilitarian design. In 1949, the building was converted to barracks for military personnel as part of a restoration of the Citadel. The interior was completely refurbished for its new use. Excellent craftsmanship is evidenced in the stonework.
Building 2 reinforces the historic character of its site within the Citadel of Québec, and together with the associated adjacent buildings is a well-known local landmark.
Sources: Rhona Goodspeed, Reports 88-161, 90-312, 90-313, 90-314, 90-315, Buildings, Citadel, Québec , Québec , Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 88-161; Former Armoury and former Powder Magazine (Building No. 2), Men’s Barracks, La Citadelle, City of Québec , Québec , Heritage Character Statement 88-161.
The character-defining elements of Building 2 should be respected.
Its very good aesthetics, good functional design and very good quality materials, for example:
- the sturdy long, two-storey, rectangular massing with a hipped roof clad in copper;
- the solid masonry construction, even and smooth on the main elevation in contrast to the rough, irregular courses of the side and rear walls;
- the plain façade with no superfluous decoration;
- the small, multi-paned windows laid out in a regular grid and the remaining loopholes, and the remaining hinge-pins that were used to hang the shutters;
- the small porches that protect the two main entrances.
The manner in which Building 2 and adjacent buildings are compatible with the historic character of the fortress setting, and is a familiar regional landmark, as evidenced by:
- the design and form, which complement the location in Québec’s old defence system;
- the structure’s high visibility owing to its location near the parade ground and its use as a barrack that make it well known.