Description of Historic Place
Building 14, also known as the Former Ordnance Store, stands within the Québec Citadel National Historic Site of Canada’s walls along the parade ground. The long, rectangular two-storey building is constructed of stone with a hipped roof clad in copper sheet. The symmetrical façade features small, evenly spaced windows. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Building 14 is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
Building 14 is associated with the defence of British North America. The Citadel was completed between 1839 and 1857 to thwart the constant threat of American invasion. The strategic position of the building in the fortress allowed it to strengthen the line of defence on the southwest front. In 1949, Building 14 was converted to a military mess as part of the restoration of the Citadel. Building 14 also forms part of the historic district of Old Quebec, which was identified in 1963 and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.
Building 14 is valued for its very good aesthetics. Constructed on the principals of English military classicism it reflects the “utilitarian” style common to British military buildings constructed in Canada during the first half of the 19th century. The building had a dual function as a defensive facility and as an artillery-proof storage facility. Solid masonry walls are clearly defensive while its good functional qualities can be seen in its simple utilitarian design. Its original dual function, as a warehouse for cannons and munitions and as a defence for the Citadelle in the event of an invasion, is still evident in the vaulted interior spaces and the back wall pierced with loopholes. Windows replaced loopholes when the function of the building changed in 1949. The stonework shows very good craftsmanship.
Building 14 reinforces the historic character of its site within the Citadelle 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, Quebec, Quebec, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 88-161; The Former Ordnance Store, (Building No. 14), Military Mess, La Citadelle, City of Quebec, Quebec, Heritage Character Statement 88-161.
The character-defining elements of Building 14 should be respected.
Its very good aesthetics, functional design and quality of craftsmanship and materials, for example:
- the sturdy two-storey, rectangular and long massing with a hipped roof clad in copper;
- the solid masonry construction of regular coursed, smooth cut limestone, and the stone stringcourses;
- the long symmetrical façade with minimal decoration;
- the regularly spaced, multi-paned windows laid out in a regular grid as well as the large ground floor windows;
- the quoining and the band marking the upper floor;
- the two chimneys and the copper downspouts;
- the small porches that protect the two entrances;
- the interior’s thick walls, the vaulted bombproof ceilings and the remaining evidence of the loopholes in the back wall.
The manner in which Building14 and adjacent buildings are compatible with the historic character of the fortress setting, and are a familiar regional landmark, as evidenced by:
- the design and form, which complement the location in Quebec City’s old defence system;
- the structure’s high visibility owing to its location near the parade ground and its use as a military mess make it well known.