Description of Historic Place
Building 32, also known as the Former Defensive Guard House, is located at the eastern end of the north main ditch below the King’s Bastion at the Québec Citadel National Historic Site of Canada. It is a small, squat, one storey masonry building with a gable roof supported by wood rafters. A chimney rises through the roof, which is covered in painted tin sheeting. The imposing walls of the Citadel flank the Guard House. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Building 32 is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
Building 32 is associated with the defense of British North America during the final years of construction of the Citadel (1839 -1857) against the threat posed by the United States. The role of Building 32 was to maintain visual contact with the battery of carronades below. It is also associated with the restoration of the Citadel carried out during the Depression to provide work for homeless single men. Building 32 is also part of the historic district of Old Québec, which was created in 1963, and later declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.
Valued for its very good aesthetics, Building 32 is constructed on the principals of English military classicism. Its solid masonry walls are clearly defensive while its good functional qualities can be seen in its simple utilitarian design. The stonework and the brickwork of the vaulted ceilings display good craftsmanship.
Building 32 reinforces the historic character of its military 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, Quebec, Quebec, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 88-161; The Former Defensive Guard House (No.32), Cote de la Citadelle, City of
Quebec, Quebec, Heritage Character Statement 88-161.
The character-defining elements of Building 32 should be respected.
Its very good aesthetics, functional design and quality materials, for example:
- the single-storey irregular massing, the gable roof with tin covered chimney;
- the symmetrical façade with a door flanked by two windows;
- the solid masonry construction and supporting wooden roof rafters;
- the solid side walls pierced by loopholes, and the curved rear walls;
- the plain interior with exposed stone block walls and wooden floors and roof timbers.
The manner in which Building 32 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 defense system;
- the structure’s high visibility and ongoing relationship to nearby defense works.