Description of Historic Place
The Gun Carriage Store, also known as Building 20, is located in Historic Old Québec’s Artillery Park, in the gorge of the St. John Bastion, bordering Rue d’Auteuil. The hangar is a stone building composed of four 14.9 meters (49-foot) sections each with five double doors and a dormer in its centre, and a final 4.8 meters (16-foot) section. The building follows the natural slope of the land and has a stepped profile. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Gun Carriage Store is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Gun Carriage Store is a very good example of a structure associated with the colonial defence system of the City of Québec, then capital of Canada, as the seat of the government and military administration. The construction of the hangar was initiated during the war of 1812 against the United States. Originally constructed as a storehouse, it was occupied by the British Army until the garrison’s departure in 1871. Subsequently, the Dominion Arsenal shared the building with the Québec Electric Company. When this company moved several years later, the federal cartridge factory set up a caretaker’s house there. The Arsenal continued to own the building until the 1960s.
The Gun Carriage Store is valued for its good aesthetic design. This hangar is a good example of British classicism with the symmetrical arrangement of its openings, the alignment of the top of the doors and windows, the repetitions of bays and the balance between solids and voids. The walls were initially of wood, rebuilt in stone between 1831-1841 and as such, good craftsmanship and materials are evidenced in the Sillery sandstone facing.
The Gun Carriage Store is compatible with the present military character of the Artillery Park setting and is familiar in the region.
Sources: Yvon Desloges, Histoire et archéologie, bureau régional, Québec, avec la collaboration de Paul Trepanier, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 90-032; The Hangar for Gun Carriages, Artillery Park National historic Site, Quebec, Quebec, Heritage Character Statement 90-032.
The character-defining elements of the Gun Carriage Store should be respected.
The good aesthetic design, good functional design and very good quality materials, for example:
- the imposing massing in four main volumes 14.9 meters (49 feet) long, with a final 4.8 meters (16-foot) section that forms a succession of bays;
- the hipped roof of sheet metal with batten seams, and the semicircular dormers above the doors;
- the windows placed under each dormer;
- the roof timbers supported by a double row of posts, on longitudinal rails;
- the exterior constructed of sandstone set on a set slab construction;
- the features relating to the building’s function including the two double doors in each bay, and the loopholes.
The manner in which the Gun Carriage Store reinforces the military character of Artillery Park setting and is a well-known landmark, as evidenced by:
- its scale, design and materials, which harmonize with the gorge of the St. John Bastion and, with the Foundry building and its historic and urban surroundings;
- its prominent location in Artillery Park, which attracts tourists who enter the St. John Bastion, and makes it well known.