Description of Historic Place
D.V. Currie Victoria Cross (VC) Armoury is situated in the north end of Moose Jaw in a mixed commercial, recreational and residential neighbourhood. The large, low-massed brick structure has a large, central drill hall flanked by two-storey office wings. Projecting piers and tall windows counterbalance the horizontality of the form. Projecting bays also flank the main entrance, which is topped by a parapet of Tudor design influence. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
D.V. Currie VC Armoury is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
D.V. Currie VC Armoury is closely associated with the significant role of the Canadian militia at the beginning of the 20th century. The armoury was constructed in 1907 during the Militia and Defence expansion program to provide permanent headquarters for militia practice and training, and was used as a recruitment centre during both world wars. In 1986, the structure was renamed in honour of Lieutenant-Colonel D.V. Currie; a local officer awarded the Victoria Cross for courageous action during the invasion of Normandy, France.
Valued for its good aesthetics, the D.V. Currie VC Armoury is one of two armouries built to the largest size plan of five standard plans developed by the Engineer Service Branch of the Department of Militia and Defence. Similar to several other drill halls and armouries erected in Canadian urban centres prior to 1914, its functional, flexible layout, large, open drill hall and wings containing offices, arms vaults and other facilities are distinguishing characteristics. Construction was economical yet of good quality which can be seen in the brickwork.
D.V. Currie VC Armoury reinforces the present character of downtown Moose Jaw, and is a familiar landmark to residents and to visitors.
Sources: Jacqueline Hucker, Col. D.V. Currie V.C. Armoury, 1215 Main Street North, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 97-028; Col. D.V. Currie V.C. Armoury, 1215 Main Street North, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Heritage Character Statement 97-028.
The following character-defining elements of the D.V. Currie VC Armoury should be respected.
Its distinctive aesthetic, good functional design and good quality materials and craftsmanship as evidenced in:
- its illustration of the significant role of the Canadian militia at the beginning of the 20th century
- its ongoing original function as an armoury;
- its high-quality construction, identifiable form, and masonry cladding, which give it a sense of permanence and make it a prestigious and identifiable headquarters for battalion activities and the storage of arms;
- its name since 1986, which honours Lieutenant-Colonel D.V. Currie, a local officer who was awarded the Victoria Cross for courageous action during the invasion of Normandy.
Its high-quality, functional design and construction:
- its functional and flexible layout, which illustrates a standard plan of the Engineer services Branch: a large, lofty central drill hall, with a central entrance for the troops, flanked by two-storey wings housing offices, vaults for arms and equipment, classrooms, rifle ranges, mess rooms, and other recreational facilities that can be adapted to suit changing needs;
- its economical, but high-quality design and construction, with careful attention to detailing and selection of materials.
Its spatial relationship with its setting:
- its recognition as a landmark due to its size, its identifiable architectural style, and its prominent location;
- its reinforcement of the character of the setting, which includes a number of large public and service buildings;
- the simple, open landscaping in front of the building, which sets off the façade and is compatible with the purpose and character of the armoury.