Description of Historic Place
The Foundry is located on an island in the Rideau River, at Merrickville Lockstation of the Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada. The rectangular, one-and-a-half storey building has a gable roof and is constructed of rubblework. Solid and sturdy in appearance, the building has simple detailing with voussoirs and dressed stone sills at the openings. The gabled façade has regular, symmetrically placed openings. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Foundry is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Foundry is a very good example of a building associated with the development of early Canadian industry, specifically iron manufacturing, and is associated with late-19th-century industrial development in Merrickville. The Foundry also has some significance because of its association with Henry Merrick (1837-1927), a local entrepreneur and politician, who redeveloped the local foundry business following his retirement from politics. It is currently used as an interpretive centre.
The Foundry is valued for its good aesthetic design as seen in its utilitarian appearance reflected in the functional design similar to other industrial and milling buildings of the 1850s. Functional considerations determine the appearance, for example the symmetrical gable with upper loading doors. The functional open interior has allowed the adaptation of the interior into an interpretive centre. Good craftsmanship can be seen in the handling of the stonework and in the use of local stone and wood building materials.
The Foundry reinforces the historic character of its park-like setting at the lockstation and is a familiar local landmark.
Sources: James De Jonge, Twenty Nine Buildings, Central Area, Rideau Canal, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Reports 91-072 to 91-081; Foundry, Lockstation Buildings, Merrickville, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 91-078.
The character-defining elements of the Foundry should be respected.
Its good aesthetic, functional design and quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- the simple compact, one-and-one-half storey massing;
- the gable roof, clad with wood shingle;
- the exterior walls of rubblework, the placement of the simply detailed door and windows, with voussoirs and dressed stone sills;
- the gabled façade with symmetrical openings, and the regular rhythm of window openings on the sides;
- the wooden, multi-paned double-hung windows and wood-plank doors;
- the simple open interior with exposed masonry walls, wood roof framing, and natural wood plank floors.
The manner in which the Foundry reinforces the historic character of its park-like setting at the Merrickville lockstation and is a familiar landmark, as evidenced by:
- its simple design, scale and masonry walls that contribute to the evocation of an early industrial landscape and complement its surrounding grounds;
- its dominant scale, and its role as an interpretation centre within the group of structures comprising the lockstation complex, that makes it familiar to local residents and visitors.