Description of Historic Place
The Officers’ Married Quarters, also known as Building 2, is a distinctive and symmetrical two-storey brick building designed in the British Classical style, composed of a recessed central section with two projecting end pavilions. The Officers’ Married Quarters is located at the western end of Royal Artillery Park, in close proximity to the Officers’ Mess. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Officers’ Married Quarters is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Officers’ Married Quarters is a convenient example of the national theme of Imperial defence, specifically the land-based defence of the Halifax harbour and of the Royal Navy Dockyard by the British army, and of the sub-theme of garrison life or the accommodation and social aspect of military life. One of the last buildings constructed during the British regime in Halifax, the Officers’ Married Quarters is also a very good example of the final phase of the period of general modernization and consolidation of the Halifax defence installations.
The Officers’ Married Quarters is a very good example of British Classicism. Characterized by good proportions and a balanced composition with pavilion massing, the Officers’ Married Quarters features classical elements such as a prominent columned entrance portico at the main entrance, and plain entablatures and pediments at the pavilion end walls. The interior layout is an efficient, and adaptable layout of rooms organized around longitudinal center halls, which has real merit and precedence as an established housing type. The Officers’ Married Quarters is constructed of high quality materials and craftsmanship, most notably the exterior brickwork and the interior finishings and fittings.
The Officers’ Married Quarters strongly reinforces the military character of the campus setting of Royal Artillery Park. An integral component of Royal Artillery Park, the Officers’ Married Quarters has influenced the scale and type of buildings in the surrounding neighbourhood, which consists primarily of residential and low-rise commercial buildings. The Officers’ Married Quarters is a visually prominent and well-known local landmark owing to its large scale, formal design features, materials and location as part of Royal Artillery Park.
Sources: Ian Doull, Buildings No. 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, Royal Artillery Park, CFB Halifax, Nova Scotia. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 90-005; 2/Officers’ Married Quarters, Royal Artillery Park, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Heritage Character Statement 90-005.
The following character-defining elements of the Officers’ Married Quarters should be respected.
Its formal British Classical style, very good functional design, and high quality materials and craftsmanship as manifested in:
- its balanced and symmetrical pavilion massing which consists of a recessed central section and two projecting end pavilions;
- its domestic scale and well-proportioned design;
- the prominent columned entrance portico and main door framed by sidelights and semi-elliptical transom found at the recessed central section of the building;
- the segmentally arched windows grouped in pairs with ornamental keystones;
- the projecting pilasters at the corners of the pavilions as well as the plain entablatures, pediments and corbelled friezes at the pavilion end walls;
- the efficient and adaptable interior layout consisting of rooms organized around longitudinal center halls on each level;
- the high quality craftsmanship and materials on the exterior of the building such as the brickwork of the friezes, columns and entablature;
- the distinctive and high quality interior finishings and fittings such as the original porcelain tile floor in the west entrance vestibule, as well as the interior mouldings, door casings and mantels.
The manner in which the Officers’ Married Quarters reinforces the military character of the campus setting of Royal Artillery Park, and is a well-known local landmark as evidenced by:
- its materials and the quality of its design features and craftsmanship which are comparable to those of the Cambridge Military Library;
- its domestic scale and pavilion massing, which along with the other remaining Royal Artillery Park buildings, have influenced the scale and type of buildings in the surrounding neighbourhood;
- its visual prominence as a landmark owing to its scale, formal design features, materials, and location as part of Royal Artillery Park.