Description of Historic Place
Building 3, also known as the Guard House, Base Security and Duty Centre, marks the Main Gate and entrance point to the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Cornwallis. Its flat-roofed canopy spans the entrance roadway to the base and houses two polygonal shaped units underneath with two flanking extensions on either side. Designed to symbolize the aft end of a warship (the area located near or towards the stern), its central portal is framed by a wide blue band on which is mounted the name of the base in large yellow three-dimensional block lettering. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Building 3 is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
Building 3, as the Guard House, Base Security and Duty Centre at CFB Cornwallis, is associated with the expansion of Canada’s naval training program during the Second World War, and with the establishment of Canada’s principal naval training facility. Building 3 is also directly associated with the commencement of the 20th-century military presence in the Annapolis Basin area, which had an immense impact on the population, employment, economy and social makeup of the region.
Building 3 is a very good example of a guard house with a design based on the International and modern styles. It is characterized by its distinctive massing, composition and detailing. Designed to symbolize the aft end of a warship, the curved viewing stand represents the poop, the naval mast with gaff represents the mizzenmast and the Base Security section represents the quarter deck. The building’s standardized construction systems and the innovative planning expressed in the layout are evidence of very good functional design.
Building 3 maintains an unchanged relationship with its site and reinforces the wartime character of its streetscape setting on the base. It is a status symbol for the region.
Sources: Edgar Tumak, Buildings 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 26, Canadian Forces Base Cornwallis, Cornwallis, Nova Scotia, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Reports 92-112, 93-001, 93-002, 93-009, 93-097; Guard House, Base Security, Duty Centre/Main Gate Building 3, CFB Cornwallis, Cornwallis, Nova Scotia, Heritage Character Statement, 93-001.
The character-defining elements of Building 3 should be respected.
Its International and modern styles designed to symbolize the aft end of a warship and its very good functional design, for example:
- its distinctive massing and composition which consists of a one-storey, flat-roofed structure with a raised central canopy with two polygonal shaped units underneath and two flanking symmetrical lateral extensions on either side;
- its wood-frame, standardized construction system and shingle cladding;
- its window arrangement close to the outer plane;
- its design which includes representative elements of a ship;
- the raised architectural lettering of the name of the base over the main portal;
- the interior circulation and access patterns.
The manner in which Building 3 maintains an unchanged relationship to its site, reinforces the wartime character of its historic streetscape setting on the base and is a status symbol for the region, as evidenced by:
- the building’s unchanged relationship to its prominent, landscaped site, including a shallow, crescent shaped driveway and a horseshoe shaped driveway;
- its design and formal, axial arrangement which harmonize with the grouping of buildings enclosing and facing the parade ground;
- its distinctive design with large, raised lettering which makes it known to all those entering, leaving and passing by the base;
- its visibility and status as a symbol for the region, given its location and known function as the entrance to the base.