Description of Historic Place
The Machine Shop, also known as Building 1 and Building 2, located at the Bear Creek complex, faces a large, open yard in a historic, non-operating, placer gold mining facility in the Klondike River valley. The elongated, rectangular, wood-frame building is made up of two very large, one-storey sections. The walls are clad with corrugated metal siding and its sweeping gable roof is covered with metal and topped with a boxed ventilator. The front gable possesses double doors and a distinctive projecting housing for crane tracks. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Machine Shop is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Machine Shop, as a key structure for the mining operations of the Bear Creek service facility, and the largest building on the site, is one of the best illustrations of a building associated with the Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation’s corporate phase of gold mining in the Yukon’s history. The building also demonstrates the dependency of mining operations on service and repair activities.
The Machine Shop is valued for its good, simple aesthetic design. The functional nature of its design is evidenced in the interior arrangement of two functional areas, including the “dirty” area in front, for blacksmithing, welding, and casting, and the “clean” area, or babbit shop in the rear section, for white metal casting and lathe work. The wood-frame construction exhibits good workmanship and the appropriate use of materials such as metal cladding, interior tongue-and-groove boarding, and metal covered roof.
The Machine Shop maintains an unchanged relationship to the site and reinforces the character of its industrial setting at the Bear Creek Compound. The structure is a conspicuous and memorable landmark within the Bear Creek Compound.
Sources: Joan Mattie, Bear Creek Industrial Complex, Bear Creek, Yukon Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report 89-008; Machine Shop (Building #1 and #2), Bear Creek Compound, Yukon, Heritage Character Statement, 89-008.
The following character-defining elements of the Machine Shop should be respected:
- its impressive scale and massing;
- the simple and functional nature of its design, and its overall good workmanship and appropriate use of materials;
- the features of its form, construction, and materials that unify it with the site’s other buildings, including its simple rectangular shape, its gable roof, its corrugated metal siding and roof covering, its wood-frame structure, and its rooftop ventilator;
- the large double doors at both gable ends of the building, and the pattern of windows and subsidiary doors;
- the distinctive overhead crane housing projecting from its front gable, and the crane tracks, which extend through the entire building and out the rear;
- the functional configuration of its two principal work areas;
- the tongue-and-groove boarding that lines its interior;
- the interior fittings that illustrate its function, such as the equipment and equipment mountings, and the workstations and their fittings;
- its compatibility – due to its form, materials, detailing, and colour scheme – with the other structures and landscape features of the site, in particular the trade buildings on the south side of the yard, such as the nearby Tin Shop (Building 4) and Auto Repair Shop (Building 7).