Description of Historic Place
Set back from the street on a landscaped lawn, the Prince Edward Island Regiment (PEIR) Armoury, also known as ‘B’ Squadron Armoury, is centrally located, adjacent to major public buildings in the business district of Summerside. Its compact, solid volume consists of a two-storey, red brick structure with a hipped roof and a raised basement of rusticated stone. Decorative features include windowsills of stone, a semi-circular arch above the main troop entrance, corner buttresses and a false pediment projecting through the roofline above the entrance. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The PEIR Armoury is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The PEIR Armoury is associated with the federal building boom in armoury construction in Canada between 1904 and 1914, which intended to facilitate improved training of the militia. This activity resulted from the experience of Canadian troops in South Africa during the Boer War, which revealed the need for better military training. Part of the solution was to formalize the drill hall and armoury, its organization, operation and accommodation. The building has functioned as an armoury for the reserve militia since its construction.
The PEIR Armoury is valued for its good aesthetic and functional design. The design, characterized by its block massing and well-proportioned façades, was based on a standard plan. The building’s efficient plan fulfills the basic requirements for armouries as outlined in the Militia Act of 1904 and provides an assembly room, the company armoury, the Commanding Officer’s room and a lecture room on the second floor. Good craftsmanship and materials is demonstrated in the brickwork with stone details. The small amount of stone detailing reinforces the simplicity of the design while the false pediment and corner buttresses enliven the main façade.
The PEIR Armoury is compatible with the present character of its business district setting in Summerside and is a familiar landmark.
Sources: C.A. Hale, B Squadron, Prince Edward Island Regiment, Armoury, Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report, 84-020; Pier Armoury, Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Heritage Character Statement, 84-020.
The following character-defining elements of the PEIR Armoury should be respected.
Its good aesthetic design, good functional design and fine quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- the standard armoury plan consisting of sturdy, block-like massing and a hipped roof;
- the well-proportioned façades with symmetrically arranged windows;
- the exterior details, executed in red brick, including corner buttresses and a semi-circular arch above the main entrance;
- the carved and smooth or rough-faced limestone detailing, including the window sills and the stone-trimmed pediment on the principal façade;
- the standard interior plan;
- the significant interior details including the wood floors, stairs and the metal trusses.
The manner in which the PEIR Armoury is compatible with the present character of its business district setting in Summerside and is a familiar landmark, as evidenced by:
- its overall aesthetic design and materials which harmonize with its adjacent public buildings.
- its scale, central location, and ongoing operation as an armoury, which makes it familiar within the community.