Description of Historic Place
Set on a sloping site in a landscaped park, the Dockyard Terrace, also known as Buildings 77, 78, and 79, stands within Her Majesty’s Canadian (HMC) Dockyard in Halifax, part of the Halifax Dockyard National Historic Site of Canada. An elegant, gable-roofed two-storey structure, it is distinguished by a symmetrical, tripartite façade clad in vinyl siding intended to recall its original wood construction. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Dockyard Terrace is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Dockyard Terrace is one of the best examples of a structure associated with the 1812-14 war effort. This rare building is associated with the first sixty-year period of activity at the dockyard after its establishment in 1758. This period saw Halifax established as a military and urban centre.
The Dockyard Terrace is a very good example of vernacular Classicism used in domestic architecture in Canada. It appears to be the oldest surviving example of terraced housing in Canada. Functionally excellent, the building exhibits very good quality craftsmanship and materials. The building demonstrates the elegant simplicity characteristic of the works of the Royal Engineers.
The Dockyard Terrace reinforces the present character of the landscape park setting of HMC Dockyard and is familiar to staff and visitors within the Dockyard.
Sources: Leslie Maitland, Buildings 77, 78, 79 Dockyard Terrace, H.M.C. Dockyard, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 86-070; Dockyard Terrace, HMC Dockyard, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Heritage Character Statement 86-070.
The character-defining elements of the Dockyard Terrace should be respected.
Its classical, highly functional design, good quality materials and craftsmanship as evidenced in:
- the building’s simple two-storey form and wide tripartite, rectangular massing with a gable roof, rear dormers and three chimneys;
- the elegant, symmetrical façade distinguished by a central pediment, framed by giant pilasters, set upon a high basement;
- the five-bay width of each of the three units;
- the formal arrangement of the openings, and the central front door of each unit reached by a flight of stairs leading up to an enclosed porch;
- the interior decorative features including the doors, door and window casings, fireplace mantels and staircases and the relatively intact room layout.
The manner in which the Dockyard Terrace reinforces the present character of its landscaped park setting within the Dockyard setting and is a familiar landmark within the base, as evidenced by:
- the classical, terraced design that complements and maintains a relationship to the surrounding landscaped park area;
- its visibility to visitors and to staff within the base and also its role as a symbol of the close relationship between the dockyard and HMC Dockyard.