Description of Historic Place
The Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) Building 55, also known as the Administration Building and Former Hospital, is a small, stone-clad block with a mansard roof, dormers and a projecting sunroom. The front porch features columns that support a porch roof with a simple wooden railing. The building adjoins the earlier (1878) Mackenzie Building on the north side of the parade square at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
RMC Building 55 is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
RMC Building 55, the former hospital at the RMC, is closely associated the theme of military officer training and the emergence of a professional armed force in Canada. Major Raymond N.R. Reade authorized construction of the hospital and other facilities, which are associated with the recognition that RMC was able to produce officers capable of serving throughout the British Empire. Expanded in 1936, the building remained in hospital use until the Second World War, after which it was annexed to the Mackenzie Building as part of RMC administration.
RMC Building 55 is a very good example of an early 20th century purpose-built hospital. Also demonstrating very good functional design, the stone-clad block replaced makeshift medical facilities that had been scattered throughout the campus, and helped alleviate the spread of illness among the overcrowded cadet dormitories. The high quality craftsmanship executed in its construction is evidenced by the continuous stringcourse, wall surfaces and the eave mouldings that integrate the later (1936) rear flat-roofed addition.
RMC Building 55 is compatible with the character of its institutional setting at the Royal Military College of Canada and is a familiar building in the area.
Sources: Joan Mattie, Administration Building (former hospital) Building #55, Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report 93-099; Administration Building (former hospital), Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 93-099.
The character-defining elements of RMC Building 55 should be respected.
Its purpose-built hospital design, its classical revival details, very good functional design and very good craftsmanship, for example:
- the stone-clad block with a mansard roof and chimney;
- the prominent main elevation, with its broad and high porch, columns, stone staircase, and sunroom projection;
- the continuous stone string course and wall surfaces, and the eave mouldings;
- the varied fenestration of the three exposed elevations, the front porch and the dormer gables treated as pediments.
The manner in which RMC Building 55 is compatible with the character of its institutional setting at the Royal Military College of Canada and is a familiar landmark, as evidenced by:
-its scale and aesthetic design which complement the adjoining and nearby academic buildings, and harmonize with the institutional architecture of the period in and around Kingston;
-its visibility vis-à-vis its location which defines an open, major space within the complex, and which contributes to its familiarity in the area.