Description of Historic Place
Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) Building 31, also known as Fort Haldimand, is one of a group of three buildings that sit on the west border of the parade square at the campus in Kingston. The building is an austere, rectangular structure faced with rusticated limestone. The main façade is defined by a central square tower and two slightly projecting pavilions with parapet gables at either end. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
RMC Building 31 is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
RMC Building 31 is associated with the last phase of the Royal Military College’s (RMC) expansion which began in 1910. The expansion sought to professionalize the military education system and impose a unified stylistic appearance on the campus. However, this project was delayed by the First and Second World Wars, and by federal government austerity plans. The building also marks the beginning of a new era of development in response to the beginning of the Cold War, which saw RMC expand with several new buildings.
RMC Building 31 is a good, late example of the Collegiate Gothic style of architecture. The building is an austere example of this style with regularly placed windows, an unbroken roof line and minimal detailing. The good functional design of the building is evidenced by its symmetrical plan organized around a central axis, which allows for residential and common floors. Also displaying good craftsmanship, the building is part of a group of buildings that display a consistent use of exterior stone cladding.
RMC Building 31 reinforces the character of the parade square precinct at Royal Military College. The building is familiar to those who work, live and frequent the campus.
Sources: Janet Wright, Fort Haldimand, Building 31, Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario, Federal Heritage Building Review Office 93-099; Fort Haldimand, Building 31, Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 93-099.
The following character-defining elements of RMC Building 31 should be respected.
Its late Collegiate Gothic style, good functional design and good craftsmanship, for example:
- the U-shaped, three-storey massing consisting of a central square tower with a Tudor entranceway and two slightly projecting pavilions with parapet gables at either end;
- the rusticated limestone facing;
- the stone detailing in the coping course above the raised basement level, in the corner and tower buttresses and in the window surrounds of the central tower;
- the regular arrangement of window openings and unbroken roof line;
- the windows that replicate the divided sash windows on the adjacent earlier buildings;
- the independent structure that contains an indoor swimming pool situated behind the front wing and accessed through a corridor in the basement.
The manner in which RMC Building 31 reinforces the present character of the parade square precinct setting and is a familiar landmark, as evidenced by:
- the stylistic elements of its Collegiate Gothic and its rusticated limestone facing which are identical to the adjacent Fort Lasalle and similar to the Yeo Building;
- its visibility, given its large scale and prominent location on the campus;
- its familiarity, given its use as a residence and recreation facility.