Description of Historic Place
On attractively landscaped grounds, with a spectacular view of the St. Lawrence River, on the King’s Bastion side of the Québec Citadel National Historic Site of Canada, Building 28, also known as the Residence of the Governor General, is attached to the Former Officer’s Barracks. It is a horizontal two-storey, stone building made up of regularly divided bays with a hipped roof pierced by several stone chimney stacks. A modern addition on the northeast side elevation is designed with the same architectural expression of the older building. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Building 28 is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
Building 28 is one of the best examples associated with the defence of British North America during the period following the War of 1812. The building, which served as a curtain wall linking Mann’s Bastion and the King’s Bastion, was an integral part of the defensive system. The building is also associated with all of the Governor Generals of Canada who have lived there since Lord Dufferin in 1872, and with the two Québec Conferences of 1943 and 1944. The building is an excellent example that highlights the military role of the Québec Citadel, which had a major impact on the civilian administration and local development of the city of Québec.
Building 28 is an excellent example of a successful combination of a 19th-century British military building and modern design. This harmonious integration of the old with the new results in an elegant ensemble in which the neoclassical spirit is found throughout. Its excellent functional design responded to two very different requirements serving as a defensive curtain wall and as living quarters for the officers at the Citadel. Elias Walker Durnford supervised the design and construction of the Citadel and is a leading figure in the history of the fortress.
The Environmental Value
Standing parallel to the parade ground, Building 28, with its attractively landscaped grounds including a lawn, trees and stone curbs, forms one of the most striking architectural elements at the Citadel and reinforces the historical military visual character of its surroundings. The building is well known by sight to the residents of the Citadel and is also visible from outside of the complex. It is known by sight to the many residents of Québec and to tourists who have walked along the Promenade des Gouverneurs, the scenic walkway just below the Citadel.
Sources: Rhona Godspeed, The Citadel, Québec, Québec, Federal Heritage Building Report 88-161; Governor Generals Residence, Building 28, The Citadel, Québec, Québec, Heritage Character Statement, 88-161.
The character-defining elements of Building 28 should be respected.
Its functional, combination of British military and modern design, with neoclassical decorative elements and high quality craftsmanship such as:
- its massing consisting of a long, seven bay, horizontal, two-storey masonry building, with a basement level, a hipped roof pierced by several stone chimney stacks, and a modern wing emulating this massing comprised of reinforced concrete with glazed solariums and copper roofs;
- its symmetry and regularly-spaced bays reflecting the British neoclassical style;
- its classical elements in both the old and new wing, which include pilasters supporting a continuous cornice, and smoothly finished stone;
- its light well along the front of the building allowing light into the basement, and the white painted projecting wood porches that span the light well;
- its defensive-type system of construction which includes the compartmentalization of the interior spaces on either side of a central corridor and thick walls and vaults to make the building more bomb-proof;
- its large ballroom and two solariums;
- its interior period ornament that reflect the high standing of building such as the foyer, extensive woodwork, mantelpieces, leaded windows, fanlight transom, and plaster ceiling moldings.
The manner in which Building 28 reinforces the historical defensive military character of its fort setting located in the Québec Citadel National Historic Site of Canada.