Description of Historic Place
Building 507 is located within the self-contained community of Pleasantville on the north shore of Quidi Vidi Lake. It is a long, one-storey, flat roofed, rectangular apartment building with low, horizontal massing, and white painted exterior. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Building 507 is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
Building 507, as part of the former United States military base of Fort Pepperrell, is closely associated with the Second World War perimeter defence plan. This plan called for strategic continental outposts such as Newfoundland and Jamaica to be armed and fortified to prevent an attack on the United States. The base was vacated by the United States in the 1950s and now owned by the Canadian government.
Designed for the housing of troops, Building 507 is a very good example of a wartime wood and steel framed permanent apartment building that was conceived to be highly functional in design and construction. These four-unit apartment buildings are very similar in design to the other permanent apartment buildings and amongst the largest erected on the base. The simple rectangular shapes and plain aesthetic elements are characteristic of the modern style. Integral to the complex, the structure’s architectural significance lies in its contribution to the overall visual unity of this cohesive group of modernistic buildings.
Building 507 maintains an unchanged relationship to its site and to the adjacent buildings and reinforces the 1940s character of its military base setting. It is familiar to those living and working on the base.
Sources: Julie Harris, Pleasantville Site (41 Buildings) St. John’s, Newfoundland, Federal Heritage Building Report 86-016; Buildings 301 to 306, 308 to 314, and 806 / Buildings 401 to 410, 507 to 509, 511 and 512, Pleasantville, St John’s Newfoundland, Heritage Character Statement 86-016.
The following character-defining elements of the Building 507 should be respected.
Its modern design and good quality materials and workmanship, for example:
- the aesthetic characteristics which link it to the modern style, including the long, low profile of the building, the surrounding open space, the absence of applied ornamentation, the flat roof and the regular fenestration;
- the highly functional interior divided into four, four bedroom units;
- the white painted cladding on the exterior.
The manner in which Building 507 maintains an unchanged relationship to its open site, is familiar to those living and working on the base and also reinforces the military character of Pleasantville as evidenced by:
- its ongoing relationship to its open site, and complex of buildings located within a suburban neighbourhood;
- the modern plain aesthetic of the utilitarian structure, which harmonizes with the cohesive grouping of the buildings, and creates a strong visual unity on the base;
- the buildings role as family housing that makes it a familiar point of reference.