Description of Historic Place
The Administration Building-A1 of the Stony Mountain Penitentiary is a three-storey, monumentally scaled building constructed of reinforced concrete and faced with a veneer of roughly dressed, local limestone. Classically inspired, the main elevation is divided into five sections, its end pavilions projecting slightly, and the central, entrance bay projecting even further from the line of the front wall. Horizontally, the elevations are divided into a one-storey, roughly dressed ashlar base with regularly spaced windows on a smooth belt course, while the upper two storeys rest on a strongly projecting limestone stringcourse and feature round-headed, Italianate windows on the third level. All three projecting pavilions feature pilasters, and are capped with pediments, including the one over the main entrance, which is surmounted by an attic, and a tower with rich sculptural surfaces and a cupola. The Administration Building-A1 is located on a prominent rise in the landscape, overlooking the north-south provincial highway, and is surrounded by agricultural land. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Administration Building-A1 is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The construction of the Administration Building-A1 is associated with the development of a system of corrections as a response to the need for a graduated tier of penalties to enforce the law. In particular, it reflects the modernization of the Canadian correctional system through the upgrading of 19th century administrative and cellular facilities. Modernizing policy initiatives promoted a larger and better trained staff, increased inmate services and training, resulting in increased administrative requirements. The building also reflects a significant phase in the development of the adjacent community whose population greatly increased as a result of the institution’s growth.
The Administration Building-A1 is a very good, albeit late, example of classically-derived institutional architecture, whose balanced proportions, symmetrical composition and detailing are executed with a high level of craftsmanship in local stone and concrete. The building possesses a dignified and imposing character, appropriate as the most visible element of the Stony Mountain Penitentiary.
The Administration Building-A1 reinforces the institutional character of the area, and due to its prominent location atop the ridge overlooking the highway, it is also a familiar landmark.
Dana Johnson, Manitoba, or Stony Mountain, Penitentiary, Stony Mountain, Manitoba. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report 89-035; Manitoba, or Stony Mountain, Penitentiary, Stony Mountain, Manitoba, Heritage Character Statement 89-035.
The following character defining elements of the Administration Building-A1 should be respected.
The classical derivation of the building’s architecture is manifested in:
-its balanced proportions and massing;
-the symmetrical composition of end pavilions on either side of the central templefront entry;
-the regular rhythm of vertically-aligned window openings;
-ornamental details such as belt courses, the tri-partite window above the entry, pilasters, window and entry keystones, and a large ornate cupola;
-the skilled execution of the stone facing and concrete ornamental work.
The character of the relationship between the imposing building and the surrounding environment is manifested in:
-the consistency of materials used for the building, the adjacent walls and towers which reinforce the institutional character;
-prominence of the building on its unobstructed site overlooking the highway.