Description of Historic Place
Loaded Mine Stores, also known as Building 118 or Former Depot, is located on the north side of George’s Island National Historic Site of Canada in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Only remains of the structure still exist and they consist of the simple rectangular massing of the original building with parts of the original brick walls that outline two centrally located entranceways and six evenly-spaced window openings on the west elevation. The designation refers to the footprint of the building.
The Loaded Mine Stores is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural, and environmental values.
The Loaded Mine Stores on Georges Island is closely associated with the defence of the British Naval Station at Halifax and the use of submarine mining as a defence method. Constructed between 1886 and 1890 as part of a renewal and expansion program of the mining establishment at George’s Island, it played a key role in defence operations by providing a safe, dry place for the storage of loaded mines until they were required for practice or distribution in the event of attack.
Designed by A.W. Stack of the Royal Engineers, the Loaded Mine Stores is a very good example of the specialized functionality structure required for submarine mining, as it is the only extant building designed in Canada for this purpose. The Loaded Mine Store still possesses some of its original features for storing and handling mines, including interior shelving and exterior tramway tracks and turntables. The simple rectangular massing and the arrangement of the openings of the Loaded Mine Stores are also a good aesthetic example of military structures common to the period, characterized by their plain utilitarian design.
The Loaded Mine Stores is an integral part of George’s Island, as it retains its historic associations with the components of the former submarine mining establishment. Connected to the adjacent Casemated Mine Store by a tunnel and surrounded by a group of buildings of similar scale and materials that make up the former mining establishment, the Loaded Mine Stores reinforces the present character of its military setting. Today, the remains are part of the Georges Island National Historical Site of Canada, which is inaccessible to the public. Nonetheless, the Loaded Mine Stores is a familiar landmark in the sector.
Sources: Rhona Goodspeed, Casemated Mine Store (Building 119) and Loaded Mine Store (Building 118), Georges Island, Halifax Harbour, Nova Scotia, Federal Heritage Review Office Building Report 94-024; Loaded Mine Store (Building 118), Georges Island, Nova Scotia, FHBRO Heritage Character Statement, 94-024.
The character-defining elements of the Loaded Mine Stores should be respected.
Its good aesthetic qualities and very good functional but specialized design, as evidenced by:
-its simple and utilitarian rectangular form reminiscent of military structures from the late 19th-century;
-its connection, by a passage, to the adjacent, underground Casemated Mine Store, where mines were loaded with explosives and primers;
-the features essential to its original function, including the crutch system, shelving for loaded mines and the tracks, and turntables of the tramways that transported mines just outside its doors.
The manner with which the Loaded Mine Stores reinforces the character of its military setting, retains its historic relationship with the associated landscape, and remains a familiar landmark in the sector, as is demonstrated by:
-its spatial relationship with the Casemated Mine Store and the landscape of the former mining establishment;
-its close associations with the British Naval Station and the use of submarine mining as a defence method;
-its prominent location on the north side of George’s Island National Historic Site of Canada just south of the existing dock which makes it a familiar landmark in the sector, despite its inaccessibility to the public.