Description of Historic Place
Wellington House, also known as Wellington Barracks B Mess and Building S12, is located on a slight rise of land that borders the former parade square at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Halifax-Stadacona, in Nova Scotia. It is a large, two-storey, red brick barracks building of neoclassical design. Its hipped roofline is marked by a series of massive chimneys. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Wellington House is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations and its architectural and environmental values.
Built for the Imperial Army between 1852 and 1860, Wellington House reflects a significant phase in the development of military architecture in Halifax. The brick construction of Wellington House was rare for its time; the establishment of a local brickyard set a precedent for the city of Halifax, and represented a major departure from the traditional practice of importing such materials for permanent construction. The Wellington Barracks property, of which this building was a major element, also reflected the growing concern for more healthy and commodious living conditions for officers and enlisted men during this period.
Wellington House is valued for its very good aesthetic design. The building is of restrained neoclassical design featuring a two-storey elevation, balanced façade, and gable roof. Elaborate pedimented pavilions at either end and at the centre along with massive chimneys add to its aesthetic appeal. The building also demonstrates a very good functional design, constructed of fireproof red brick, trimmed and dressed with granite.
Wellington House is a conspicuous building in the area by virtue of its scale, age, location and historical associations. Its construction reinforced the development of the neighbourhood on its north end into an exclusive residential district. Its position on a slight rise of land, bordering on the former parade square, gives the structure an isolated prominence within the more recently developed complex of buildings at CFB Halifax-Stadacona.
Sources: J. Hale, Wellington House Building S12, CFB Halifax (Stadacona), Nova Scotia, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report 85-061; Wellington House, CFB Halifax, Nova Scotia, Heritage Character Statement, 85-061.
The character-defining elements of Wellington House should be respected.
Its very good aesthetic design, functional design, and very good quality materials and craftsmanship as manifested in:
- its two-storey massing topped by a gable roof which is marked by a series of massive chimneys;
- the exterior walls of red brick construction, dressed and trimmed with granite;
- its restrained neoclassical design;
- its elaborate pedimented pavilions at either end and at the center, accented by round-headed windows;
- the string coursing and the window and door surrounds;
- the basement storey exposed by a dry moat supported by a stone wall.
The manner in which Wellington House reinforces the present visual character of the Canadian Forces Base Halifax-Stadacona as evidenced by:
- its neoclassical architecture, materials and historical association that contribute to the character of the surrounding grounds;
- its position on a slight rise of land bordering the former parade square, which gives the structure an isolated prominence within the more recently developed complex of buildings at the base.