Description of Historic Place
The Park Administration Building consists of an L-shaped, one-storey building with horizontal bevelled cedar siding, a projecting entrance that features stone walls and a half-timbered gable end, and a medium-pitch hipped roof. A small, one-storey addition (1967) and a larger, two-storey addition (1993) are located at the rear of the building, the latter of which features distinctive hipped roof dormers. The Park Administration Building is located on Wasagaming Drive in an area known as the Government Reserve, in the heart of the Wasagaming townsite. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Park Administration Building is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values:
The Park Administration Building is associated with the establishment of National Parks and testifies to the on-going provision of administrative services in the Riding Mountain National Park. A replacement of an earlier administration building on the same site, the building reflects the period of increased park visitation in the 1950s and 1960s. The building is also significant to the local Wasagaming town site, as it continues to have the dual function as headquarters for the national park as well as “town hall” for the Wasagaming.
The Park Administration Building is a good illustration of the rustic style of architecture characteristic of many National Parks’ buildings built during the pre-1960s era. The building’s plan successfully accommodates the public and office space requirements, and is a good example of the park administration building type. The building’s projecting entrance, defined by its stone walls and half-timbered gable end, reflect the Tudor Revival aesthetic and complement the horizontal bevelled cedar siding of the main portion of the building. A one-storey addition (1967) and 2-storey addition (1993) constructed off to rear of the original section, were conceived with low massing, detailing and materials to consciously harmonize with rustic character of the earlier buildings in the government reserve.
The Park Administration Building, by virtue of its prominent location on Wasagaming Drive and its sympathetic architectural design, is an important reinforcing element of the townsite’s character. This location, along with its important functional role as the park’s administrative centre, enhances its landmark status within the park. While the building’s footprint has been increased through two additions, the relationship of the building to its parkland site remains intact.
Edward Mills, Park Administration Building, Wasagaming, Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report 01-015; Park Administration Building, Wasagaming, Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba, Heritage Character Statement 01-015.
The following character-defining elements of the Parks Administration Building should be respected, for example:
The building’s role as an illustration of the establishment of Canada’s National Parks, and of the continued importance of park administrative services is evidenced in:
-the use of rustic architectural style which complements the original core of park buildings in the town site.
The building’s Rustic aesthetic, Tudor Revival details, successful functional plan, competent craftsmanship and good quality materials, as manifested in:
-the broad, medium-pitched roof and low profile of the original one-storey section of the building (respected in the later additions) and the use of cedar siding and shingles, all characteristic of the Rustic aesthetic;
-the Tudor Revival details such as the half-timbering in the entrance portico’s gable end;
-the sequencing of entry spaces which leads from the public reception area to the private office spaces; and,
-the good quality exterior materials and the craftsmanship used in the application of ornamental elements, such as the dormers, half-timbering, stone and wood cladding, and distinctive cedar shingle roofing.
The manner in which the building relates to its parkland setting, as evidenced in:
-the retention of the original relationship of the building to the roadway and to the landscaped gardens, mature trees and lawns of Central Park; and,
-its prominent location on Wasagaming Drive, adjacent to the public pier on Clear Lake; and,
-the building’s public functions as administrative centre and “town hall”, as expressed in the open character, unobstructed views and direct street access to the front entrance.