Description of Historic Place
The Bengal Lancers Property is a concrete two-storey main building, stables, paddock, and riding rings centrally located between the Halifax Commons and the Public Gardens in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The designation applies to the buildings and the land used for the paddock and riding rings.
The Bengal Lancers Property is valued for its history and original use. The main building, built in 1908, was originally built to accommodate the Halifax "City Works Shops," which included a wagon shed, blacksmith shop, paint shop, plumbing office, sewer department, and stables for the mounted police division. It was vital to the maintenance of the Halifax downtown.
The property is also valued for its continued use as an equestrian riding club. Following the occupation by the City, the property was used by the Halifax Riding and Driving Club, which was founded in 1932 by M.B. Dick Zwicker of Halifax. Zwicker was instrumental in forming the club which currently resides in the building, the Halifax Junior Bengal Lancers. The Bengal Lancers riding club is well-known for performing a routine known as the "musical ride" which incorporates horseback riding to musical accompaniment. The "Ride" has been performed internationally.
The Bengal Lancers Property is also valued for its unique building construction materials and architecture of the main stables. It was built by George Lowe, who was one of the first local builders to use concrete and concrete blocks. The concrete building material helped to save the exterior of the building in a 1949 fire, which destroyed the interior stables. Funds were raised by the citizens of Halifax and the interior was rebuilt. In the 1970's a large section of the structure was removed, leaving only the stables and an attached enclosed riding ring. The building is of cement construction with timber has a cement string course and pilasters. The unique shape of the building with its irregular angles is especially noticeable from the front facade which does not run perpendicular to the end walls. Another notable feature is the large wooden, arched-shaped roof and rafters which would have been an uncommon design practice in Halifax at this time. As well, there are oversized doors to accommodate large equipment and animals.
Source: HRM Heritage Property Program File 1690 Bell Road, Bengal Lancers Property, found at HRM Planning and Development Services, Heritage Property Program, 6960 Mumford Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The character-defining elements of the Bengal Lancers Property include:
- stables, paddock, and an attached enclosed riding ring;
- central location between the Halifax Commons and the Public Gardens;
Character-defining elements of the main stable building include:
- concrete and concrete block construction with timbering;
- cement string course between storeys,
- cement pilasters on the front façade;
- irregular angles of the building;
- wooden, arched-shaped roof rafters, and arched roof;
- large, six-over-one sash windows;
- oversized door openings to accommodate large animals.