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War Museum

330 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1987/11/06

Front elevation of the Former Dominion Archives (now the National War Museum), constructed between 1904 and 1905.; (NAC, C-15204).
Façade
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Other Name(s)

War Museum
Former Dominion Archives Building
Ancien édifice des Archives fédérales
Former Canadian War Museum
Ancien Musée canadien de la guerre

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1904/01/01 to 1906/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/08/23

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Designed in a Tudor Revival style, the War Museum consists of a compact rectangular structure with a formal symmetrical facade with a centrally placed entrance emphasized by a projecting bay and raised parapet. A later wing is designed in a similar style with slightly different decorative detailing. The building is located on Sussex Drive where it is one of a number of important public buildings along the street. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

As the first permanent home of both the Dominion Archives (now the National Archives of Canada) and the War Museum, the building contributed substantially to Canada's growing sense of nationhood during the Laurier era. During the first decade and a half of the 20th century, Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier led many projects to create a city worthy of a nation’s capital. Since its construction, the War Museum building has assumed important landmark status in Ottawa. It also makes an important contributions to the streetscape of Sussex Drive. Continuity between the two functions, archives and museum, is further demonstrated by its connection to Sir Arthur Doughty, Dominion Archivist 1904-35, who was a key figure in the development of both institutions.

The earliest portion of the building (c 1905) is strong compact mass, the details and materials of which are well suited to its function. The 1925 addition, intended to be the first of two proposed wings, is designed in similar style but with more overtly Tudor detailing. The War Museum exhibits good functional design characteristics. It was purpose-built to carry the substantial loads imposed by archival storage, to provide large open spaces with minimal intermediate supports, and to be fireproof.

Sources:
Kate MacFarlane, Former Dominion Archives Building/Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report 86-087; Former Dominion Archives Building/Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 86-087.

Character-Defining Elements

The heritage character of the building resides primarily in:
-its association with the National Archives and Canadian War Museum;
-the main facades, particularly those of the c1905 block;
-its successful structural design and plan;
-its fine setting on Sussex Drive adjacent to the Royal Canadian Mint and the
National Gallery;
-its Tudor-Gothic style.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Classified Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date

1987/11/06

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1924/01/01 to 1925/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Leisure
Library
Leisure
Museum

Architect / Designer

David Ewart

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

2932

Status

Published

Related Places

General view

Former Archives Building National Historic Site of Canada

The Former Archives Building National Historic Site of Canada is a substantial stone building, designed in the federal Tudor Gothic style. The building is set back from Sussex…

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