Description of Historic Place
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Detachment Building is a one-and-a-half storey, hipped roof building in a rustic style and embellished with Tudor details. Located in the Waterton townsite on a spacious corner lot, it is distinguished by its prominent gable and massive fieldstone chimney. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The RCMP Detachment Building is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The RCMP Detachment Building is directly associated with the RCMP’s role of law enforcement in the National Parks. It depicts the symbolic importance of the Mounted Police and helped to reinforce their popular image within Canada and the National Parks. The Detachment Building also illustrates the maturation of Waterton Lakes National Parks as its construction reflects that permanent facilities were justifiable and necessary within the park.
The RCMP Detachment Building is one of the first and a very good example of a rustic architectural style based on a Tudor-Revival motif, adopted by the National Parks system in the late 1920s and early 1930s. It exhibits very good quality craftsmanship and materials. The plans were designed by the National Parks Branch headed by W.D. Cromarty who was a direct contributor to the development of Waterton Lakes and this distinctive phase of architecture within the Park.
The Environmental Value
The Detachment Building along with the garage is situated on a prominent and elevated site, spread over three spacious lots. The relationship with the building to its site remains unchanged. The stone wall in the front and the landscaping at the side and the rear of the building are maintained in a natural state to enhance its picturesque appearance. The building’s prominent site makes it a regional landmark and its natural building materials and design reinforce the rustic character of its mountain park setting.
RCMP Detachment Building and Garage, Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Heritage Character Statement, 87-082.
James De Jonge, RCMP Detachment Building and Garage, Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Federal Heritage Building Report, 87-082.
The following character-defining elements of the RCMP Detachment Building should be respected, for example:
Its rustic style with Tudor-Revival motifs and very good quality craftsmanship and materials as for example:
-Its asymmetrical assemblage of rough stone, stucco, leaded windows, half-timbering,
imposing wood-shingled roofs, prominent gables and massive fieldstone chimney.
-Its frame construction.
The manner in which the RCMP Detachment Building reinforces the rustic character of its mountain park setting and is a regional landmark within Waterton Lakes as evidenced in:
-Its unchanged historical relationship to the site.
-Its stone wall, and conspicuous landscaping, which contribute to its picturesque
-Its prominent location on a spacious corner lot.