Description of Historic Place
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church is a simple rectangular wood frame structure with a steeply pitched gable roof and an adjoining tower with a steep spire. Surrounded by coniferous trees and mountains, it is the only building left in the once-thriving community of Bennet Lake. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church is associated with life and transportation on the Gold Rush Trail and Canadian Sovereignty in the far Northwest. It was initially established to serve the needs of gold seekers en route to the Klondike. The only building left in a once-thriving community, it provides a very good example of the development and existence of the Township of Bennet Lake. Actively involved in organizing and helping the community, Reverend J.A. Sinclair designed and is closely associated with the church and the town.
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church is an excellent example of frontier aesthetics based on a combination of fashionable High Victorian Gothic design, and available materials. The church exhibits in a vernacular manner, the characteristics of the High Victorian Gothic Style, which emphasizes verticality, complexity of outline, varied colours and textures. It exhibits high quality craftsmanship and materials.
The Environmental Value
St. Andrew’s Church is a prominent structure in its surrounding environment. It is the paramount landmark of the region in Bennet Lake. With its weathered boards and soaring spire, the church is compatible with the surrounding coniferous trees and mountains of the Chilkoot Trail National Historic Park.
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Chilkoot Trail National Historic Park, Bennet Lake, British Columbia, Heritage Character Statement, 88-176.
Joan Mattie, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Chilkoot Trail National Historic Park, Bennet Lake, British Columbia, Federal Heritage Building Report, 88-176.
The character-defining elements of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church should be respected, for example:
Its vernacular and rustic High Victorian character, very good quality craftsmanship and materials for example:
-Its simple rectangular wood frame structure with a gable roof and an adjoining asymmetrically placed tower.
-Its balanced composition established in part by the arrangement of its principal openings.
-Its distinctive tower with peaked dormers, corner pinnacles, decorative finial and courses of wooden siding that include a lattice and basket-weave design.
-Its varied texture and colour created by the use of short lengths of split slabs (bark retained) set in several courses and placed in varying patterns.
-Its weatherproofing as demonstrated in the doors and windows being packed with oakum and four inches of dead air space created between the inner and outer walls with building paper.
The manner in which St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church is a regional landmark as evidenced by:
-Its status as a prominent structure in its surrounding environment, originally as the center of a booming town, now as a landmark in a National Historic Park.