Description of Historic Place
The Currie Building sits directly on the parade square and is a centerpiece at the Royal Military College campus. The large, impressive building is a stone structure composed of a central clock tower flanked by two projecting pavilions, accented by parapet gables. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Currie Building is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Currie Building, as a focal point of the early expansion of the Royal Military College (RMC), is closely associated with the emergence of a professional armed forces in Canada through officer training. The building’s construction marked the beginning and the end of an interim phase in the history of the College. The intermittent building program spanned over forty years, testifying to the difficult economic times that prevailed in the first half of the 20th century.
The Currie Building is a good example of the Collegiate Gothic style of architecture, adopted by universities throughout North America as an evocation of the British universities. The functional interior plan reflects the new ideals for modern technical training through its use of naturally-lit, and well-ventilated, lecture halls and classrooms. The building’s stone detailing and patterning are evidence of its high quality craftsmanship. The interior decorative program, designed by prominent Montreal architect Percy Nobbs, has strong symbolic associations with the achievements of the Canadian Corps in the Great War, and with the British Monarchy.
The Currie Building maintains an unchanged relationship to this site. The building made an important contribution in establishing the character of the parade square and reinforces the present character of the campus setting at Royal Military College. Designed to be the centerpiece of the campus, it is a familiar landmark to those who work, live and frequent the College.
Janet Wright, Currie Building, Building 15, Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario, Federal Heritage Building Review Office 93-099.
Currie Building, Building 15, Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 93-099.
The character-defining elements of the Currie Building should be respected, for example:
Its Collegiate Gothic style, very good functional design and very good craftsmanship, for example:
-The two-and-a-half storey massing, symmetrical plan, consisting of a central clock tower flanked by two projecting pavilions accented by parapet gables.
-The rusticated stone facing, smooth cut-stone tracery and deep mouldings.
-The semi-circular, raised approach to the arched entry, surmounted by a carved coat-of arms.
-The variety of windows, including the segmentally-arched, tri-partite basement windows, the fixed and double-hung sash of the upper levels and the oriel and bay windows.
-The interior plan with naturally-lit, and well-ventilated, lecture halls and smaller classrooms.
-The interior decorations with notable symbolic significance, including the Royal
monograms and initials of senior generals on the ceiling beams, the badges of units displayed on the oak panels, and the municipal coat of arms that decorate the underside of the balcony.
-The beamed ceiling, and wide stairway of the entry hall.
The manner in which the Currie Building maintains an unchanged relationship to its site, reinforces the character of the campus setting and is a familiar landmark, as evidenced by:
-Its ongoing relationship to its surrounding open space and adjacent buildings.
-Its scale, Collegiate Gothic style, materials and fine detailing, which make an important contribution to the formal character of the parade square and which complement adjacent buildings on the campus.
-Its prominent central location, large scale and symbolic associations, which make it a familiar building at the College.