Description of Historic Place
The Commandant’s Residence is prominently located in an open area between the two main sections of Royal Military College (RMC). The two-storey residence is an austere structure with a low-pitched, hip roof. The ordered main façade features well-crafted verandahs and projecting bays. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Commandant’s Residence is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Commandant’s Residence is closely associated with the Royal Navy period of Kingston’s military history. The building first served as a hospital for the sailors and workers of the Royal Naval Fleet and dockyard on Point Frederick, and later was a residence for the naval and ordnance storekeepers. With the establishment of the RMC in 1876, the building continued to function as a residence, initially for senior Officers and after 1900 for the College’s Commandant.
The Commandant’s Residence is a good example of a building designed in the British Classical tradition modified to express a residential appearance. The symmetrical and ordered appearance of the building’s elevations is characteristic of the classical style. The interior retains the original layout, typical of a small hospital and is a testament to the building’s good functional design. The simple shape of the building is embellished with domestic forms such as well-crafted verandahs and projecting bay windows which add residential character to the exterior. These features are also evidence of the good craftsmanship found in the building.
The Commandant’s Residence reinforces the character of the campus setting at Royal Military College. Prominently located in an open area, the building is familiar to those who work, live and frequent the campus.
Joan Mattie, Commandant’s Residence, former Hopsital, Building 10, Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario, Federal Heritage Building Review Office/Notes 93-099.
Commandant’s Residence, Former Hospital, Building 10, Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 93-099.
The character-defining elements of the Commandant’s Residence should be respected, for example:
Its classical style, residential appearance, functional design and very good craftsmanship,
-The rectangular massing capped with a low-pitched hip roof.
-The ordered appearance and symmetrical window arrangement of the façade.
-The high quality masonry work such as the random-coursed, ashlar limestone and the detailed brick chimneys.
-The well-crafted verandahs and projecting bays.
-The multi-paned sash and casement wood windows.
-The interior layout which includes a long, central corridor running the length of the building.
-The mouldings, doors, newel posts, built-in cupboards and fireplace mantels.
The manner in which the Commandant’s Residence reinforces the character of the campus setting and is a familiar landmark, as evidenced by:
-Its classical style and residential appearance which complement its associated buildings including the Guest House and Tool Shed.
-Its formal character as an important 19th century residence incorporated in a campus setting.
-Its visibility in an open location, along the main entry road, which also provides vistas from the harbour, and which contributes to the building’s prominence on the campus.