Description of Historic Place
The York Shore Battery Searchlights 690, 691, 692 consist of three identical emplacements. Each emplacement contains a one-storey covered unit set on a raised concrete base with a rounded front and a concrete unit with an angled, open top which projects vertically from its rear wall. The structures are located north of the York Shore Battery on the wooded hillside, several metres above the waterline. The designation is confined to the footprint of each building.
The York Shore Battery Searchlights 690, 691, 692 are Recognized Federal Heritage Buildings because of their historical associations, and their architectural and environmental value.
The York Shore Battery Searchlights 690, 691, 692 are closely associated with the coastal defence of a major commercial port and naval station during the Second World War and in the decade following. The Searchlights provided a vital support role to the Battery by illuminating the field of fire and the boom gate area. They remained in use until the final closure of the Battery and coastal defence system in 1959.
The York Shore Battery Searchlights 690, 691, 692 are very good examples of specialized permanent military, utilitarian structures built for the emplacement of coastal defence searchlights. The curved façades, roof overhang, horizontal band shutters, concrete drum bases and strong vertical emphasis provided by the shed roof access create a distinctive visual impact. The prefabricated steel components making up the window assemblies, the curved shapes executed in poured in place reinforced concrete, and the standard pattern framed, ledged and braced heavy doors with commercially available hardware all demonstrate a practical yet effective choice of materials and building components.
The York Shore Battery Searchlights 690, 691, 692 clustered in a compact group on the wooded hillside, reinforce the character of its military setting and is familiar within the area.
Sources: Ian Doull, York Redoubt, Halifax Defence Complex, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report 95-001; York Shore Battery Searchlights, York Redoubt National Historic Site, Halifax Defence Complex, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Heritage Character Statement, 95-001.
The following character-defining elements of the York Shore Battery Searchlights 690, 691, 692 should be respected.
Its specialized military utilitarian design, good quality craftsmanship and materials, for example:
-the simple massing of the three identical structures, each containing a one-storey covered unit set on a raised concrete base with a rounded front, and a concrete unit with an angled, open top which projects vertically from its rear wall;
-the reinforced concrete construction which includes the stepped concrete drum foundation, the flat reinforced concrete roof with entrance hatch, and the square concrete access shaft with shed roof;
-the prefabricated steel components which include the bow shaped steel window assembly fitted with sliding and telescoping steel shutters, the folding sliding heavy door set (three framed ledged and braced doors) and its hardware, and other components cast into or bolted to the floor, wall and ceiling surfaces.
The manner in which the York Shore Battery Searchlights 690, 691, 692 reinforce the character of its defensive military setting and is a familiar building within the area, as evidenced by:
-the specialized utilitarian military design and physical arrangement of the three structures clustered in a compact group on the wooded hillside and set into a rocky cliff;
-its visibility from a section of the shoreline which draws attention to the structure.