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North Caponiers, Building 82A & 82B

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1996/03/28

General view of the northwest caponier, ca. 1960.; Halifax Defence Complex, ca. 1960 / Complexe de défence d'Halifax, vers 1960.
General view
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Other Name(s)

n/a

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1829/01/01 to 1831/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/04/10

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The North Caponiers, Building 82A & 82B, as an integral part of Fort Charlotte, are situated on Georges Island located in Halifax Harbour. Similar in design they are plain, single-storey buildings with walls of masonry and brick with an elongated rectangular plan and a steep gabled roof. The walls are pierced on both sides by musketry loopholes. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The North Caponiers, Building 82A & 82B are a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of their historical associations, and their architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value:
The North Caponiers, Building 82A & 82B are a very good example of buildings associated with the defence of the Imperial naval station of Halifax against potential military incursions by the United States. The major upgrade of the Halifax defences, the subsequent local economic benefits and the resulting influx of personnel had a significant impact on the community of Halifax.

Architectural Value:
The North Caponiers, Building 82A & 82B are good examples of specialized defence structures integral to a permanent fortification and display the prototypical characteristics of fighting caponiers from the era of smoothbore armaments. This functional defensive building exhibits very good craftsmanship and materials.

Environmental Value
The North Caponiers, Building 82A & 82B are compatible with the present military character of the Georges Island National Historic Site setting.

Sources: Rhona Goodspeed, Georges Island, Halifax Defence Complex, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Volume Two, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 95-001; The Northwest and Northeast Caponiers (82a and 82b), Fort Charlotte, Georges Island, Halifax Defence Complex, Halifax, Nova Scotia Heritage Character Statement 95-001.

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of the North Caponiers, Building 82A & 82B should be respected.

Their functional design and good quality materials, for example:
-the low profile, the steep gable roof and the elongated rectangular plan spanning the ditch between the high escarp and the lower escarp walls;
-the strengthened roof comprising a semi-circular profile brick vault of five rings built to form a steep pitch gable shape;
-the three foot (0.91 meters) thick ironstone rubble side brick walls with upper vertical musket loopholes along its length;
-the cut-granite stairwells sunk within the ground platform of the north battery;
-the northeast gallery entrance with a segmental arch over the doorway and a keystone, with quoined jambs that are rebated to support a heavy door;
-the northwest gallery entrance with segmental arch over the doorway of equal height and with quoined jambs that are rebated to support heavy a door;
-the internal features consisting of the inclined galleries connecting the open North Battery (on the landward face) to the caponiers, the casemated chambers within the escarp serving as shooting galleries and the main shooting gallery of the caponiers.

The manner in which the North Caponiers, Building 82A & 82B are compatible with the present military character of the setting within Georges Island National Historic Site as evidenced by:
-its specialized military design and materials that maintain a visual and physical relationship to the dry ditch, the escarp walls and the earthen counterscarp.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date

1996/03/28

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Defence
Military Defence Installation

Architect / Designer

Lieutenant-Colonel Gustavas Nicholls, Corps of Royal Engineers.

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

7302

Status

Published

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