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