Description of Historic Place
The Nature Centre, also known as Building No. 14 and Museum, is located on a sloping site surrounded by lawns and mature trees immediately above the shore at Waskesiu Lake in Prince Albert National Park of Canada. Tudor Rustic with a domestic flavour, large windows, the low, rectangular structure is distinguished by its stone-faced foundations, horizontal log walls, leaded glass windows, steep overhanging roof, and half-timbering. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Nature Centre is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values:
The Nature Centre is closely associated with the theme of the development of the National Park system in Canada. Designed and built at the height of the unemployment relief program during the Great Depression, the structure illustrates many important design characteristics associated with this period of the park’s history. The building also represents the development of commercial and recreational activity at the Waskesiu town.
The Nature Centre is valued for its very good aesthetic design, and is one of the more elaborate examples of the Tudor Rustic promoted for park buildings by the National Parks during this period. The character of the structure is defined by the successful manner in which natural, local construction materials are used. The functional layout of the structure is very good, while both the exterior and interior exhibit very good craftsmanship.
The Nature Centre maintains an unchanged relationship with its site and reinforces the natural setting of Prince Albert National Park of Canada. Designed for recreational purposes it is familiar to wardens, visitors and townspeople.
Sources: The Nature Centre (Museum Building), Lakeview Drive, Prince Albert National Park of Canada, Waskesiu, Saskatchewan, Heritage Character Statement 85-063; Buildings, Prince Albert National Park of Canada, Saskatchewan. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 85-063.
The following character-defining elements of the Nature Centre should be respected.
Its Tudor rustic design aesthetic, functional design, quality craftsmanship and natural materials, for example:
-the rectangular massing of the structure;
-the hipped roof, half-timbering and chimney;
-the walls of peeled log construction, the stone faced foundation and the extensive stone detailing on the entrance porch;
-the leaded glass windows, and the curved eyebrow hood above the door;
-the finished log interior.
The manner in which the Nature Centre maintains an unchanged historical relationship to its site, is compatible with the natural park setting, and is a prominent local landmark as evidenced by:
-the building’s ongoing relationship with the open spaces and plantings;
-its rustic aesthetic, form and massing, that are compatible with the natural setting of the park;
-its design and its location next to Lakeview Drive, the townsite’s principal road, which make it well known to park visitors and the community;
-its specialized recreational use which draws visitors to the park.