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Blockhouse 3

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1991/02/21

General view of Blockhouse 3, showing the long, rectangular, two-storey massing and the low-pitched hipped roof, 1994.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, B. Morin, 1994.
General view
General view of Blockhouse 3, showing the squared logs with dovetailed corners, the loopholes, small windows and entrances on both levels, ca. 1989.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, ca. 1989.
General view
Panoramic view of Blockhouse 3 emphasizing its simple design and materials that harmonize with the adjacent blockhouses, the nearby cottage and the other buildings within the military setting, 2003.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, B. Morin, 2003.
Panorama

Other Name(s)

n/a

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1939/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/02/21

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Blockhouse 3, located at the Fort George National Historic Site of Canada, overlooks the Niagara River, on the outskirts of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Blockhouse 3 is a two-storey, log structure with an overhanging second storey and a low, hipped-roof clad in cedar shakes. The exterior walls of exposed squared logs have a rugged, frontier-like quality. Loopholes and small windows give a military appearance to the structure. An exterior staircase leads up to an upper floor entrance. Within the fort palisades is a large grassed area, with paved walkways. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

Blockhouse 3 is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value
Blockhouse 3 is a very good example of a building associated with a period of accelerated historic site development during the Depression, as a result of government funded relief work programs. Historic reconstruction, employed at a variety of Canadian historic sites in the 1930s, followed a North American pattern influenced by the reconstruction of Colonial Williamsburg. Recognition that increasing private ownership of automobiles would generate growth in tourism encouraged the reconstruction of Fort George as a tourist destination. Both the reconstruction process and the subsequent attraction of the public to the area contributed to the economic development of Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Architectural Value
Blockhouse 3 is valued for its good aesthetic design. The reconstruction is based on freely interpreted historical research. The plans, dimensions and construction of Blockhouse 3 at Fort George were based on contemporaneous Fort York examples. The rugged appearance of the blockhouse is based on the architects’ concepts of a ‘frontier’ aesthetic. The exposed log exterior of the building parallels the visual effect created by the Fort York blockhouses after the removal of their exterior cladding during a 1934 restoration. Good functional design is evidenced in the manner in which the ground floor of the interior houses an interpretive display.

Environmental Value
The Blockhouse 3 reinforces the historic character of Fort George National Historic Site of Canada and is a familiar landmark to residents and to visitors.

Sources: Shannon Ricketts, Twenty Buildings, Niagara Historic Sites, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report 89-015; Blockhouse No. 3, Fort George, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 89-015.

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of Blockhouse 3 should be respected.

Its very good aesthetic, good functional design and good quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- the long, rectangular, two-storey massing;
- the low-pitched hipped roof, the roof cladding of split cedar shakes, and the chimney;
- the exterior walls that are composed of squared logs with dovetailed corners, the loopholes, small windows and entrances on both levels;
- the interior configuration.

The manner in which Blockhouse 3 reinforces the historic character of the historic site and is a familiar landmark, as evidenced by:
- its simple design and materials that harmonize with the adjacent blockhouses, the nearby cottage and the other buildings within the military setting;
- its role as a component of the group of structures from the Fort George National Historic Site of Canada complex, which makes it familiar to locals and visitors.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date

1991/02/21

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type

Current

Leisure
Historic or Interpretive Site

Historic

Defence
Military Defence Installation

Architect / Designer

W.L. Somerville

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

4798

Status

Published

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