Description of Historic Place
Located in the business district of Dawson City, the Third Avenue Hotel Complex is situated on a wide, sloped street that descends toward the Yukon River. The complex consists of a two-and-one-half-storey unit and two one-storey units. The principal component is a gable-roofed structure with a Boomtown façade and symmetrically placed upper windows. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Third Avenue Hotel Complex is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Third Avenue Hotel Complex is closely associated with the commercial development of Dawson City during the Klondike Gold Rush. The Third Avenue Hotel provided inexpensive accommodation for the town’s mobile and constantly fluctuating population. The Photographic Studio, operated by Erling Ellingsen from 1907-1933 in the two small annexes adjoining the Hotel is the last surviving studio of the more than 20 established in Dawson City between 1898 and 1909.
The Third Avenue Hotel Complex demonstrates good functional design and is typical of the smaller hotels once common in Dawson City during its boom years. The interior is a valuable illustration of the layout and treatment of lodging house interiors in Dawson at the turn of the century. The Ellingsen Studio, an annex to the hotel, comprises an irreplaceable record of an Edwardian commercial photographic business, retail store and residence. The structure exhibits good functional design and good craftsmanship.
The Third Avenue Hotel Complex maintains an unchanged relationship to its site, is compatible with the historic character of Dawson City and is a familiar landmark in the immediate area to residents and visitors.
The Third Avenue Hotel Complex Third Avenue, Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report notes 88-012
Third Avenue Hotel Complex, Third Avenue Hotel, 309 Third Avenue (1915-1916) Ellingsen Studio (1915-1916), 311 Third Avenue, Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Heritage Character Statement 88-012
The following character-defining elements of the Third Avenue Hotel Complex should be respected:
Its good functional design and good quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- The varied massing of the structure, which speaks to the complex’s evolution.
- The raised entablature of the false façade with its symmetrically placed windows and door.
- The smooth planes of the clapboard walls, and the single-storey false facades with expressed gable.
- The interior partitioning, finishes and fittings of the complex relating to its use as a photographic studio, retail store and residence.
The manner in which the Third Avenue Hotel Complex maintains an unchanged relationship to its site, reinforces the present character of its streetscape setting and is a familiar landmark, as evidenced by:
- Its ongoing historic relationship to the boardwalk, the adjacent structures and the streetscape of Third Avenue.
- Its materials, the detailing, and the treatment of the facades, which visually unify the constituent elements of the hotel complex.
- Its visual familiarity to residents of Dawson and to visitors.