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Battleford Court House National Historic Site of Canada

291 23rd Street, Battleford, Saskatchewan, S0M, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1980/06/16

View of the main entrance of the Battleford Court House, 2003.; Parks Canada Agency/ Agence Parcs Canada, 2003.
Facade
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Other Name(s)

Battleford Court House
Battleford Court House National Historic Site of Canada
Palais de justice de Battleford
Town of Battleford Court House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1908/01/01 to 1909/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/05/15

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Battleford Court House is a three-storey square brick and limestone public building of eclectic design located in the town of Battleford in west-central Saskatchewan. The court house is now attached by a link to the former Land Titles Building next door. Its eclectic Romanesque Revival-style exterior, dramatic interior layout, and high quality finishes have been preserved with great integrity. The court house continues to serve the community in its original role. The official recognition refers to the original building on its legal lot.

Heritage Value

The Battleford Court House was designated a national historic site in 1980 because:
- it is representative of the judicial institution in Saskatchewan;
- it is representative of a number of new judicial facilities erected by the Government of Saskatchewan following the creation of the province in 1905;
- it displays predominantly Romanesque Revival styling and extensive architectural decoration;

When the new Province of Saskatchewan as it took control of its own judicial system in 1905, it launched a series of public works that included several new court houses in urban areas serving large districts within the province. The architecture expressed this confidence, as well as the sombre impartiality of the justice system.

The Regina architectural firm of Storey and Van Egmond designed at least three court houses in the province. An earlier and more subdued version of the Battleford design was erected in Arcola. In 1908–09, a full-blown similar version (now demolished) was also erected in Saskatoon just prior to the construction in Battleford. The Battleford Court House was a refined variation of what was clearly a popular and successful genre. Its eclectic design is inspired by the then-popular Romanesque Revival style. Its decorative features rely on classical inspiration, with five bay façade centres on a sober pedimented entrance, flanked by evenly spaced windows separated by brick piers topped with limestone caps tied to a belt course and accentuated with brickwork and a keystone above the window arches. The grand interior spaces carry through this formal aesthetic.

Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, June 1980.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Battleford Court House include:
- the siting in downtown Battleford;
- its three-storey, rectangular massing under a mansard roof;
- its exterior facing of brick with limestone trim;
- its eclectic use of Romanesque Revival-style elements, including classically inspired pediment and pilasters defining its symmetrically arranged five-bay facade;
- the skilful craftsmanship of the exterior architectural decoration, notably stone and brickwork;
- the interior layout providing impressive public spaces and the requisite courts and service rooms opening off an octagonal lobby;
- its classically inspired interior décor with coffered ceiling in the foyer, wooden wainscoting, columns, and dentiled trim.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date

1980/06/16

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Government and Institutions
Governing Canada
Security and Law
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type

Current

Government
Town or City Hall

Historic

Government
Courthouse and/or Registry Office

Architect / Designer

Storey and Van Egmond

Builder

Saskatchewan Building and Construction Company

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

732

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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