Description of Historic Place
Pleasantville-Building 223 is a permanent headquarters building for Pepperrell Air Force Base, an American military base originally known as Fort Pepperrell. It is located within the community of Pleasantville on the north shore of Quidi Vidi Lake near the main base entrance. It is a two-storey, flat roofed, U-shaped, red brick structure built in 1955-56. It exhibits low, horizontal massing. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Pleasantville-Building 223 is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
Pleasantville-Building 223 is associated with American military bases on Canadian soil during the Cold War and also the continuing postwar expansion of federal government services. During this period, Pepperrell Air Force Base became the headquarters for the Northeast Air Command, the organization responsible for U.S. air defence of the North Atlantic. Pleasantville-Building 223 was one of several administration and operational buildings constructed at Pepperrell during this period. The base was abandoned by the United States in the 1950s and was bought by the Canadian government.
Pleasantville-Building 223 is a modest but solidly constructed example of the modern movement that influenced the design of government and commercial buildings during the 1950s. The reliance on the modern style and the use of brick cladding were unusual in the Newfoundland context, and are indicative of the building’s U.S. military origins. The structure’s architectural significance lies in its contribution to the overall visual unity of the Pleasantville complex.
The ongoing relationship of Pleasantville-Building 223 to its location, a flat, open, unadorned site near the main base entrance which emphasizes its position as a permanent headquarters building. Pleasantville-Building 223 is compatible with the 1950s military character of the military base setting and is conspicuous to those familiar with the base.
Sources: Don MacDonald, Pleasantville-Building 223 , Legion Avenue, Pleasantville, St. John’s, Newfoundland. Federal Heritage Building Report 00-052; Building 223, Legion Avenue, St. John’s, Newfoundland. Pleasantville Heritage Character Statement 00-052.
The character-defining elements of Pleasantville-Building 223 should be respected.
The modern design and good quality materials and workmanship, for example:
- the aesthetic characteristics which link it to the modern style, including the long, low profile of the building, the surrounding open space, the absence of applied ornamentation, the flat roof with extended soffits, and the extant parapets located above entrances;
- the red brick cladding associated with U.S. military construction.
The manner in which Pleasantville-Building 223, on its flat unadorned site, is compatible with the military character of Pleasantville and is conspicuous to those familiar with the base as evidenced by:
-its scale, materials and functional, modern appearance, all of which are sympathetic to the other buildings in the complex;
-its visible location from the main base entrance and red brick exterior that makes it a familiar point of reference within the base.