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Court House and Community Building

306 Fischer Avenue, Kelsey (Carrot Valley), Manitoba, R9A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1999/08/24

Primary elevation, from the northeast, of the Court House and Community Building, The Pas, 2007; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2007
Primary Elevation
Contextual view, from the east, of the Court House and Community Building, The Pas, 2007; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2007
Contextual View
Primary elevations, from the southeast, of the Court House and Community Building, The Pas, 2007; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2007
Primary Elevations

Other Name(s)

Sam Waller Museum
Musée Sam Waller
Court House and Community Building

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1916/01/01 to 1917/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/04/04

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Court House and Community Building, erected in The Pas in 1916-17, is a large two-storey brick structure on a corner site in the town's business district. The provincial designation applies to the building and its grounds.

Heritage Value

The Court House and Community Building at The Pas, northern Manitoba's oldest standing brick building, is an impressive example of a Neo-Classical-style public facility designed to accommodate several provincial, municipal and community functions in a developing frontier town. Solid, substantial and stately, albeit modestly adorned, the structure, built soon after Manitoba's boundary was extended to the sixtieth parallel of latitude, expresses both its era's optimism over prospects for the 'New North' and the provincial government's commitment to the town's future as a regional centre. The building was planned by G.N. Taylor, the first architect in The Pas, to hold a jail, courtroom, justice, land registry and town offices, and, unlike other Manitoba court houses, a public assembly hall that for many years was a focal point for local events and groups. Altered over time as needs changed, the functional facility, now housing a museum, retains considerable exterior integrity along with significant interior features, and is a notable local landmark.

Source: Manitoba Heritage Council Minutes, May 25, 1985

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Court House and Community Building site include:
- the visible corner location at Fischer Avenue and 3rd Street in The Pas business district
- the building's placement, facing northeast and removed from the street within landscaped grounds

Key exterior elements that define the structure's dignified Neo-Classical style include:
- the large rectangular flat-roofed form, two storeys tall on a high basement and fronted by a substantial entrance pavilion
- the solid brick construction and enduring materials, including the red finish brick, smooth- and rough-cut limestone trim, etc.
- the formal near-symmetry throughout, with the bays of each facade defined by shallow brick pilasters, vertically aligned windows, corbelled brickwork, stone banding elements, including windowsills, etc.
- the classically styled roofline, including the deep wood cornice painted white and high brick parapet
- the plentiful fenestration, including tall single rectangular windows, multi-paned with segmental-arched heads; also, smaller vertical and horizontal openings, a large paired window above the main entrance, etc.
- the grand entrance pavilion, with brick side walls capped by smooth bevelled limestone slabs, an arched opening topped by a bracketed entablature, recessed doors of dark wood, shallow brick pilasters, vertical insets and corbelling, rusticated stone banding elements, and concrete panels etched with 'COMMUNITY BUILDING', 'COURT HOUSE' and '1916'

Key elements that define the building's interior character and administrative functions include:
- the efficient centre-hall layout, with high-ceilinged offices and other functional spaces organized off the hall on each of the three usable levels
- the front vestibule with double glazed doors opening to a half-flight of main-floor stairs
- the main wood staircase with balustrades and square newel posts, etc.
- details such as doorways with wide dark-stained wood surrounds and transoms, wood-panelled doors with pebbled glazing and bronze-coloured hardware, wide main-floor windowsills, etc.
- elements that recall the building's public functions, including the basement Woman's Jail with a heavy iron door and cell walls comprised of grid of flat metal slats, the Law Library Room with heavy plank-like shelving, the wood-panelled witness box, stencilled lettering on the 'COURT ROOM' and office doors, etc.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Manitoba

Recognition Authority

Province of Manitoba

Recognition Statute

Manitoba Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Provincial Heritage Site

Recognition Date

1999/08/24

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Community Organizations

Function - Category and Type

Current

Leisure
Museum
Community
Social, Benevolent or Fraternal Club

Historic

Government
Courthouse and/or Registry Office

Architect / Designer

G.N. Taylor

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Main Floor, 213 Notre Dame Avenue Winnipeg MB R3B 1N3

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

P009

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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