Description of Historic Place
The Air Terminal Building, also known as building H-7, in Churchill stands along the western border of the airport apron. It is a large two-storey rectangular structure with flanking two-storey lean-to wings, large side pylons, and a three-storey control tower that is situated on the south- west corner. Sliding glazed hangar doors, two stories high, are located on the eastern and western elevations. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Air Terminal Building is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Air Terminal Building is associated with the expansion of military, and later civil, aviation into arctic and sub-arctic regions of Canada. After 1945 the Department of National Defence developed the base as a Canadian Joint Services Station for cold weather experiments, equipment trials, winter warfare training and arctic survival. The hangar was built for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) as a multi-purpose structure and reflected the broad aviation mandate of the RCAF at Churchill. It was an important servicing area for planes during the installation of the DEW line in the mid-1950s. Civil aviation became an integral part of the airport after the take-over by the Department of Transport in 1964, and the former hangar has been used as an air terminal since that time.
Constructed as a variation of Standard Plan S-10-58, the Air Terminal Building is a rare example of an airport structure combining hangar, office, and control tower functions. The wood roof trusses and well-detailed hangar doors are notable features.
The Air Terminal Building, the most important structure at the airport, reinforces its present character serving as a terminal area for arrivals and departures.
A well-known landmark due to its commanding appearance, its proximity to the runway, its public role as an air terminal, and also its isolated location from other airport structures.
Former RCAF Hangar, (Now Air Terminal Building), Building H- 7, Churchill Airport, Churchill, Manitoba, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 88-058;
Air Terminal Building (former RCAF hangar), Churchill Airport, Churchill, Manitoba. Heritage Character Statement 88-058.
The character-defining elements of the Air Terminal Building should be respected.
Its Royal Canadian Air Force standard plan design and good quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- the two-storey, rectangular form and low massing;
- the flanking two-storey lean-to wings, the large side pylons, and the three-storey control-tower situated on the south-west corner;
- the massive side pylons that contain the sliding door panels, and the six large panels of horizontally sliding glazed hangar doors located on the eastern and western elevations;
- the concrete foundation and floor, wood framing with steel bracing around the hangar doors, wood roof trusses, and a tar-and-gravel roof;
- the exterior finish of wood and cement asbestos shingle with steel flashings and trim.
The manner in which the Air Terminal Building reinforces the Churchill Airport setting and is a well-known landmark, as evidenced by:
- its imposing scale, proximity to the runway, and its public role as a central facility for airport operations and as a focal point for passengers.