Description of Historic Place
Vimy Barracks (Forde Building, B-16), at CFB Kingston stands at the southern edge of the parade square. Clad in white-painted stucco, it is a long, concrete structure with a flat roof. Executed in a Modern classical style with Art Deco accents, its features include a central bay, end pavilions and turret-like projections that flank the main entrance. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Vimy Barracks (Forde Building, B-16) is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
Vimy Barracks (Forde Building, B-16) is closely associated with the establishment and construction of the Communications School at the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals. Colonel Elroy Forde joined the Signal Corps in 1909 and thereafter campaigned for the continuing development of Signals and for its permanent home. He was Director of Signals when the building’s cornerstone was laid in 1935, and to his retirement in 1942. Constructed under the Public Works Construction Act of 1934, Vimy Barracks (Forde Building, B-16) is also associated with the creation of modern technologies for Canadian National Defence and public service after 1918. The building is integral to the original Vimy Barracks plan at CFB Kingston.
Vimy Barracks (Forde Building, B-16) is a good example of an early modernist structure combining classical formalism with Art Deco accents. This was a characteristic of public works and military base architecture at the end of the Great Depression. This functional structure exhibits good craftsmanship and materials.
Vimy Barracks (Forde Building, B-16) reinforces the present formally planned character of Vimy Barracks within CFB Kingston and is a familiar landmark to residents.
Vimy Barracks –19 Buildings, CFB Kingston, Barriefield, Ontario Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 94-013 (Notes); Vimy Barracks, Forde Building No.B-16, CFB Kingston, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 94-013
The character-defining elements of the Vimy Barracks (Forde Building, B-16) should be respected
Its role as an embodiment of the expansion, modernization and diversification of the Canadian military in peacetime as reflected in:
- its essential relationship to the transformation of military functions and facilities in its period;
- its improved standard of robust, durable construction and of functional amenity for its users;
- its location and formality within the original plan and landscape of Vimy Barracks.
Its combination of architectural modernism and functionalism in a durable and economical form as manifested in:
- the modernistic style that combines a distinctive combination of aspects of modern neoclassicism with Art-Deco interpretations of battlemented style;
- the building’s horizontal emphasis of building plan and massing complemented by its vertically accented profiles and detailing;
- the symmetrical principal elevation, its emphasized end pavilions and elaborated central bay, with accented parapet, and battlemented formal entrance way;
- the symmetrical secondary elevations, with their elaborated central entrance bays.
The manner in which Vimy Barracks (Forde Building, B-16) reinforces the present formally planned character of the Vimy Barracks setting within CFB Kingston and is a familiar local landmark, as evidenced by:
- its large scale, concrete and stucco materials, which are compatible with its surrounding buildings of different periods;
- the formal symmetry of its location and orientation addressing the principal open ceremonial space of the Vimy Barrracks, and the secondary open spaces;
- its visibility given its large scale and prominent location, which makes it a known building at the base.