Description of Historic Place
The Whirlpool Wardens’ Residence, also known as Building B-19, occupies a forest clearing at the foot of an escarpment along the eastern entrance road of Riding Mountain National Park of Canada. It is a simple, one-and-a-half-storey rectangular block with a projecting front porch and rear shed, constructed of log and stone in the rustic style. The gable ends of the shingled, gabled roof are detailed with stucco and half-timbering. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Whirlpool Wardens’ Residence is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Whirlpool Wardens’ Residence is associated with the development of Canada’s National Park system and early Canadian tourism. Built to provide year round accommodation, the residence was constructed as a Public Works project using Depression-relief funding shortly after the park was established in 1930. This is the only intact grouping of entrance buildings within the park.
The Whirlpool Wardens’ Residence is a very good example of a log residence designed by the Architectural Division, National Parks Branch, using a standard plan. It is an integral part of the distinctive East Gate building cluster. It is a good functional structure in an informal style that was perceived as harmonious with a park setting.
The Whirlpool Wardens’ Residence, with the Gatekeeper’s Residence, East Gate Building, and outbuildings together, form a cohesive, highly distinctive and historically intact setting. Emphasizing natural building materials, the Whirlpool Wardens’ Residence reinforces the dramatic natural setting. Its prominent location alongside the major road leading to the park ensures that they are conspicuous landmarks to motorists visiting the park.
Warden’s Residence, Whirlpool Warden Station, East Gate, Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba. Heritage Character Statement 85-054; G. Edward Mills, First Stage Buildings 18, 19, 20, Buildings in Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 85-043 to 85-054.
The character-defining elements of the Whirlpool Wardens’ Residence should be respected.
Its rustic style and very good quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- the simple, low massing of the one-and-a-half-storey structure;
- the rectangular plan, with a projecting front porch to the left, and a rear shed and a shingled, gable roof with two chimneys;
- the walls of saddle-notched logs, the exposed rafter ends and the basement faced with random-course stone;
- the multi-pane casement windows.
The manner in which the Whirlpool Wardens’ Residence maintains an unchanged relationship, reinforces the picturesque character of its setting and is a familiar landmark marking the entry point to Riding Mountain National Park of Canada as evidenced by:
- its unchanged site relationship to adjacent buildings such as the East Gate Entrance and the Gatekeeper’s Residence;
- its emphasis on natural building materials, which contribute to its cohesive and highly distinctive setting;
- its conspicuous and visually striking location, along the park’s eastern boundary.