Description of Historic Place
Ryan Fish Storage, also known as Building 3, located at Ryan Premises National Historic Site of Canada in the outport town of Bonavista, is a tall, wood frame building with a side-gable roof. The clapboard walls are outlined by finely proportioned trim and by the roof’s slight eaves overhang. The building is one of a group of six buildings that is highly evocative of the Newfoundland 19th- and 20th-century Atlantic fishing business. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Ryan Fish Storage at the Ryan Premises is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
Ryan Fish Storage is strongly associated with Atlantic Fisheries in Canada. One of six buildings that constitute the Ryan Premises, it was the headquarters of a family operated inshore fishery. The Ryan Company made an important contribution to Newfoundland and Canadian history and was, at one time, one of the largest fishing firms on the northeast coast of Newfoundland. The Ryan Premises dominated Newfoundland’s economic history in the 19th century and continued to be the single most important source of employment and market income well into the 20th century. The Ryan Premises are directly associated with the Ryan family and particularly, with James Ryan (1841-1917), the founder of James Ryan Ltd.
Ryan Fish Storage is a good example of Newfoundland vernacular wooden architecture as evidenced by its basic design and unadorned, angular qualities. Its very good functional design and good construction forms part of a grouping of buildings whose geometric interplay features rectangular massing, regularly fenestrated elevations and front-sloping gable roofs.
Ryan Fish Storage, as part of the Ryan Premises, reinforces the mixed character of its commercial and residential setting in the seaside town of Bonavista and is well known at the local level.
Sources: Shannon Ricketts, Ryan Premises (6 buildings), Bonavista, Newfoundland, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report 92-083; Ryan Fish Store building, Ryan Premises, Bonavista, Newfoundland, Heritage Character Statement, 92-083.
The character-defining elements of Ryan Fish Storage should be respected.
Its Newfoundland vernacular architecture, functional design and craftsmanship, for example:
-the basic rectangular massing of the building’s three-and-a-half storey, box-like form capped with a side-gable roof;
-the solid, heavy timber post and beam frame construction with round wood studs at two foot (0.6 meters) centres clad with straight edged lumber and finished with narrow spruce clapboard;
-the clapboard walls that are outlined by finely proportioned trim, and by the slight eaves overhang and the narrow fascia;
-the pattern and size of window and door openings;
-the simple ornamentation;
-the masonry and concrete foundations.
The manner in which Ryan Fish Storage, as part of the Ryan Premises, reinforces the mixed character of its commercial and residential setting in the outport town of Bonavista, and is a well known building at the local level, as evidenced by:
-the overall scale, design and materials that make the building compatible with the Ryan Premises, of which it is a part;
-the building’s location in a major complex of buildings that is prominently situated within a relatively small community, and its role as a commercial structure in the community.