Description of Historic Place
Gun Emplacements 3 and 4, Radar Building, Left Magazine and Crew Shelter is located within Fort McNab National Historic Site of Canada and faces the water overlooking Halifax Harbour. This utilitarian engineering works structure is comprised of five interconnected elements; two concrete gun emplacements, a radar building, a subterranean, magazine and a gun-crew shelter. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Gun Emplacements 3 and 4, Radar Building, Left Magazine and Crew Shelter is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
Gun Emplacements 3 and 4, Radar Building, Left Magazine and Crew Shelter is associated with the British defence of the Imperial naval station at Halifax between 1892-1906. The 9.2-inch (24.3 cm) gun emplacement (4) and superimposed Radar Building also illustrate the defence of Canada by Canadian forces from 1906-1960. The Radar Building was a key component of the Fort McNab detection and fire command system. It also illustrates of the evolution in coastal defence practices and new technology used in the defence of Canada during and after World War II.
Gun Emplacements 3 and 4, Radar Building, Left Magazine and Crew Shelter is a good example of utilitarian military engineering works. In its simple, open overall design and configuration, it resembles the late generation of rifled muzzle-loading emplacements, rather than the more sophisticated and advanced breech-loading coastal artillery installations found elsewhere at Fort McNab.
Gun Emplacements 3 and 4, Radar Building, Left Magazine and Crew Shelter is one of the three aligned gun emplacements at Fort McNab and reinforces the character of its military setting at Fort McNab.
Sources: Ian Doull, Fort McNab, Halifax Defence Complex, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 96-096; Gun Emplacement No. 3, Right Flank (includes Magazine No. 3 and Crew Shelter Nos. 3 and 4, Fort McNab, Halifax Defence Complex, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Heritage Character Statement 96-096.
The character-defining elements of Gun Emplacements 3 and 4, Radar Building, Left Magazine and Crew Shelter should be respected.
Its functional defensive design, its good quality materials and craftsmanship such as:
-the low profile, reinforced, partly subterranean concrete structure of functional, utilitarian design;
-the physical relationship and irregular footprint created by its three components: the above ground gun platform, the underground magazine and the underground crew shelter;
-the gun platform, consisting of a dais accessed by concrete and metal stairs, an issuing hatch, a larger concrete issuing aperture, and several shell and cartridge recesses;
-the underground magazine with its entryway flanked by concrete wing walls, a concrete stairway, a segregated lamp room, explosives and shell storage chambers, the separate room for the heating system, a shifting chamber between the explosives and shell stores rooms, a brick-lined vaulted ceiling in the explosives chamber, and the lamp recesses in all rooms and corridors;
-the magazine fixtures, a sliding metal fire door, the 1945-6 oil heating system, and wall brackets and shelves;
-the crew shelter, consisting of one small, underground, vaulted concrete room with separate entryway and wing walls.
The manner in which Gun Emplacements 3 and 4, Radar Building, Left Magazine and Crew Shelter reinforces the present character of its military setting at Fort McNab National Historic Site of Canada as evidenced by:
-its specialized military design, scale and materials that are compatible and maintain a relationship with the other structures within the complex.