Graving Dock No. 1
Cale sèche no 1
Esquimalt Graving Dock pump house
Station de pompage de la cale sèche d’Esquimalt
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Located on the north side of the Esquimalt Graving Dock, the Pump House, also known as Building 1, is a large, rectangular building constructed of brick on a concrete foundation. It is three storeys in height with two additions on the north elevation. The north and south façades have nine bays divided by piers. The west façade has a large central entrance flanked by two windows and the east façade has three bays. Ornamental brick patterning and limestone stringcourses decorate the otherwise plain façade. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Pump House is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Pump House is one of the best examples of a building that illustrates the theme of the shipping industry, a theme that has been integrally connected with the development of the Canadian economy. The pumping machinery housed within the pump house performs the watering and dewatering operations of the dry dock. It is an integral component of the dock’s function and operation. At the time of its completion the dry dock was the second largest in the world. It is the largest dry dock on the Canadian west coast.
The Pump House is a very good example of utilitarian design exhibiting features characteristic of the Modern Classical style popular during the first half of the 20th century. The building also reflects an economic approach to construction typically employed for industrial plants. Similarly the interior layout is determined by functional consideration and machinery arrangement.
The Pump House together with the surrounding buildings forms a homogenous complex where utilitarian designs in combination with machinery, contribute to the industrial character of the Graving Dock. The Esquimalt Graving Dock and its associated buildings are familiar to the residents of Esquimalt and to visitors of the site.
Sources: Sophie Drakich, Esquimalt Graving Dock, Esquilmalt, British Columbia, Federal Heritage Building Report, 90-244; Pump House (Building No.1), Esquimalt Graving Dock, Esquilmalt, British Columbia, Heritage Character Statement, 90-244.
The following character defining elements of the Pump House should be respected.
Its utilitarian design, modern classical features, very good quality craftsmanship and materials such as:
- its large three-storey rectangular, flat-roofed, massing on a well-defined concrete foundation;
- its division into clearly defined bays, and the regular arrangement of openings on these bays;
- its large vertical steel-framed windows divided into small panes;
- its decorative brickwork that includes the course stretchers on edge, the geometric panels with limestone infilling above the piers, the panel with the date stone above the entrance, and the patterning on the piers themselves.
The manner in which the Pump House is compatible with the industrial character of its setting and is a familiar landmark within Esquimalt as evidenced by:
- its utilitarian design;
- its relationship to the industrial buildings of the Graving Dock complex;
- its visibility.
Government of Canada
Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy
Recognized Federal Heritage Building
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Water or Sewage Facility
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection
The Transformer House, also known as Building 11, is a tall brick building located on the north side of the Esquimalt Graving Dock. The south, east and west façades are divided…