Description of Historic Place
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, also known as Building 12, is situated in the grounds of the religious precinct of Dawson City, and is part of the Dawson Historical Complex National Historic Site of Canada. Built during a great period of expansion in Dawson City, it is a timber structure with a gabled and hipped-roof and features an asymmetrically positioned tower. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church is closely associated with the development of Dawson City as a territorial capital and reflects the social and religious services provided to the growing community. St. Andrew’s Church and Manse are very good examples of structures that illustrate Dawson City’s rapid metamorphosis from a boisterous mining camp in 1897-1898, to a boomtown in 1898-1899, into a prosperous and respectable community by 1901. The church is also associated with Rev. Dr. Andrew S. Grant, a prominent figure in the early development of Dawson City and the Yukon Territory.
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church is a very good example of High Victorian Gothic architecture interpreted in wood. Rich detailing is evident in the nave’s stained-glass Gothic window, the pointed arches of the window, doorway, and tower ventilators, and also in the buttress panels of the tower with its bell cast roof. Good materials and craftsmanship are evident in the knowledgeable handling of timber frame construction techniques and in the stained glass window.
St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church reinforces the historic character of Dawson City and is a familiar landmark to residents and visitors.
Sources: St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 601 Fourth Avenue, Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report notes 88-012; St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Government Reserve, Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Heritage Character Statement 88-012.
The character-defining elements of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church should be respected.
Its High Victorian Gothic style inspired design as evidenced in:
- the appearance of irregular massing due to the asymmetrical position of the tower;
- the timber frame construction, the use of shingles and clapboard on the exterior walls;
- the pyramidal, slightly bell-cast roof of the tower;
- the pointed arches of the doorway and tower ventilators, the buttress panels at the tower’s corners and diamond–shaped panes in the doors;
- the wide, open space of the main sanctuary effected by composite roof framing consisting of heavy principal rafters held in place by metal tie rods;
- the transepts and front alcove, and the stained-glass Gothic window in the nave.
The manner in which St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church reinforces the historic character of the religious precinct setting and is a familiar landmark, as evidenced by:
- the distinctive design that maintains a visual and physical relationship between St. Andrew’s Manse, the religious precinct, and Fourth Avenue;
- its former function as a religious gathering place that makes it known to residents of Dawson City and to visitors.