Description of Historic Place
Located in the western section of Grosse-Île, in the Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site of Canada, Building 22, also known as the Second-Class Hotel, faces the St. Lawrence River. The three sections of this two-storey building form a long, symmetrical façade. Wings flank the higher centre section, while a kitchen annex is attached behind. Features include a hipped and gable roof, brick chimneys, and a long verandah that runs the full length of the river-facing façade. Modest detailing includes regularly spaced windows and doors, and a clapboard exterior. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Building 22 is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
Building 22 is one of the best examples of a structure associated with immigration and quarantine in Canada. It is also associated with medical superintendent, Frederick Montizambert, who led efforts to halt the spread of contagious diseases using scientific disinfection methods. Located in the “healthy” western section, Building 22 was constructed to provide first-class accommodation to relatively wealthy immigrant passengers. The current First-Class Hotel superseded it in 1912-13. Building 22 was used as a barracks during the Second World War and the ground floor was later converted into a warehouse.
Building 22 is valued for its very good aesthetic design. Completely reconstructed in 1893, the building resembles the large colonial-style homes on the east coast of the United States. It exhibits very good functional design, which is seen in the carefully planned interior layout. The very good materials and construction techniques reflect the artisan styles of the period, and can be seen in the staircase, the panelling, and woodwork.
Building 22 reinforces the present historic character of its immigration and quarantine setting of the west section of the island. The structure is a local landmark on the St. Lawrence River, to the local community and to visitors. Its presence enhances the historic character of Grosse Île.
Sources: Histoire et Archéologie, Bureau régional de Québec, L’hôtel de deuxieme classe (no 22); Grosse-île, Québec, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Report 93-031, (Partie III :1881-1900); Second-Class Hotel, Building No.22, Grosse Île, Quebec, Heritage Character Statement 93-031.
The character-defining elements of Building 22 should be respected.
Its very good aesthetics, very good functional design and very good craftsmanship, for example:
- the massing in four sections with a higher, two-storey main block flanked by two, two-storey wings;
- the timber construction, inspired by residential architecture, with limited use of industrial materials;
- the principal façade, the brick chimneys, the fire escapes, the front porch, and also the long verandah that runs the full length of the building with "St. Andrew’s Cross" style railings;
- the regular placement of windows and doors that speak to the functional interior configuration;
- the connected shared and private spaces, with a kitchen contained in the rear annex;
- ornamental details such as the arrangement of the bricks and the colours in the chimney heads, the ‘St. Andrew’s crosses’ in the verandah railing, and the original wood-shingle roofing;
- the interior finishes and trim that includes the staircase with turned balusters, brick fireplaces, wooden mantles and mouldings, the extensive tongue and groove panelling, the panelled doors, wall mounted chair rails and period hardware, and the signs of occupancy, such as brackets for bunks and shelves, ventilation holes, and graffiti.
The manner in which Building 22 establishes the historic character of its immigration and quarantine setting on Grosse Île, and is a landmark on the St. Lawrence River, as evidenced by:
- its scale, design and materials, which complement the related, adjacent historic structures including the first and third class hotels, their interconnected traffic routes, and the shoreline;
- its prominent location on the island shore where it is a major landmark for local staff and visitors.