Description of Historic Place
The Armoury is a fortress-like building located within Stratford’s historic downtown core. The gable roofed, brick building features prominent corner towers, and contrasting carved stone details. The main entrance is centered on the short façade and flanked by rusticated stone pillars. Steel Fink trusses span the large, top floor drill hall. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Armoury is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Armoury is a very good example of a building associated with the pre-First World War armoury building campaign and the reform and expansion of the volunteer militia. It reflects a government policy to allow the supply of arms to all rural militias, following public debate supporting good local training facilities. The building continues to serve as an armoury.
The Armoury is a very good example of a standard American armoury model. The compact design incorporates medieval military motifs including jutting towers, battlements and a main entrance reminiscent of a fortified gate. The interior layout is also based on the standard armoury model where the open drill hall is located on the upper floor. Good craftsmanship and materials and evident in the rough-faced stone that contrasts with the flat red brickwork, detailing typical of the designer, T.W. Fuller.
The Armoury reinforces the character of its downtown setting and is a conspicuous neighbourhood landmark.
Sources: Jacqueline Adell, Stratford Armoury, Albert and Waterloo Streets, Stratford, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 91-149; Stratford Armoury, Albert and Waterloo Streets, Stratford, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 91-149.
The following character-defining elements of the Armoury should be respected.
Its functional design and aesthetic qualities and good quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- the large, rectangular, three-storey massing under a gable roof;
- the principal entrance located in the centre of the short façade;
- the construction of red smooth brick and stone;
- the prominent corner towers, one of which is asymmetrically located;
- the large round-arched or square headed windows of the front and side façades;
- the masonry detailing, including crenellations, stepped parapets, prominent tapered chimneys and a turret on one side of the gable;
- the buttressing, the stone ornamentation such as stringcourses, lintels and coping, and the rough-faced stone at basement level;
- the large unobstructed drill hall with exposed steel trusses and extensive glazing;
- the wood wainscoting, painted brick walls, exposed trusses and wood plank ceiling finishes.
The manner in which the Armoury reinforces the character of its downtown setting and is a conspicuous community landmark as evidenced by:
- its specialized design, distinctive profile and large scale, which complement its streetscape setting;
- its large scale and central location as well as its continued use for community activities that makes it conspicuous in the community.