Description of Historic Place
The Mess Hall and Bunkhouse, also known as Building 22, faces a large, open yard in a historic, non-operating, placer gold mining facility in the Klondike River valley. The building is a two-storey, wood-frame structure that is clad with horizontal wood siding and surmounted by a metal covered, gable roof. A small porch protects the building’s main entrance. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Mess Hall and Bunkhouse is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Mess Hall and Bunkhouse, as part of the Bear Creek Compound, is closely associated with the corporate phase of the Yukon’s gold mining history. The building illustrates a response to the need to provide new and improved residential accommodation for the expanded crews of men working at the facility as a result of the Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation’s renewal and expansion program of the 1930s.
The Mess Hall and Bunkhouse is valued for its very good functional design as evidenced in its layout, which illustrates its communal residential function. The ground floor has four common spaces, including a recreation area, a mess hall, a kitchen, and a pantry. The design of the upper floor represents an improvement over earlier standards of accommodation with its ten bedrooms, a central corridor, and auxiliary space with cubicles and an interior stair at one end. The wood-frame construction exhibits good workmanship and the appropriate use of materials such as wood cladding, and metal covered roof.
The Mess Hall and Bunkhouse maintains an unchanged relationship to its site and reinforces the character of its industrial setting at the Bear Creek Compound. The structure is familiar to those within the area.
Sources: Joan Mattie, Bear Creek Industrial Complex, Bear Creek, Yukon Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report 89-008; Mess Hall and Bunkhouse (Building #22), Bear Creek Compound, Yukon, Heritage Character Statement, 89-008.
The following character-defining elements of the Mess Hall and Bunkhouse should be respected.
Its simple and functional nature of its design, and its overall good workmanship and appropriate use of materials, for example:
- the features of its form, construction, and materials that unify it with the site’s other buildings, including its rectangular shape, its gable roof, its horizontal wood siding painted grey with white trim, its metal roof covering, and its wood structure;
- the arrangement and detailing of its doors and windows, its porches, and its covered stair;
- the layout of the ground and upper floors, which illustrates its communal residential function;
- the built-in equipment and storage features in the kitchen and pantry;
- its compatible relationship; due to its form, materials, detailing, and colour scheme; with the other structures and landscape features of the site, in particular with the General Manager’s Residence (Building 20).