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Revelstoke City Hall

216 Mackenzie Avenue, Revelstoke, British Columbia, V0E, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2002/03/11

Exterior view of Revelstoke City Hall, 2004; City of Revelstoke, 2004
Mackenzie Avenue (front) elevation
Exterior view of Revelstoke City Hall, 2004; City of Revelstoke, 2004
East elevation, oblique view
Exterior view of Revelstoke City Hall, 2004; City of Revelstoke, 2004
North (front) and east elevations, oblique view

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/03/14

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Revelstoke City Hall is a two-storey flat-roofed International Style building situated at 216 Mackenzie Avenue, at the corner of Mackenzie Avenue and Second Street in Revelstoke. The roof is punctuated by the tall hose-drying tower built for the original occupant of the eastern section, the Fire Department.

Heritage Value

The value of the Revelstoke City Hall lies in its connection with the growth and development of Revelstoke. By the 1930s, the City administration had outgrown the small two-storey City Hall, and Mayor Walter Hardman and his Council decided to construct a new one. Rather than use a historicizing style, the city commissioned a modernist design which creates a 'streamline' form that is closely associated with speed and technological advances of that time. This was one of the first modernist civic buildings built outside of the major urban areas of the province. The Fire Department occupied the rear portion of the building until they moved to a new building in 1982. The interior was then rehabilitated for civic use.

The Revelstoke City Hall has heritage value as one of the early works of visionary modernist Charles Burwell Kerrins Van Norman. Born in Meaford, Ontario in 1907, he studied architecture at the University of Manitoba and came to Vancouver in 1928. According to several sources, the Revelstoke City Hall was "an uncompromising design that was startling for its time and context." His domestic work in the 1930s was gentle in modernity, using variations on the Cape Cod Cottage. However, his early public buildings are uncompromisingly modern. Van Norman received very few large-scaled commissions until the 1950s, when other architects had caught up to him stylistically and the post-war populace believed optimistically that a new ahistorical style would issue in a new world order. Van Norman designed many offices, apartments, and public buildings in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as a major shopping centre (Park Royal Shopping Centre, West Vancouver, 1950 jointly with J. C. Page). In the 1940s and 1950s, Ned Pratt, Van Norman and the other first-generation modernists created a distinctive modern and western idiom and opened the door for a younger generation of architects who adopted a freer, and more expressive, manner.

There is also heritage value in the International Style design. The style began in Europe at the Bauhaus and spread through North America when European architects fled the war-ravaged continent for new lives in the United States and Canada, bringing their new ideas with them. International Style architects gave new emphasis to the expressions of structure, the lightening of mass, and the enclosure of dynamic spaces. Buildings were characterized chiefly by regular, unadorned geometric forms, open interiors, and the use of glass, steel, and reinforced concrete. Architects used modern materials and employed modern technology to create dynamic new forms. Unlike other twentieth century architectural forms, there were no historical precedents.

Source: City of Revelstoke Planning Department

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the Revelstoke City Hall include:
- form, scale and massing
- characteristics of the International Style, including horizontal emphasis as exemplified by grooves in the reinforced concrete wall surface, use of contemporary materials, flat roof, rounded corners, horizontal bands of concrete, emphasis on sharp-angled shapes
- fire department hose-drying tower
- corner location
- prominence on the skyline
- pattern of fenestration
- glass blocks surrounding entry door on east elevation
- planters flanking main entrance and large window on south elevation
- mature coniferous trees to either side of main entrance
- original flag holders on east and south elevations



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.954

Recognition Type

Community Heritage Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Governing Canada
Government and Institutions

Function - Category and Type


Town or City Hall


Fire Station

Architect / Designer

Charles Burwell Kerrins Van Norman



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Revelstoke Planning Department

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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