Description of Historic Place
The Federal Building is located on a landscaped lawn with metal picket fencing on a residential streetscape in the City of Lacolle, Quebec. Composed of several geometric volumes, it is a two-storey, flat-roofed building clad in smooth red brick with smooth, cut stone details, which accent its symmetrical window arrangement and rows of windows. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Federal Building is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Federal Building in Lacolle is a good example of a building that illustrates increased spending by the federal government in the 1950s on new buildings for the provision of government services. The construction of the building represents an extension of federal services into regional administrative centers.
The Federal Building is valued for its good aesthetic and functional design. Its simplified classicism is representative of small federal government buildings constructed during the 1950s in medium-sized cities. The localized symmetry and functional planning express a transitional modern style. Each façade has a different appearance, reflecting a functional approach to interior planning which is also characteristic of 1950s design.
The Federal Building maintains an unchanged relationship to its site. The building is compatible with the residential character of its neighbourhood streetscape setting and is a familiar building.
Sources: Federal Building, Lacolle, Quebec, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report, INF 97-087; Federal Building, Lacolle, Quebec, Heritage Character Statement, 97-087.
The character-defining elements of the Federal Building should be respected.
Its good aesthetic, functional design, craftsmanship and materials, for example:
- the asymmetrical massing of the two-storey building, with a flat roof and one-storey entrance hall and back garage;
- the visual separation of the front façade into two volumes by a set-back and by different window arrangements;
- the entrance to the post office which is defined by its lower height and its intermediate position between the two main volumes of the façade;
- the several separate volumes on the back façade, all of which reflect a distinct function;
- the simple, classical features of the fenestration particularly the symmetrical arrangement and proportions;
- the elements which follow a transitional modern style, including: its spare massing; its simple, geometric forms; the smooth-textured materials, such as smooth red brick with crisp accents of cut stone; its varying window sizes and arrangements; its flat roof; its interior planning; its row-windows; its wing-wall, and its canopies;
- the interior plan and entry points, including the post office entrance and side vehicle access;
- any remaining interior materials, components and finishes that reflect the original construction and layout, such as the terrazzo floors found in the entranceway, hallways and mail-box area, the plaster walls and ceilings found in the mail-box area, and the entrance’s aluminium doors.
The manner in which the Federal Building maintains an unchanged relationship to its site, is compatible with the residential character of its neighbourhood streetscape setting, where it is a familiar building, as evidenced by:
- its ongoing relationship to its landscaped lawn, the sidewalk and the street;
- its overall scale, design and materials, which harmonize with its adjacent buildings on the streetscape;
- its public street frontage, characterized by ornamental shrub plantings on a turfgrass lawn contained within metal picket fencing;
- its known role as a federal government building in the area, which makes it a familiar landmark.