Home / Accueil

Building J-3 (Headquarters, Army Western Command) Recognized Federal Heritage Building

CFB Edmonton - Garrison, Alberta, T5Y, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2004/04/25

No Image
No Image

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1957/01/01 to 1957/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/03/17

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Building J-3 consists of a solid and monumental three-storey, flat-roofed red brick building influenced by the Modern Classicist aesthetic. Comprised of a symmetrical, C-shaped footprint with wings extending to the east and west from the “C” and a central entrance crowned by a one-storey pavilion, Building J-3 features large windows, continuous concrete sills and lintels, and a lack of surface ornamentation. Built to serve as Base headquarters for the Western Command and 742 Squadron, Building J-3 is located on the southern perimeter of the base facing onto 137A Avenue. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

Building J-3 is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values:

Historical value:
Building J-3 is associated with the national historic theme of the post-World War II expansion of the Canadian Armed Forces in order to meet its commitments to international military preparedness under the Charter of the United Nations and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) agreements. Constructed during the latter stages of the establishment of the base, Building J-3 served as Headquarters for the Army Western Command, which provided a Western administrative focal point for the Canadian Army. Individuals working in this building had command and control responsibilities extending from Vancouver Island in the west to the Ontario border in the east.

Architectural value:
Solid and monumental, Building J-3 is a good example of a military building influenced by the Modern Classicist aesthetic. A variation of a standard plan, the building was designed to accommodate a simple functional layout and demonstrates a competent level of craftsmanship and good quality materials.

Environmental value:
Building J-3 is set in an open area and is compatible with the heterogeneous stock of buildings facing south onto 137A Avenue, the perimeter road for the base. Located on the southern perimeter of the base, at the head of the Southwest Administration sector of the Griesbach Barracks along with several other administrative and support functions, Building J-3 is a large and prominent building and is well recognized within the neighbourhood.

Michel Pelletier, Building J-3 (Headquarters, Army Western Command), Griesbach Barracks, CFB Edmonton, Edmonton, Alberta. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report 00-014.
Building J-3 (Army Western Command), Griesbach Barracks, CFB Edmonton, Alberta. Heritage Character Statement 00-014.

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of Building J-3 should be respected, for example:

Its role as an illustration of the the post-World War II build-up of Canada’s Armed Forces to meet its commitments to international military preparedness (UN and NORAD) is reflected in:
- the use of a simple, functional, standard design as an efficient and cost effective means of accommodating the rapid growth of the military.

Its Modern Classicist aesthetic, its competent craftsmanship and good quality materials as manifested in:
- the scale and symmetrical composition of the building characterized by the verticality of the central entrance crowned by a one-storey pavilion and by the horizontality of the east and west wings;
- the building’s modern, unadorned brick exterior whose sense of scale and horizontality is emphasized by the entrance pavilion’s protruding cornice and the large windows which are grouped and framed by continuous concrete sills and lintels to create a horizontal banding effect on the first and second floors;
- the vertical composition of the central entrance which features a flat-roofed portico, horizontal bands of windows, smooth stone cladding and which is framed by protruding vertical concrete walls; and,
- the exterior expression of the staircases at the end of the east and west wings through the use of concrete frames around the windows.

The manner in which it reinforces the military character of the setting as evidenced in:
- its prominent location facing south towards the base’s perimeter road and onto its own access road;
- the retention of its open relationship with the site and the original configuration of the landscaped areas, sidewalks and parking areas; and,
- its compatibility with the other buildings which form the Southwest Administration sector and also face onto 137A Avenue such as the Officers’ Mess (J-4) to the west, and the Social Centre (J-2) to the east.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type


Military Base


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Canadian Inventory of Historic Building Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 525, 25 Eddy Street, Hull, Quebec.

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places



Advanced SearchAdvanced Search
Nearby Places