Description of Historic Place
The Xavier Blanchette Storage is a simple, symmetrical, one-and-a-half-storey building with white, painted, clapboard and vertical plank siding and contrasting exterior trim, a mansard roof, and an addition. The Xavier Blanchette Storage is part of a grouping of buildings that includes the Xavier Blanchette House, a barn, and a garage, which are located on a steep slope along the shore of the Gaspé Bay at Grande-Grave, within Forillon National Park. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Xavier Blanchette Storage has been designated a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical, architectural and environmental significance.
The Xavier Blanchette Storage is indirectly associated with the national theme of the cod fishery in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which was the main activity and the driving force behind the Gaspé economy for several centuries. Once owned by a family of fishermen and customers of the William Hyman & Sons Company, the building is part of a property which, like the other buildings in Grande-Grave, illustrates the pivotal role played by cod exporters and merchants in the settlement of the region, and the social structure and economic dynamics that shaped traditional Gaspé fishing villages like this one.
The Xavier Blanchette Storage is a good example of the influence of neoclassicism on Quebec vernacular architecture. Unique in its composition, the building also features a mansard roof and an addition to the main structure. This conventional building is in good condition, attesting to the quality of its construction, and the limited number of interior partitions allow for more storage space.
The Xavier Blanchette Storage reinforces the present character of Grande-Grave which still evokes the former settlement, and blends with the marine landscape of Forillon owing to its design which is compatible with other buildings in Grande-Grave, and to its siting which is well-integrated with the site’s topography. The relationship between the building and its landscape is relatively intact, and the configuration of the Xavier Blanchette complex is characteristic of the settlement pattern of local fishing families. The Xavier Blanchette Storage is the last in a string of buildings along the coast that characterize the cultural landscape of the south shore of the Forillon Peninsula. The value of the storage as a major landmark in the area lies in the fact that it is part of what is considered to be the most important architectural environment in Grande-Grave, the symbolic scope of which transcends regional identity.
Roch Samson, Christine Chartré, Michel Bédard, Paul Trépanier, Yvan Fortier, The Houses and Outbuildings
of Grande-Grave, Forillon National Park, Québec. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report
Xavier Blanchette Storage, Forillon National Park, Québec. Heritage Character Statement 01-066i.
The following character-defining elements of the Xavier Blanchette Storage should be respected, for example:
-The uniqueness of the structure which breaks from the traditional base model for a storage, as seen in the mansard roof, and the irregular silhouette of the main building with its addition;
-The stylistic elements that demonstrate the influence of neoclassicism such as the balanced symmetry of the building’s elevations;
-The components that illustrate the building methods and techniques that are specific to this vernacular neoclassical tradition, in particular the use of wood as a building material, the white, painted, clapboard and vertical plank siding and the contrasting exterior trim (openings, roof brackets, corner-boards);
-Features specific to its use as a storage, such as smaller doors and limited number of interior partitions;
-The great similarity of style, form and materials that creates the overall harmony of the buildings in Grande-Grave;
-The relationship of the storage to its setting which consists of a rugged coastline, as well as its relationship to the spread-out settlement of Grande-Grave.