Description of Historic Place
At the eastern entrance to the city, located in the Fort Frontenac National Historic Site of Canada, LaSalle Block is a long rectangular two-storey, stone structure with a low hipped roof with projecting chimney stacks and a flat-roofed rear addition. Its eleven bay façade has a tri-partite organization consisting of a central five bay unit and two flanking, three bay end units, some units with their own entrance. The principle façade is smooth-faced with a regular pattern of windows and doorways. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
LaSalle Block is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
Fort Frontenac, originally the Tête de Pont barracks, was the first of four British military complexes in Kingston and the De Noyan Block building is one of the best examples illustrating the major role it played in Britain’s defence strategy for Canada. LaSalle Block, one of the oldest buildings on the site, was constructed as barracks for two hundred men. Fort Frontenac is also one of the best examples impacting the historical, social and economic development of Kingston. At the outbreak of the war in 1812 there was only evidence of small growth of the town, however during the war, the town enjoyed an economic boom. Kingston enjoyed economic prosperity through most of the first half of the nineteenth-century and this area remained the principle industrial and commercial site long after the British departure.
LaSalle Block is a very good example of 19th century British military architecture. It is domestic in scale with simplicity of design, robust use of materials, high standard of workmanship and spare utility typical of British military construction. It is characterized by its form, its overall classically-inspired proportions, construction materials and craftsmanship.
Ideally situated at the eastern entrance to the city, where the Cataraqui River empties into Lake Ontario, Fort Frontenac stands as a clear reminder of the city’s origins as a garrison town and its long historic military past. Its limestone walls, distinctive roof lines and attractive grounds are one of the first sights on the principal road into the city. LaSalle Block, a significant element to Fort Frontenac reinforces the military defense character of the military complex in its fort setting. Together with other prominent buildings, Fort Frontenac plays a significant role in establishing the distinctive visual character of the city along the waterfront. It is a conspicuous national and local landmark.
Sources: Jacqueline Adell, Fort Frontenac (8 buildings), Kingston, Ontario, Federal Heritage Building Report 89-040; The LaSalle Block, Fort Frontenac, Kingston, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 89-040.
The character-defining elements of LaSalle Block should be respected.
Its British military design, classically-inspired proportions, construction materials and craftsmanship as manifested in:
-its domestic scale and simplicity of design consisting of a two-storey long, rectangular, structure, with load-bearing limestone walls, a low hipped roof and a rear flat-roofed addition;
-the large expanse of the roof and the prominent chimneys;
-its eleven bay façade with a tri-partite organization consisting of a central five bay unit and two flanking, three bay end units some with their own entrance and symmetrical placement of windows and doors contributing to the balance and order of the building characteristic of British military construction;
-its main façade in smooth-finish regularly-coursed limestone, with the side walls constructed of quarry-faced irregularly-coursed limestone;
-its detailing consisting of projecting window sills, quoins, and simple entablatures over the windows, the doors with semi-circular transoms.
The manner in which LaSalle Block reinforces the military defense character in its fort setting.