Dominion Public Building
Dominion Public Building
Édifice du Dominion
Links and documents
1935/01/01 to 1936/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Standing within the London’s business core the Dominion Public Building is a distinctive example of Modern Classicism. It is a six-storey building with a tall tower emphasizing one end. Built of smooth ashlar limestone, the impression created is of a stepped skyscraper with a long extension to the rear. The building is distinguished by the strong vertical accent of the multi-storey piers and recessed windows, the polished black granite used for the plinth course, around the entry doors and by the decorative masonry carvings. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Dominion Public Building is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values:
The Dominion Public Building is a very good example of the theme of the establishment of a federal presence in communities across Canada; also of the theme of major buildings erected under the Public Works Construction Act of 1934. In an effort to alleviate the worst effects of the Great Depression the Federal Government allocated 40 million dollars to public works so as to generate employment and to stimulate the economy. The Dominion Public Building is one of the more prominent of the 26 buildings erected under this Act.
This building is an excellent example in what was called or Modern Classicism which is essentially a variant of the Art Deco style. It draws on these principles to establish a strong yet dignified urban presence in this large official structure. Housing a variety of government departments the reinforced concrete building was constructed to be functional, and exhibits excellent quality materials and craftsmanship.
The dramatic and boldly sited building has maintained its historical relationship with its unchanged surroundings and reinforces the present character of the business district. The Dominion Public Building provided a highly visible boost to the urban development and visual core of downtown London. It is prominent visually and is a familiar local landmark.
Shannon Rickets, Dominion Public Building, 475 Richmond Street, London, Ontario.. 89-090.
Dominion Public Building, 475 Richmond Street, London, Ontario. Heritage Character Statement 89-090.
The following character-defining elements of the Dominion Public Building should be respected, for example:
Its construction style and good quality materials and craftsmanship as manifested in:
-The monumental public scale, the profile and massing rising from a single-storey base in stepped back volumes, and the strong vertical accent of the multi-storey piers which separate the deeply recessed windows and doorways.
-The external sculptural ornament featuring the maple leaf, rose, shamrock, thistle and fleur de lis.
-The interior main public space with coffered ceiling panels and the remaining original internal fixtures such as light fixtures and brass doors.
-The polished marble walls, and polished marble floors with coordinated terrazzo
The manner in which the building reinforces the urban streetscape of London through its construction, scale, and its location, and its physical and functional relationship to the other buildings in town.
Government of Canada
Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy
Classified Federal Heritage Building
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection