Description of Historic Place
At the Québec Citadel, on an attractively landscaped area north of Mann’s bastion standing parallel to the parade grounds, and attached to the Governor General’s summer residence, the Building No. 18, also known as the Commandants Residence and Officers Mess, is a long, horizontal two-storey, stone building. Made up of regularly divided bays with a hipped roof pierced by several stone chimney stacks, its façade includes three entrances covered by projecting wooden gable roofed porches. The basement level is visible because of a lightwell that runs along the front of the façade. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Building No. 18 is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Building No. 18 is one of the best examples associated with the defence of British North America during the period following the War of 1812. Building No. 18, which served as a curtain wall linking Mann’s Bastion and the King’s Bastion, was an integral part of the defensive system of the fortress. It provides an excellent example highlighting the military role of the Citadel, which had a major impact on the civilian administration and local development of Québec.
The Building No. 18 is an excellent example of a 19th century military defence and residential building reflecting the British Classical style. It exhibits high quality craftsmanship. Its excellent functional design responded to two very different requirements serving as a defensive curtain wall and as living quarters for the officers at the Citadel. Elias Walker Durnford supervised the design and construction of the Citadel and is a leading figure in the history of the fortress.
The Environmental Value
Standing parallel to the parade ground the Building No. 18, with its attractively landscaped grounds of lawn, trees and stone curbs, forms one of the most striking architectural elements at the Citadel and reinforces the historical military visual character of its surroundings. The building is well known by sight to the residents of the Citadel and is also visible from outside of the complex. It is known by sight to the many residents of Québec and to tourists who have walked along the Promenade des Gouverneurs, the scenic walkway just below the Citadel.
Sources: Rhona Godspeed, The Citadel, Québec, Québec, Federal Heritage Building Report 88-161; Former Officers’ Barracks, Building 18, The Citadel, Québec, Québec, Heritage Character Statement, 88-161.
The character defining elements of the Building No. 18 should be respected.
Its functional, defensive military design, British Classical style with neoclassical decorative elements and high quality craftsmanship and materials such as:
-its massing consisting of a long, horizontal, two storey masonry building with a basement level, and a hipped roof pierced by several stone chimney stacks;
-its symmetry and 15 regularly-spaced bays reflecting the British classical style;
-its neoclassical elements of pilasters, supporting a continuous cornice, and smoothly finished stone;
-its lightwell along the front of the building allowing light into the basement, and the white painted projecting wood porches which span the lightwell;
-its many windows allowing light into the spaces used as officers’ quarters;
-its defensive-type system of construction which includes the compartmentalization of the interior spaces on either side of a central corridor, and thick walls and vaults to make the building more bomb-proof;
-its interior period ornament that reflect the high standing of the building , such as the foyer, extensive woodwork, mantelpieces, leaded windows, the fanlight transom and plaster ceiling moldings.
The manner in which the Building No. 18, reinforces the historical defensive military character of its fort setting located in the Québec Citadel National Historic Site of Canada.