Description of Historic Place
Overlooking Esquimalt harbour and opposite a courtyard, Building No.39 Protestant Chapel, is a one-storey, long, rectangular, brick structure of low massing with a hipped-roof, verandah and projecting side wings at the front and back. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Building No.39 the former North Ward is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
Building No.39 is closely associated with the original Royal Naval Hospital complex, an essential service for Esquimalt as the headquarters of the Pacific station of the Royal Navy from 1865 to 1905. On loan to the Military Hospitals Commission, it subsequently served as part of the Esquimalt Military Convalescent Hospital from 1915-1922. From 1922 until the mid-1930s, the former hospital buildings housed the first west coast Royal Canadian Navy training establishment as part of Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Naden. Building No.39 is currently serving as the Protestant Chapel.
Building No.39 represents a significant phase in the evolution of hospital planning and design. The complex is part of a rare surviving Canadian example of a ‘pavilion hospital’, a building type popular in the late 18th and 19th centuries to counter overcrowding and the spread of disease through improved ventilation and a greater separation of functions.
Building No.39 stands within the original Royal Naval Hospital complex and reinforces the present character of the Canadian Forces Base at Esquimalt. Originally surrounded by lawn and natural landscaped features. Some landscape features remain including a formal lawn with gardens, shrubs, and original trees face the building front and lawns at either side. The rear of the building is a few feet from a low cliff.
Ian Doull, Museum Square, (Former Royal Naval Hospital, Seven Buildings), Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, British Columbia. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 88-154
Museum Square – Building No.39, CFB Esquimalt, Esquimalt, British Columbia. Heritage Character Statement 88-154
The following character-defining elements of Building No.39, (former Officer’s Ward), should be respected, for example:
Its functional design and good quality materials and craftsmanship for example:
-The low massing and symmetry of the one-storey, rectangular, gable roofed brick building with prominent brick chimneys.
-The projecting bays and the segmentally arched windows with stone surrounds and prominent quoins.
-The double front door, and the verandah with decorative woodwork and railing on the main elevation.
The manner in which Building No.39 reinforces the present character of Museum Square within Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt as evidenced by:
- Its architectural vocabulary consistent with the other buildings of the hospital