Description of Historic Place
The Guardhouse / Orderly Room is located at the Fort George National Historic Site, which overlooks the Niagara River, on the outskirts of Niagara-on-the-Lake. The Guardhouse / Orderly Room is a long, rectangular, squared log structure with dovetailed corners and a gabled-roof clad in cedar shakes. Small windows, and functionally placed chimneys, doors and windows give an austere, frontier aesthetic. The Guardhouse is situated within the fort palisades in a large grassed area with paved walkways. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Guardhouse / Orderly Room is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Guardhouse / Orderly Room is a very good example of a building associated with the development and expansion of historic sites in Canada during the 1930s Depression, as a result of government funded relief work programs. Historic reconstruction, common to this period, followed a North American pattern influenced by the reconstruction of Colonial Williamsburg. Recognition that an increase in private ownership of automobiles would encourage tourism promoted the reconstruction of Fort George as a tourist destination. Both the reconstruction process and the subsequent attraction of the public to the area contributed to the economic development of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
The Guardhouse / Orderly Room is valued for its good aesthetic design. The reconstructions were generally based on extensive research. However, the architects freely interpreted the information about Fort George. The Guardhouse / Orderly Room is only loosely based on its 1802 antecedent. The exposed log construction is consistent with other buildings on the site, and represents the designer’s concept of a ‘frontier’ aesthetic. Good functional design is evidenced in the placement of doors and windows. Good use of traditional materials and good craftsmanship is evident in the log construction.
The Guardhouse / Orderly Room is compatible with the historic character of Fort George National Historic Site and is a familiar landmark to residents and to visitors.
Shannon Ricketts, Twenty Buildings, Niagara Historic Sites, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report 89-015.
The Guardhouse / Orderly Room, Fort George, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 89-015.
The character-defining elements of the Guardhouse / Orderly Room should be respected, for example:
Its good aesthetic, functional design and good quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
-The rectangular, one-storey massing.
-The gable roof and the hand split cedar shakes used for roof cladding, and the chimneys.
-The exterior walls constructed of squared logs with dovetailed corners, the small windows and the two doors on the façade.
-The interior configuration.
The manner in which the Guardhouse / Orderly Room is compatible with the historic character of the National Historic Site and is a familiar landmark, as evidenced by:
-Its simple design and materials which harmonize with the other buildings within the military setting of the fort.
-Its role as a component of the group of structures from the Fort George National Historic Site complex, which make it familiar to locals and visitors.