Description of Historic Place
The Brigadier Murphy Armoury is a two-storey drill hall with simple horizontal massing and modest but strong detailing. Designed from a standard plan, it features a prominent roof, concrete construction and occupies a large flat site within Canadian Forces Base Chilliwack. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Brigadier Murphy Armoury is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
Built as part of a reform and expansion program by the Department of Militia and Defence, the Brigadier Murphy Armoury is associated with establishing a community-based training centre in Vernon. It also has a long association with its Regiment, the British Columbia Dragoons.
The Brigadier Murphy Armoury is a good example of an armoury building built from one of five standard drill hall plans produced under the direction of Sir Sam Hughes, Minister of Militia and Defence. The design of these drill halls concentrated on the functional and structural aspects of the building and incorpoprated the type ‘B’ plan, which directly expresses the building’s utilitarian function. The Brigadier Murphy Armoury and the type ‘B’ plan, generally, were the first to employ width-spanning trusses.
The Brigadier Murphy Armoury reinforces the military character of the Canadian Forces Base setting and is a familiar landmark.
Sources:Brigadier Murphy Drill Hall, CFB Chilliwack, Vernon, British Columbia, Federal Heritage Building Review Office, 97-046 INF; Brigadier Murphy Drill Hall, CFB Chilliwack, Vernon, British Columbia, Heritage Character Statement, 97-046.
The following character-defining elements of the Brigadier Murphy Armoury should be respected.
Its functional type “B” plan, construction and materials, for example:
-the two-storey building with simple, horizontal massing and a prominent roof;
-the front and back symmetrical facades, each with a large central door;
-the standard set of materials specified for the type “B” design including; a concrete basement, concrete lintels, sills, voussoirs and copings, brick walls, iron window framing and contours, steel trusses and beams, concrete drill hall floors, and wood floors over concrete for the auxiliary rooms;
-the location of the windows and the presence of strong piers along the facades which speak to the building’s functional nature;
-the arrangement of interior volumes.
The manner in which the Brigadier Murphy Armoury reinforces the military character of its Canadian Forces Base setting, and is a familiar landmark within Vernon, as evidenced by:
- the specialized drill hall design of the building which reinforces the military character of the setting;
- the building’s large size and composition which contribute to its familiarity within the city of Vernon.