Description of Historic Place
Vimy Barracks (B-6), also known as McKee Hall, is a concrete structure set within a group of buildings marking the north edge of the parade square at Vimy Barracks, CFB Kingston. The ‘U’-shaped symmetrical structure has a hipped roof, a projecting two-storey entrance with portico, and regularly placed windows. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Vimy Barracks (B-6) is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
Vimy Barracks (B-6) is associated with the massive construction and modernization program undertaken by the Department of National Defence after the Second World War, in this case the expansion of the Communications School of the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals. The building is also associated with the continuing enhancement of modern technologies for Canadian national defence and public service after the Second World War, and also the transformation of military services for new national commitments after 1945.
Vimy Barracks (B-6) is valued for its good aesthetic design and is a modernist hybrid of Neo-Classical formalism and Prairie-style accents. The originally flat-roofed mass of the block remains evident beneath an added hipped, shingle-clad roof, whose broad eaves overhang the articulated corners of the main elevation. The interior is finished in a mid-20th century modernist recreational style with wooden panelling. This good functional structure exhibits good craftsmanship and materials.
Vimy Barracks (B-6) reinforces the present formally planned character of Vimy Barracks within CFB Kingston and is a familiar landmark to residents.
Vimy Barracks – 19 Buildings, CFB Kingston, Barriefield, Ontario Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 94-013 (Notes); Vimy Barracks, No.B-6 (McKee Hall), CFB Kingston, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 94-013
The character-defining elements of the Vimy Barracks (B-6) should be respected.
Its role as an embodiment of the expansion, modernization and diversification of the Canadian military in peacetime as reflected in:
- its essential relationship to the ongoing history of functions and facilities for the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals;
- its improved standard of robust, durable construction and of amenity for its users;
- its location and formality augmenting the original plan and landscape of Vimy Barracks.
Its combination of architectural modernism and functionalism in a durable and economical form as manifested in:
- the hybrid modernistic style, a distinctive combination of aspects of both Prairie style and modern Neo-classical formalism;
- the building’s symmetrical and horizontally emphasized massing;
- the symmetrical main, south elevation, with articulated corner accents and the emphasized and elaborated principal frontage with projecting portico and recessed entrance;
- the general horizontal emphasis on all elevations, reinforced by the wrap-around continuity of the projecting belt courses.
The manner in which Vimy Barracks (B-6) reinforces the present formally planned character of the Vimy Barracks setting within CFB Kingston and is a familiar local landmark, as evidenced by:
- its large scale, and concrete, masonry and stucco materials that harmonize with the other buildings facing the parade square;
- the formal symmetry of its location and orientation adressing the principal open ceremonial space of the Vimy Barrracks and the secondary open spaces;
- its visibility, and its ongoing use as a barracks which makes it a well-known building in the area.