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Hangar #14

Edmonton

Other Names:

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
Hangar #14 is a tall, one-storey rectangular plan structure, with lean-to additions on the east and west sides. The interior consists of an exposed heavy timber truss system stayed with tension cables, allowing for a clear span width of 34 metres. It is located on the southwest side of Edmonton's Municipal Airport on one large lot, located north of Kingsway Avenue. It backs onto the airport on its north and east, and faces a parking lot to the south.

Heritage Value
Hangar #14 has heritage value as a rare surviving Canadian example of hangar design from the World War Two period and as a symbol of Canada's wartime experience. It has additional significance for its association with Wilfred R. May, one of Edmonton's most significant aviation figures and the 418 City of Edmonton Squadron.

Built in 1942, Hangar #14 is significant as the only remaining 'double wide, double long' hangar in Canada. The hangar is a good example of standard British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) design, which could be doubled in width or depth depending on the size of the school or facility required. Its most notable architectural feature is the roof structure that spans a width of 34 metres without intermediate supports, employing a modified Warren truss system. First developed in 1848, a Warren truss consists of parallel upper and lower chords with diagonal connecting members forming a series of equilateral triangles. These trusses are built of Douglas Fir, as are the rigidly braced wood columns on which they rest. Hangar #14 also used a Canadian patented system of connection with steel bolted joints and split-ring connectors, making the joints stronger than in traditional Warren truss systems. The roof and superstructure were constructed of heavy timbers, specified because of the shortage of steel during wartime. Integral to the wide-span design is the operation of the steel section doors on the end wall, which are top-hung and slide horizontally.

Furthermore, Hangar #14 symbolizes Canada's wartime aviation experiences and Edmonton's important role in the BCATP during World War Two. Hangar #14 was one of a number of facilities built across the country to house the BCATP, an agreement between Canada, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand to train aircrews for duty during the war. This training took place in Canada due to ideal conditions on the prairies and a low population density. Hangar #14 served several different training schools, but was utilized primarily by the Air Observers School.

Hangar #14 is additionally valued for its associations with Wilfred R. May (1896-1952), one of the most famous figures in Edmonton aviation, who was best known for escaping the 'Red Baron' during World War One. In 1919, May and his brother started May Airplanes Limited and built their first hangar in 1920. As a result of his contributions to Canadian aviation, May was appointed as an Officer of the British Empire in 1935. During World War Two, Hangar #14 and other structures were built adjacent to these original hangars, and May was instrumental in running the Air Observers School from these hangars. May's involvement with the growth of this airfield entrenched the development of Edmonton's first municipal airport in this location.

There is also historical value associated with the use of Hangar #14 by the 418 City of Edmonton Squadron between 1946 and 1957. The Squadron is remembered for its triumphant performance in the battles at Dieppe and Normandy during World War Two.

Source: City of Edmonton Planning and Development (Bylaw: 12868)


Character-Defining Elements
Key elements that define the heritage character of the Hangar #14 include its:
- landmark location adjacent to the runway of the City Municipal Airport;
- form, scale and massing expressing its functional industrial design;
- rectangular plan with lean-to additions to the east and west;
- one-storey height with an internal clear span width of 34 metres;
- four quadrant subdivided roof that slopes from the centre to the outer walls;
- exterior elements such as its: cedar shingle siding; top-hung, sliding steel section doors with glazing; off-centre two-storey vehicle entrance with rolling door; and central timber column with shingle siding on the end elevations;
- lean-to additions on the east and west elevations, consisting of wood-frame construction with cedar shingle siding; four doors on the east facade and five doors on the west facade; off-centre two-storey entrance with rolling door on the east facade; central one and one-half storey addition with smaller garage doors on the west facade;
- regular fenestration with large, industrial rectangular 36-pane wooden windows on the east and west elevations; 6-over-6 double-hung wooden windows and 12-pane wooden storm windows on the lean-to addition; and
- interior elements such as its exposed interior framing and truss structure, with Douglas Fir vertical wood posts supporting long Warren trusses; and reinforced concrete slab floors.


Location



Street Address: 11410 Kingsway Avenue NW
Community: Edmonton
Boundaries: Lot 1, Block 15C, Plan 5328MC
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
4
24
53
7
07

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
5328 MC
15C
1


Latitude/Longitude:
Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
53.565684 -113.517126 Secondary Source NAD 83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type

Recognition

Recognition Authority: Local Governments (AB)
Designation Status: Municipal Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2004/08/31

Historical Information

Built: 1942 To 1942
Significant Date(s) 1942 To 1957
Theme(s) Governing Canada : Military and Defence
Historic Function(s): Transport - Air : Air Transport Facility
Current Function(s): Leisure : Museum
Architect:
Builder: Government of Canada
Context:

Additional Information

Object Number: 4664-0131
Designation File:
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File:
Website Link: http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/planning_development/historic-resources.aspx
Data Source: City of Edmonton Planning and Development Department, Strategic Services, Planning and Policy Services, 6th Floor, 10250 - 101 Street NW, Edmonton, Alberta, T6J 3P4. (File: 998107-004).
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