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Prince of Wales Armouries

Edmonton

Other Names:
Edmonton Drill Hall

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The Prince of Wales Armouries is a massive brick and sandstone structure with distinctive corner towers evocative of medieval castle design. A steel superstructure supporting a large convex roof accommodates the clear span required for the purpose-built military drill hall interior. Its impressive massing sits comfortably on the five-acre institutional site just north of 108th Avenue at 104th Street.

Heritage Value
Completed in 1915 for Department of National Defense, the Prince of Wales Armouries building (also known as the Edmonton Drill Hall) is significant for its role as Edmonton's long-term training facility for Canada's armed forces and for its contribution to the organization and mobilization of Canada's military. The Drill Hall became the home of a number of prominent regiments, such as the 51st battalion and the 233rd French-Canadian Battalion during the First World War. It later served as a base for the 101st Edmonton Fusiliers, the Loyal Edmonton Regiment and the 49th Regiment. The Drill Hall was renamed the Prince of Wales Armouries in 1921 and was used as a military training site by the Department of National Defence until 1977.

The Prince of Wales Armouries building is significant for its scale, massing and distinctive Baronial Gothic style. It also has heritage value for its association with a highly successful Edmonton architect. Two architects were involved in the building's design and construction; E.C. Hopkins, who was hired as the local architect, and D.E Ewart, the architect for the Federal Department of Public Works. Hopkins, Alberta's first Provincial Architect and founder of the Alberta Association of Architects, had a distinguished career and was responsible for the design of several significant Edmonton landmarks including; Great West Saddlery Company Building, Pantages Theatre, Marshall Wells Building, the Horne Pitfield Building and the Balmoral Block.

Source: City of Edmonton (Bylaw: 13465)


Character-Defining Elements
The character-defining elements of the Prince of Wales Armouries as expressed in:
- the form, massing, and materials of the 1915 brick and stone facades;
- two-storey front elevation with prominent central entrance;
- the projecting central doorway entry with a sandstone arch, flanking brick piers topped with sandstone cannonballs and name plaque with the words "DRILL HALL " and above "AD 1913 ARMOURIES" around a crest which forms part of the parapet;
- the south central projecting walls on each side of the main entrance with stone triangular parapet features that sit between the crenellations;
- the rear doorway with the name plaque "DRILL HALL" in the stone banding;
- the bastion towers with bartizan turrets, brick machicolation detailing, crenellation detail in the battlements, and projecting mock bastions;
- the stone arch doorways in the towers;
- the timber principal exterior doors;
- the fenestration pattern and windows styles such as the recessed four-over-four windows;
- stone capped parapets with crenellation features above the towers, turrets and central entrance;
- the flat arch lintels and stone sills;
- the continuous smooth stone banding at the foundation level and below the parapet level and the rough edge sandstone base;
- the convex roof supported by arched steel trusses and brick gable ends with large multi-paned, half-arched windows spanning the width of the drill hall;
- flag poles on the east and west towers.


Location



Street Address: 10440 - 108 Avenue NW
Community: Edmonton
Boundaries: Lot 2, Block 4D, Plan 9223379
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
4
24
53
5
15 (ptn.)

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
9223379
4D
1


Latitude/Longitude:
Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
53.554190 -113.500179 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: 1913 To 1915
Significant Date(s) N/A
Theme(s) Governing Canada : Military and Defence
Historic Function(s): Defence : Armoury or Drill Hall
Current Function(s): Government : Office or Office Building
Architect: D.E Ewart
E.C. Hopkins
Builder: Lyall and Sons Construction Company Limited Montreal
Context:

Additional Information

Object Number: 4664-0134
Designation File:
Related Listing(s): 4665-0518
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, 10250 - 101 Street, Edmonton, AB T5J 3P4 (File: 659368-003)
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