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Prince of Wales Armoury

Edmonton

Other Names:
Prince of Wales Armouries

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The Prince of Wales Armoury is an early twentieth-century, two-storey, rectangular brick building, located on a parcel of 0.96 hectares just north of the commercial centre of downtown Edmonton. The Prince of Wales Armoury boasts crenellated corner towers and a massive appearance giving the impression of a military fortress.

Heritage Value
The heritage value of the Prince of Wales Armoury lies chiefly in its status as one of the most significant early armoury buildings in Alberta and in its long association with the early military activities in the province. The armoury is also significant for its representation of the architectural style characteristic of military buildings in the early twentieth century, and sustains its historic connection to the past as the home of the City of Edmonton Archives.

Erected as the Edmonton Drill Hall in 1914-15, the Prince of Wales Armoury has served as a centre for military activity in Alberta. During the First World War, the 51st Battalion and the 233rd French-Canadian Battalion were quartered here. Over its long and rich history, the Prince of Wales Armoury has also been the home of the 101st Edmonton Fusiliers and the Edmonton Regiment (which later became the Loyal Edmonton Regiment), the 49th Regiment, as well as the International Order of Old Bastards and the Garrison Officers Club. In early 1921, reflecting its change of use, the name was changed to the Prince of Wales Armoury. The building continued as an important facility serving Canada's Armed Forces until 1977, when the facility became the property of the City of Edmonton.

With its massive appearance, the Prince of Wales Armoury typifies the style of architecture favoured for Canadian military buildings in the early twentieth century. The building was designed by celebrated Canadian architect E.C. Hopkins.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 833)


Character-Defining Elements
The character-defining elements of the Prince of Wales Armoury include such features as:
- size, form, scale, and massing;
- rusticated sandstone base, and sandstone string courses and details;
- carved sandstone panels: "DRILL HALL" and "AD 1913 ARMOURIES";
- red pressed brick facades;
- corner towers and turrets with corbelled parapets and crenellated battlements;
- Main Drill Hall area covered by a longitudinal peaked roof, supported by massive arched steel trusses;
- tall, norrow "fortress" window openings and large multi-lite gable end windows illuminating the drill hall
- fenestration pattern, remaining timber and metal window frames and sashes, and doors;
- interior spaces such as the Governor's Room Banquet Hall with its original maple floor, original rosewood wainscoting, trim and ceiling beams.


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
922 3379
4D
2


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: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Provincial Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 1979/01/31

Historical Information

Built: 1914 to 1915
Significant Date(s) N/A
Theme(s) Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life : Architecture and Design
Governing Canada : Military and Defence
Historic Function(s): Defence : Armoury or Drill Hall
Current Function(s):
Architect:
Builder:
Context: HERITAGE SIGNIFICANCE

This building is of historical importance to the Province because it played a central role in the administration of military affairs in Northern Alberta. It was the first infantry armoury to be built in Alberta by the Dominion Government as part of its program to provide facilities for Canada's armed forces. It was the home of some of Alberta's oldest regiments whose origins pre-date this century. This infantry drill hall type armoury was constructed in Baronial Gothic style.

It is one of only two armouries in Alberta built in this style and of such massive proportions.

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-0518
Designation File: DES 0833
Related Listing(s): 4664-0134
Heritage Survey File: HS 24549
Website Link:
Data Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 833)
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