Old Firehall - Whitehorse, Yukon Territory
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Weathervane
N 60° 43.181 W 135° 02.983
8V E 497287 N 6731566
Quick Description: The Old Fire Hall is a municipally designated site at 1105 Front Street in Whitehorse, Yukon. It consists of a two storey wood-frame cube and single storey addition. The building has undergone alterations over the years due to damage from fire.
Location: Yukon Territory, Canada
Date Posted: 6/26/2020 7:08:22 AM
Waymark Code: WM12PEW
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 2

Long Description:
Description of Historic Place:

"The Old Fire Hall is a municipally designated site at 1105 Front Street in Whitehorse, Yukon. It consists of a two storey wood-frame cube, single storey addition and varied width buffer of land surrounding the footprint of the building. It is part of a cluster of historic buildings located on the Yukon River waterfront in downtown Whitehorse near the foot of Main Street and parallel to the railway tracks and Yukon River.

Heritage Value:

The Old Fire Hall was designated for its historical and architectural values. The Old Fire Hall contains remnants of the original 1901 fire hall which are integrated into a two-storey cube with a low pitched shed roof and parapet. A one-storey addition with a gable roof was added by the Yukon Electric Company (YEC) in 1906. The original fire hall, with pyramidal roof, stood on land donated by White Pass and Yukon Route (WP&YR). In 1905, it was damaged by fire and a number of nearby buildings were destroyed. The next year the YEC built the addition onto the south wall to house their steam boilers and power generating engines. The boiler room addition allowed a symbiotic relationship where the YEC boilers pressurized the fire pumps next door and provided heat to the building, keeping hoses and pumps thawed while the fire hall provided fire security.

This building has undergone many alterations over the years due to damage from fire and changes in use. The hose tower was removed in 1935 after a second fire and the building began a transformation from the original, rather ornate Tudor Revival style to a functional, modern style with minimal detailing. To allow for a living space, the second floor walls of the fire hall were raised four feet and a new gable roof constructed. By the late 1940s, an extension was added to the YEC boiler room and the fire hall roof was changed to a shed roof with parapet.

The Old Fire Hall represents the evolution of Whitehorse's infrastructure. The establishment of fire protection and electricity supported the growth of the community. The location of the fire hall, close to the corner of First Avenue and Main Street, indicates the importance of these services to the commercial core and the importance of WP&YR to Whitehorse. The large garage doors, open interior space, concrete floor slab and visible trusses illustrate the industrial nature of the structure. The two-storey cube with its second storey apartment illustrates the building's combined residential and industrial functions. The simple design and building materials found in the Old Fire Hall are typical of the vernacular structures historically located along the Whitehorse waterfront.

Sources: "The White Pass and Yukon Railway Depot, Whitehorse, and Associated Structures: A Structural History". Midnight Arts, Heritage Branch, Yukon Government, 1998.
Historic Sites Unit, Cultural Services Branch, Yukon Government file 3630 40 02

Character defining elements:

The character-defining elements include:
- form and massing
- the siting on the waterfront and its orientation parallel to First Avenue and the WP&YR railway tracks
- the simple plan, two-storey cube and one-storey addition with gable roof
- pattern of window and door openings
- wood-frame construction and wood siding"

Reference: (visit link)

Personal Observations:

This firehall does not conform to the image we have of the majority of firehalls we have seen through the years. Irrespective of its architectural design, however, it is located in a strategic location within the City of Whitehorse and served the community extremely well.
Official Heritage Registry: [Web Link]

1105 First Avenue, Whitehorse, Yukon

Heritage Registry Page Number: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
To log a visit to a Waymark in this category at least one photo of the property, taken by the visitor, must be included with the visit, as well any comments they have concerning either their visit or the site itself. Suggested inclusions are: what you like about the site, its history, any deviations from the description in the heritage listing noted by the visitor, and the overall state of repair of the site.
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