St. Andrew's on the Square - Kamloops, British Columbia
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Weathervane
N 50° 40.496 W 120° 20.232
10U E 688136 N 5617060
Quick Description: Built in 1887, St. Andrews on the Square was built on land donated by the Canadian Pacific Railway. The church is valued as the City’s oldest public building and for its association with the Reverend Phil Gaglardi (1913-1995).
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 7/18/2020 7:58:47 AM
Waymark Code: WM12V7R
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 3

Long Description:
Description of Historic Place:

"Located at the corner of Seymour Street and Second Avenue in the heart of downtown Kamloops, St. Andrew’s on the Square is a prominent, late Victorian Gothic Revival church with an offset square front tower and spire. A large public square is now located to the east side, but is not included in the formal recognition.

Heritage Value:

St. Andrew’s on the Square is significant as a community facility and focal point that has served the changing social and religious needs of Kamloops residents for well over a century.

Built in 1887, the church is valued as the City’s oldest public building. In response to the growth of the city and the expansion of the original local Presbyterian congregation, the church was built on land donated by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) at a location that was then on the outskirts of town. Construction funds were raised largely by CPR employees, many of whom were of Scottish descent. The church served a Presbyterian congregation until 1925, when unification resulted in the formation of the United Church of Canada. In 1942, it was purchased by the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada and renamed Calvary Temple. During the late 1950s and 1960s, this site housed the largest Sunday School in Canada. Over the years, the church was also used by various groups for meetings, as a badminton hall and as a gymnasium.

This historic place is also valued for its association with the Reverend Phil Gaglardi (1913-1995), one-time provincial Minister of Highways famed for the expansion of B.C.’s road and ferry systems, who led the church during a period that included a restoration in 1945 and the construction of a large addition to the south in 1958.

The church also has social value as a successful community centre and reception hall. In 1991, after a period of decline, the building was bought by the City to prevent demolition. In 1996, through the collective efforts of tireless volunteers, the Kamloops Heritage Society, the City of Kamloops and a grant from the B.C. Heritage Trust, St. Andrew's Church was restored to its original exterior appearance and reopened for public use in association with the adjacent public square.

St. Andrew’s on the Square is valued as a noteworthy late Victorian example of the Gothic Revival style, as seen in its impressive Gothic pointed-arch windows, steeple, corner buttresses and scalloped wooden roof ridge. The window sash are fitted with stained-glass panels donated by various firms and residents since 1999.

Furthermore, the Church is a significant surviving example of the work of influential architect, civil engineer, surveyor and politician Robert Henry Lee (1859-1935), who was responsible for laying out the townsites of Nicola, Merritt and Princeton, and produced architectural designs for numerous residences, a Roman Catholic Church, a branch of the Bank of B.C. and this church. Lee was active in civic affairs, serving on the first Kamloops Council in 1893, and as mayor from 1894 to 1896.

Source: City of Kamloops Planning Department


Key elements that define the heritage character of St. Andrew’s on the Square include its:
- corner location in downtown Kamloops on Seymour Street at Second Avenue
- continuous use as a public facility
- ecclesiastical form, scale and massing, as expressed by its steeply-pitched, cedar-shingled cross-gabled roof with open eaves, detailed mouldings and notched whalebone-pattern bargeboards; square corner tower with entryway; and steeple with gabled louvered vents, fishscale shingles, decorative metal cap and vane
- wood-frame construction, with original wooden drop siding with cornerboards and scroll-cut trim
- late Victorian vernacular Gothic Revival detailing, such as wooden tracery in Gothic pointed-arch windows, and stepped buttresses
- interior features, including a vaulted ceiling with a checkerboard of diagonally-patterned wooden panelling
- proximity to the public square and mature deciduous trees."

Reference: (visit link)

Personal Observations:

This property left a lasting impression on the citizens of Kamloops who worshiped at this church for many years before it was purchased by the city when threatened with demolition. It has been superbly renovated in keeping with its original architectural style. It still serves the community and is as popular now as it's ever been.
Official Heritage Registry: [Web Link]

159 Seymour Street, Kamloops, British Columbia

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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T0SHEA visited St. Andrew's on the Square - Kamloops, British Columbia 2/17/2021 T0SHEA visited it