Yukon Register of Historic PlacesYRHP

Old Territorial Administration Building National Historic Site Of Canada

Construction Period: From 1896 to 1905

Designation Level: Federal

in Dawson City

The Old Territorial Administration Building National Historic Site of Canada is located in Dawson, in the Yukon Territory. The two-and-a-half storey building, set on landscaped grounds, is the largest of the buildings in the Dawson Historical Complex National Historic Site of Canada dating from the late 19th and early 20th-century Klondike Gold Rush. Constructed in the neoclassical style, the building features an impressive front façade organized around a raised, pedimented entrance flanked by double ionic columns. Official recognition refers to the building and its grounds, excluding lot and buildings to the southeast of the Administration Building.

Construction Period: From 1896 to 1905        Designation Level: Federal

Designation Date: June 15, 2001

The Old Territorial Administration Building was designated as a national historic site of Canada in 2001 because:

- it symbolizes the establishment of the first substantial, ongoing linkage between the territories north of sixty and southern Canadian society;

- it represents the federal government's commitment to the administration of this north-western part of Canada;

- it is an excellent example of the buildings produced under the federal Public Works building program at the turn of the 20th century.

The heritage value of the Old Territorial Administration Building lies in its associations with the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896, and the subsequent growth of the northern territories and the rest of Canada. The imposing architectural design of the building in the remote location of Dawson was a clear physical statement of the Canadian government's determination to fulfill its administrative role, while asserting sovereignty of the territory contiguous with the American state of Alaska.

Designed by the Department of Public Works architect Thomas W. Fuller in 1899, the building was constructed in 1901 as the legislative and administrative headquarters of the new Yukon Territory. As Dawson's population declined with the end of the gold rush, the government centralized its territorial and federal services into the Administration Building. It became the sole government building still active, and remained the centre of the federal and territorial government in the Yukon until 1953, when the capital was moved to Whitehorse.

Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, June 2001.