Description of Historic Place
The former Canadian Northern Railway (CNoR) station at Dauphin, Manitoba is an attractive Chateau style station with an eclectic flair formed of a pyramidal-roofed 3-storey centre block flanked by equal 2 storey wings under a gabled roof and then a 1-storey hipped roofed wings with broad eaves. Located at 101 1st Ave. beside the CNR Park, its distinctive layered roofline and pyramid-capped tower are easily seen from Dauphin’s main street.
The former CNoR station at Dauphin is designated a Heritage Railway Station because of its historical associations, architectural design and relation to its community.
It was constructed in 1912 to plans by CNoR architect John Schofield. The CNoR upgraded facilities and services only as revenues justified, and so its construction of such a substantial and attractive station at Dauphin was an expression of confidence in the town’s future as an important agricultural centre and divisional point on the rail line. The Dauphin station is an aesthetically appealing mix of eclectic and Chateau style features making it a somewhat tenuous example of Chateau style architecture.
Like many prairie towns, Dauphin owes its location and early physical development patterns to the coming of the railway. The station marks the terminus of First Street, a location described as "quite literally the nucleus of Dauphin, the point from which springs the town's layout of streets." The station’s prominence in this location has historically been enhanced by its attractive design and its surrounding gardens. Grain elevators occupied the space behind the station, and it has been visually linked to the (now former) town hall. Today Dauphin CNoR station continues to be a landmark in its community.
The heritage value of the former CNoR station at Dauphin resides in its attractive, loosely interpreted Chateau style design, its pivotal role in defining the railway character of the area, and its symbolic status within the region.
Heritage Character Statement, Canadian Northern Railway Station, Dauphin, Manitoba, 22 December 1989. Heritage Assessment Report RSR-009,1989.
Character-defining elements of the Former Canadian Northern Railway Station, Dauphin, Manitoba include:
- its irregular rectangular footprint and symmetrical massing as a pyramidal- roofed 3 storey centre block flanked by equal 2 storey wings under a gabled roof, then 1 storey hipped roofed wings with broad eaves,
- its substantial proportions,
- the carefully balanced vertical and horizontal definition,
- the intricacy and prominence of its roofline from all four perspectives,
- the smooth aesthetic integration of such special railway features as a projecting telegrapher’s bay, broad eaves to provide passenger shelter, and the sheaf of wheat motif common to such CNoR stations,
- its Chateau style features: smooth wall surfaces, steeply pitched metal shingle roof enlivened with ornamental central gables and chimney, corbelled turrets at the second floor level,
- its more eclectic and picturesque details: paired round-headed windows, bull's-eye windows with keys, rock-faced base, stone belt coursing and quoins, curved timber eave brackets resting on cut stone corbels,
- the aesthetic unity invoked by its defining elements: strong horizontal lines provided by the belt coursing, repetitive door and window elements, continuous deep overhanging eaves,
- its use of a limited range of base materials (brick, metal roofing) enriched by details of a contrasting colour and texture in rock-faced stone and wood,
- the craftsmanship evident in its composition,
- the station’s platform frame construction technology,
- all surviving original fabric inside the station such as hardwood and tile floor, tile base, and burlap dado, joinery and millwork,
- legibility of any and all original interior functional and spatial configuration.