Description of Historic Place
The V.I.P. Guest House, also known as Building 11, faces a large, open yard in the Bear Creek Compound, an historic, non-operating placer gold mining facility in the Klondike River Valley. Capped by a gambrel-like metal roof, this freestanding wood-frame structure features wood siding and a front verandah. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The V.I.P. Guest House is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations and environmental value.
The V.I.P. Guest House, as one of the oldest buildings in the compound, is a very good example of the beginnings of the corporate phase of Yukon’s gold mining history. The building is said to have been the residence of Joseph Whiteside “Klondike Joe” Boyle, a person of national significance. Boyle was the founder of the Canadian Klondike Mining Company, which established the Bear Creek Compound, a service facility for the gold mining operations, later run by the Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation. The V.I.P. Guest House is also one of the best examples of the early residential development within the facility, and is indicative of the need to adapt buildings for new requirements.
The V.I.P. Guest House demonstrates good craftsmanship and materials in its wood construction, and displays distinct features, including the gambrel-like shape of the roof and the front verandah. The appropriate use of materials is also evidenced in the post-and-mudsill foundation, with its insulated box skirting, which demonstrates an approach to building on permafrost that was common in Dawson City and central Yukon.
The V.I.P. Guest House maintains an unchanged relationship to its site and reinforces the character of its village-like, industrial setting at the Bear Creek Compound. The structure is familiar to those within the immediate area.
Joan Mattie, Bear Creek Industrial Complex, Bear Creek, Yukon Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report 89-008; V.I.P. Guest House (Building #11), Bear Creek Compound, Yukon, Heritage Character Statement, 89-008.
The character-defining elements of the V.I.P. Guest House should be respected:
- the simple and functional nature of its design, and its overall good workmanship and appropriate use of materials;
- the features of its form, construction, and materials that unify it with the site’s other structures, including its simple shape, its horizontal wood siding painted grey with white trim, the metal covering of its roof, and its wood-frame structure;
- its distinct features, including the distinctive gambrel-like shape of the roof, the front verandah, the arrangement of windows and doors, and the boxed foundation skirting;
- its comfortable relationship, due to its form and materials, detailing, and colour scheme, with the other structures and landscape features of the site, in particular the residential buildings on the north side of the open yard.