Address: 12 High Street East
Also known as: Walter Scott Building
The Walter Scott Building is a Municipal Heritage Property comprising two commercial lots near the centre of Moose Jaw’s historic downtown commercial district. The property features a six-storey office building faced with brick and Tyndall Stone, located on the northeast corner of Main and High Streets.
The heritage value of the Walter Scott Building lies in its Chicago Style architecture. Designed by the prominent Regina architectural firm of Storey and Van Egmond, the building features a main floor clad in Tyndall Stone, with upper storeys clad in a distinctive raked rough-faced brick from Minnesota. In keeping with the style, the building displays a tripartite exterior organization with a stone-faced base along the street façade, a brick-faced shaft, and the top floor offset by masonry panels, belt course and projecting cornice with neo-classical dentils. The street façade features a grid of large, regularly-spaced windows designed in a horizontal recessed bay configuration. This window pattern is continued throughout the building with large Chicago Windows, which feature a large horizontal pane flanked by vertical sashes on either side, evenly placed across the Main Street and High Street facades.
The heritage value of the property also lies in its prominence as an important commercial building in the City of Moose Jaw. Constructed by the Moose Jaw Times Herald the building was the largest commercial office building in the province at the time of its completion in 1912. Featuring the latest construction techniques, including the use of reinforced concrete with Turner Mushroom support columns that flare at the top to provide support for the floors, the building was touted as Moose Jaw’s first “fireproof” office building. The building’s location in the heart of down town Moose Jaw, combined its size and new construction techniques, which presented an image of modernity, made it a desirable address for the city’s business and professional elite.
The heritage value of the property also lies in its association with Walter Scott. Scott entered the local business community in 1894 when he added the Moose Jaw Times-Herald to his newspaper holdings. He owned the newspaper for over twenty years, during which time the company commissioned the construction of the property. Scott was also active in politics, representing the area in the Legislature of the North-West Territories and, in 1905, forming the first government of Saskatchewan and serving as premier until his retirement in 1916. In recognition of his public service and association with the Times- Herald, the building was named in his honour.
City of Moose Jaw Bylaw 5234.
The heritage value of the Walter Scott Building resides in the following character-defining elements:
- those elements that reflect its Chicago Style of architecture, including the carved Tyndall Stone-faced main floor base accented with the “Walter Scott Building” name at both entranceways, the regimented fenestration of inset bay windows and accented brick clad spandrel panels of the upper storeys crowned by the decorative belt of masonry accent panels around the top storey, the projecting metal roof cornice with dentils, and Chicago Style windows;
- those elements that reflect its prominence as an important business and commercial centre in early Moose Jaw, including the use of reinforced concrete construction, Turner Mushroom columns; the High Street entrance and lobby complete with such features as the torch-styled wall sconce lamps, the plaster ceiling frieze band with dentil moulding, wood-frame and glass-wall panelling, the terrazzo floor, and the inner lobby pivot-mounted double doors;
- those elements that reflect the property’s association with Walter Scott, including the “Walter Scott Building” signage above both the front and side entrances and its position on its original location.
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