Kamloops Court House - Kamloops, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 50° 40.520 W 120° 20.339
10U E 688009 N 5617100
This landmark Edwardian Baroque-style brick and stone courthouse was completed in 1909. It stands majestically at the intersection of Seymour Street and First Avenue, looking down upon the business section of the city.
Waymark Code: WMMACH
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 08/21/2014
Views: 3


Description of Historic Place
The Kamloops Court House is three-storey Edwardian Baroque-style structure with contrasting cladding of pressed brick, rubble-stone granite and dressed limestone detailing. The imposing design features a formal central entry, with prominent parapet gables, a corner tower with copper cupola and a slate roof. The building is situated on a landmark terraced site at the entrance to the downtown core, at the corner of Seymour Street West and First Avenue, with commanding views of the City and the Thompson River. On axis at the rear of the Court House is the original Land Registry.

Heritage Value
The Kamloops Court House is valued as a landmark complex of buildings and surrounding landscape, consisting of the Court House, the Land Registry to the south and a terraced site. As the physical embodiment of the provincial legal system in the City’s early years, the complex was designed to convey a sense of justice and authority through the use of traditional and imposing design. As a prominent commercial and industrial hub in the Interior in the early 1900s, Kamloops was an important regional centre for the province. The first court house, a small white-washed log cabin, was erected in 1873 at the west end of town. With the subsequent railway survey and construction in the 1880s, a new wood-frame court house was built at the corner of Victoria Street and First Avenue to serve the growing town site.

Quickly outgrown by the burgeoning population, a grant of $20,000 for a new court house and offices was issued by the province in 1907. The Court House and perimeter wall were completed in 1909, and the Land Registry added to the rear in 1911.

The Kamloops Court House building is further valued as a showcase of the province’s prosperity and growth, and as a symbolic link to the provincial government. During the first years of the twentieth century, the province enjoyed a boom of unprecedented proportions, spurred by the resource-based economy and optimistic foreign investment. A network of major regional court houses were built during this time in Vancouver, Revelstoke, Kamloops, Nelson, Vernon and Fernie that consolidated the province’s administration of the judicial system. The heart of these structures, the formal and traditional court room, demonstrates the lasting influence of the traditional British justice system.

The Kamloops Court House is also a superb and intact example of the influence of the Edwardian Baroque style, and also demonstrates an Arts and Crafts sensibility on the interior. Mainly symmetrical, the building features an elaborate central entry with ogee shaped door, prominent parapet gables and a corner square-domed tower. Built primarily of local brick, and provincially-sourced granite, limestone and slate and interior wooden materials from local lumber mills, the choice of materials symbolized a commitment to the use of quality British Columbia materials and products, a source of pride in this provincial building. Throughout, there is an exceptional level of design and craftsmanship. It is one of the most accomplished designs of prominent architects Dalton & Eveleigh. The stained glass was provided by the studio of Charles Bloomfield. The Land Registry, designed by the Provincial Department of Public Works, carries through the same design elements and was entered on axis with the main building.

Now owned by the City of Kamloops, the Kamloops Court House is one of British Columbia’s most striking Edwardian-era public buildings and a Kamloops landmark.
From the Kamloops Heritage Register
Type of Marker: Cultural

Type of Sign: Historic Site or Building Marker

Describe the parking that is available nearby: Street parking

What Agency placed the marker?: City of Kamloops

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