Office of the Prime Minister and Privy Council

The Office of the Prime Minister and Privy Council (French: Bureau du Premier ministre et du Conseil privé) building, formerly known as the Langevin Block (French: Édifice Langevin, IPA: [lɑ̃ʒvɛ̃]), is an office building facing Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. As the home of the Privy Council Office and Office of the Prime Minister, it is the working headquarters of the executive branch of the Canadian government.

Office of the Prime Minister and Privy Council
Langevin Block
The building seen from Wellington Street in 2010
Former namesSouthwest Departmental Building,
Langevin Block
General information
TypeOffice building
Architectural styleSecond Empire
Address80 Wellington Street
Town or cityOttawa, Ontario
CountryCanada
Current tenantsOffice of the Prime Minister
Privy Council Office
Construction started1884
Completed1889
OwnerThe Queen in Right of Canada
LandlordNational Capital Commission
Design and construction
ArchitectThomas Fuller
DesignationsClassified Federal Heritage Building
Official nameLangevin Block National Historic Site of Canada
Part ofConfederation Square National Historic Site of Canada

The term Langevin Block was previously used as a metonym for the Prime Minister's Office and the Privy Council Office. The building was named after Father of Confederation and cabinet minister Hector-Louis Langevin.[1] Following objections by Indigenous people of the use of Hector Langevin's name, due to Langevin's role in establishing the residential school system associated with the abuse of Indigenous children and attempts to forcibly assimilate them, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the renaming of the building on June 21, 2017.[2]

The building is a National Historic Site of Canada.[3]

OverviewEdit

 
The East Block and Langevin Block as seen from the grounds of Parliament Hill

While the offices of senior Privy Council Office officials remain in the Langevin Block, its use is now largely limited to the Prime Minister's Office, in addition to his or her office in the Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings.

Started in 1884 and completed in 1889, the block was the first federal government office building constructed outside the Parliament Hill precinct. It is built of sandstone obtained from a New Brunswick quarry owned by Charles Elijah Fish. It occupies a prominent place on Ottawa's Wellington Street, adjacent to the National War Memorial, Chateau Laurier, Government Conference Centre, Rideau Canal, National Arts Centre, High Commission of the United Kingdom in Ottawa, and the Sparks Street Mall. Originally named the Southwest Departmental Building during construction, its name from completion until 2017 came from Sir Hector-Louis Langevin, the Public Works Minister in the Cabinet of Sir John A. Macdonald.

The structure is distinctive in Ottawa for its Second Empire Style design because most government buildings from the period were built in the Gothic Revival style. It was designed by the Chief Dominion Architect Thomas Fuller, who also designed the original Parliament Buildings. In 2000, it was named by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada as one of the top 500 buildings produced in Canada during the last millennium.<ref name="RAIC">Cook, Marcia (May 11, 2000). "Cultural consequence". Ottawa Citizen. Canwest. Archived from the original on May 30, 2010. Retrieved October 11, 2009.</ref The building is connected by a bridge to an office building at 13 Metcalfe Street.

In 2017, the Assembly of First Nations called for the building to be renamed, due to Hector Langevin's role in the creation of Canada's controversial Indian residential schools system.[1] On June 21, 2017 the building was renamed the Office of the Prime Minister and Privy Council.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • Exploring Ottawa: an architectural guide to the nation's capital. Harold Kalman and John Roaf. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1983.
  • Ottawa: a guide to heritage structures City of Ottawa, Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee; managing editor, Lucy Corbin. 2001

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 45°25′25.23″N 75°41′49.42″W / 45.4236750°N 75.6970611°W / 45.4236750; -75.6970611