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-   -   Best Historical Skyscraper in Winnipeg (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=227858)

balletomane Apr 14, 2017 3:50 AM

Best Historical Skyscraper in Winnipeg
 
Poll options include all 10+ story structures completed prior to WW2, except demolished buildings.

http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/sites/unionbankbuilding.shtml
http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/sites/grai...building.shtml
http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/sites/lindsaybuilding.shtml
http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/sites/conf...building.shtml
http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/sites/unio...building.shtml
http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/sites/fortgarryhotel.shtml
http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/sites/elec...chambers.shtml
http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/sites/parisbuilding.shtml
http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/sites/bankofhamilton.shtml
http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/sites/norwester.shtml

Hopefully I didn't forget any!

esquire Apr 14, 2017 2:23 PM

Tough question! I voted for the one that I think is most impressive, distinctive and reflective of Winnipeg's history... and that is the Hotel Fort Garry.

That said, I love every building on that list. You could easily make a case for any one of them.

balletomane Apr 14, 2017 2:27 PM

I figured that the Union Bank Building and the Hotel Fort Garry would get the most votes, considering that one is Canada's oldest "skyscraper" and the other is arguably the most ornate and distinctive in the city.
I voted for the Confederation Building, but its more of a sentimental thing, my great-great-grandmother worked in that building shortly after she arrived in Winnipeg in the early-1910's.
Its a shame that the Childs Building (211 Portage) was demolished to make way for 201 Portage, its the only 10+ story from Winnipeg's boom period that was demolished (unless you include the Ogilvie Mill), but it would also be odd if we didn't have that current cluster of high-rises at Portage and Main.

http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/sites/mcarthurbuilding.shtml

tree Apr 14, 2017 6:37 PM

I legit have a hard time choosing - all of them are quite nice and a quick reminder of how cool downtown Winnipeg is.
Fort Garry Hotel is amazing but just looks a bit too castle-y ? In no way is it ugly just not my 'natural' definition of a skyscraper (even historical) - though it probably technically is.
Went with the Paris building as when the sunlight is on it (like in the picture on the page) it looks very high end / almost NEW - love the rounded edge facing the street corner and something about those golden / bronze 'caps' on the windows makes it seem almost to have an 'Egyptian' vibe. Also like the scale between the 'sections' of it - wish that top part had a few more floors actually (maybe 5 rows instead of 3) but may be overkill.


--

Does anyone have a good discussion article or something on why we don't more modern buildings done with these styles? I understand how architecture has to represent the times / like music can't just keep doing the same thing over and over again but even new music takes influence from older music / eras (lots of bands are picking at 90s vibes the last 5 years - before that lots of 80s lifts, etc). I believe its mostly involved with labor cost these days but wonder if anyone with an ego said "I want to make my own Chrysler tower" or something lol.

It would be 'fake old' I guess, but for smaller buildings in the Exchange it could help fit the aesthetic when the facade -type rebuild isn't an option (like if whole building needs to be torn down).

Andy6 Apr 14, 2017 11:14 PM

The Confederation Building is the best - with its curved facade, intact cornice and position of prominence on Main Street. It would be a memorable building in any city. Toronto, where I live, has nothing that even comes close to it (or to most any of these).

jmt18325 Apr 15, 2017 1:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy6 (Post 7773672)
The Confederation Building is the best - with its curved facade, intact cornice and position of prominence on Main Street. It would be a memorable building in any city. Toronto, where I live, has nothing that even comes close to it (or to most any of these).

I second that.

balletomane Apr 15, 2017 2:23 AM

I was wondering, in addition to the buildings mentioned above, would you guys also consider the Boyd Building, Sterling Building, Marlborough Hotel and Cityplace historic skyscrapers? They all fall short of 10 story criteria I set in the poll question, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't have been "skyscrapers" back in their day. Are there any in the poll question that would guys wouldn't consider historic skyscrapers?

1ajs Apr 15, 2017 3:50 AM

no watkins building?

Andy6 Apr 15, 2017 4:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by balletomane (Post 7773816)
I was wondering, in addition to the buildings mentioned above, would you guys also consider the Boyd Building, Sterling Building, Marlborough Hotel and Cityplace historic skyscrapers? They all fall short of 10 story criteria I set in the poll question, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't have been "skyscrapers" back in their day. Are there any in the poll question that would guys wouldn't consider historic skyscrapers?

If it's wider than it is tall, I wouldn't call it a "skyscraper". I don't think the Boyd Building or the Sterling Building (or the Somerset) are big enough. Even the Bank of Hamilton is just a very fine office block, much like the old GW Life building on Lombard. Skyscrapers were Childs (McArthur), Union Bank, Confederation Life, Union Trust and the Paris Building.

balletomane Apr 15, 2017 12:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy6 (Post 7773898)
If it's wider than it is tall, I wouldn't call it a "skyscraper". I don't think the Boyd Building or the Sterling Building (or the Somerset) are big enough. Even the Bank of Hamilton is just a very fine office block, much like the old GW Life building on Lombard. Skyscrapers were Childs (McArthur), Union Bank, Confederation Life, Union Trust and the Paris Building.

I agree with you, for a building like Cityplace (probably the third most dominant structure in the city skyline after the Legislature and Fort Garry until the 1960's), I wouldn't consider it a historic skyscraper.
I'm trying to look at this question from a historical perspective, and not just how we perceive a historic skyscraper to look, so I'm still wondering if maybe a Winnipegger in 1918 would've thought of Cityplace (or the Somerset, Boyd or Sterling etc.) a skyscraper.
If the height-width ratio is used, then the Grain Exchange Building isn't a historic skyscraper, even though at the time of its construction it would've been the second tallest in the city after Union Bank.

balletomane Apr 15, 2017 12:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1ajs (Post 7773880)
no watkins building?

Forgot about the Watkins! Its actually one of my favourite buildings in the city, but unique in the criteria I set in the poll question, the majority of the building is 8 stories unless viewed from the north side, then its 10. I guess a little similar to the Federal Building, most of the building is 7 stories except the northwestern corner which rises to 11.

If I tried to "define" historic skyscrapers in Winnipeg I would say something like "all buildings rising to approximately 50 metres in height, and of 10 stories or more, built prior to the end of the First World War." In that case they would include the Union Bank Building (1904), Childs Building (1909-1988), Lindsay Building (1911), Confederation Building (1912), Electric Railway Chambers (1912), National Bank Building (1913), Hotel Fort Garry (1913), Paris Building (1917) and Bank of Hamilton Building (1918). Honourable mentions to the Watkins Building (1914) and Federal Building (1936). The Grain Exchange Building (1908), despite being 10 stories is only 110 feet in height.

drew Apr 15, 2017 12:36 PM

191 Lombard tower building for me.

Close second is the Confederation building.

1ajs Apr 15, 2017 1:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by balletomane (Post 7773990)
Forgot about the Watkins! Its actually one of my favourite buildings in the city, but unique in the criteria I set in the poll question, the majority of the building is 8 stories unless viewed from the north side, then its 10. I guess a little similar to the Federal Building, most of the building is 7 stories except the northwestern corner which rises to 11.

neat fact you can take the elevator to the roof has 2 mechanical floors puting it at 10 floors

balletomane Apr 15, 2017 1:42 PM

Is the Watkins Building used for anything? It looks abandoned, and the windows facing Annabelle Street have what look like gunshot holes in them

1ajs Apr 15, 2017 1:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by balletomane (Post 7774023)
Is the Watkins Building used for anything? It looks abandoned, and the windows facing Annabelle Street have what look like gunshot holes in them

its a warehouse for richlu industries

balletomane Apr 15, 2017 1:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1ajs (Post 7774026)
its a warehouse for richlu industries

Hopefully its converted to condos or rentals some years down the road, seems like it would be a good location. According to the Manitoba Historical Society, it was designated a historic site in April of this year.

1ajs Apr 15, 2017 2:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by balletomane (Post 7774032)
Hopefully its converted to condos or rentals some years down the road, seems like it would be a good location. According to the Manitoba Historical Society, it was designated a historic site in April of this year.

good luck getting it zoned for residential or offices the city plan has it industrial. plus the water and sewer are in realy piss poor shape around there


the old able wholesale building across the st the owner tried to turn that land into condos and the city shot it down left right and center saying no way in hell then a push begun to do stuff and the city had that football stadium crap and it killed everything that started to naturaly begin to happen on momentium on surounding properties such as the old ogilvy lands.

Andy6 Apr 15, 2017 4:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by balletomane (Post 7773987)
I agree with you, for a building like Cityplace (probably the third most dominant structure in the city skyline after the Legislature and Fort Garry until the 1960's), I wouldn't consider it a historic skyscraper.
I'm trying to look at this question from a historical perspective, and not just how we perceive a historic skyscraper to look, so I'm still wondering if maybe a Winnipegger in 1918 would've thought of Cityplace (or the Somerset, Boyd or Sterling etc.) a skyscraper.
If the height-width ratio is used, then the Grain Exchange Building isn't a historic skyscraper, even though at the time of its construction it would've been the second tallest in the city after Union Bank.

No, the world was full of pictures of skyscrapers in Chicago and New York and everyone knew what they were. I doubt anyone would have called the Grain Exchange or the T. Eaton Co. Factory building (Cityplace) "skyscrapers". They weren't really amazingly tall to begin with, compared to grain elevators, the Ogilvie mill and various church steeples that were already all over the place. The Merchants Bank (SE Main & Lombard) predated the Union Bank and was as tall as the Grain Exchange originally was (7 floors) - it would be interesting to see if there were any references to the Merchants Bank as a "skyscraper" in Winnipeg newspapers.

balletomane Apr 15, 2017 6:22 PM

In addition to my (poor) definition above, I would say that Winnipeg's historic skyscrapers were those that were built in the 1900-1914 era. There are/were two types of high-rise buildings at the time, the skyscrapers and the "complimentary" high-rise buildings.

I would say that the skyscrapers were those buildings hovering around the 150 foot mark, Childs Building, National Bank Building, Union Bank Building, Confederation Building, Electric Railway Chambers and Lindsay Building. The Paris Building and Hamilton Building followed these buildings and marked the end of Winnipeg's early skyscraper boom era. All of these buildings are 140 feet to 160 feet in height.

The "complimentary" high-rises would've been those hovering around the 120 foot mark, Sterling Building, Boyd Building, Marlborough Hotel, Eaton's Store, Somerset Building, Watkins Building and Grain Exchange Building. All of these buildings are 110 feet to 130 feet in height.

"Monumental" structures like the Legislature and St. Boniface Cathedral are their own grouping, same with the Hotel Fort Garry and Cityplace. All of these structures range from about 150 feet to 250 feet in height.

Andy6 Apr 15, 2017 6:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by balletomane (Post 7774179)
In addition to my (poor) definition above, I would say that Winnipeg's historic skyscrapers were those that were built in the 1900-1914 era. There are/were two types of high-rise buildings at the time, the skyscrapers and the "complimentary" high-rise buildings.

I would say that the skyscrapers were those buildings hovering around the 150 foot mark, Childs Building, National Bank Building, Union Bank Building, Confederation Building, Electric Railway Chambers and Lindsay Building. The Paris Building and Hamilton Building followed these buildings and marked the end of Winnipeg's early skyscraper boom era. All of these buildings are 140 feet to 160 feet in height.

The "complimentary" high-rises would've been those hovering around the 120 foot mark, Sterling Building, Boyd Building, Marlborough Hotel, Eaton's Store, Somerset Building, Watkins Building and Grain Exchange Building. All of these buildings are 110 feet to 130 feet in height.

"Monumental" structures like the Legislature and St. Boniface Cathedral are their own grouping, same with the Hotel Fort Garry and Cityplace. All of these structures range from about 150 feet to 250 feet in height.

ComplEmentary ... otherwise I'm on board with this breakdown. A lot of the comp buildings, plus the Paris, were built in stages - many stages, in the cases of Eaton's and the Grain Exchange.


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