Description of Historic Place
The Customs Examining Warehouse, located in Winnipeg’s commercial district, is a four-storey, flat-roofed, brick and stone structure topped with a metal cornice. Designed in the Renaissance Revival form of the ‘Commercial Style’ developed in Chicago, the warehouse features a clearly articulated tripartite façade and classical detailing. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Customs Examining Warehouse is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Customs Examining Warehouse is associated with an increase in activity at the port of Winnipeg and an expansion of the city. The 1907 Tariff Policy led to a significant increase in the level of customs’ activity and a need for expanded facilities. When the Warehouse was built, the city of Winnipeg was the third-largest grossing port in Canada.
The Customs Examining Warehouse is a very good example of the Renaissance Revival form of the Commercial style, developed in Chicago in the 1880s. The style is expressed in the composition and detailing of the facades. Designed to be fireproof as required by its function as a warehouse and storage facility, the building exhibits very good functional design.
The Customs Examining Warehouse maintains an unchanged relationship to its site and is compatible with the early twentieth-century character retained within Winnipeg’s Exchange District. Located in the warehouse and commercial area of the city, the building represents Winnipeg’s increased stature as a port city. Both the site and the style were carefully chosen to reflect its importance and as such it is a familiar building within its neighbourhood.
Customs Examining Warehouse, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report, 88-052; Customs Examining Warehouse, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Heritage Character Statement, 88-052.
The character-defining elements of the Customs Examining Warehouse should be respected.
Its Renaissance Revival form of the Commercial Style, and functional design, for
-the rectangular, four-storey massing of the flat-roofed brick building;
-he clearly articulated tripartite arrangement of the façade, composed of, the first-storey
base with large round-arched doors and windows that projects slightly and are separated
from the upper section by a wide stone band, the three-storey middle section that has
paired rectangular windows separated by full height pilasters, and the uppermost section
composed of a large entablature and projecting cornice;
-the classical detailing- keystones, string course, wide band in stone, modillioned cornice
and rusticated stone foundation;
-the fireproof design of the building including the floors of reinforced concrete, the iron
and stone stairs and the frame of fireproofed steel.
The manner in which the Customs Examining Warehouse maintains an ongoing relationship to its site, is compatible with the twentieth-century character of its commercial setting and is a familiar building in its neighbourhood, as evidenced by:
-its ongoing relationship to its unchanged site in the warehouse and commercial area of
-its overall style, scale, material and function that are compatible with the group of
building that make up Winnipeg’s Exchange District;
-its recognition as an important building during a period of growth for the City of
Winnipeg which contributes to its familiarity within the neighbourhood.