Megan Benedictson, Digital Videojournalist @CTVMDBT
A trio of commercial buildings in downtown Winnipeg and a church that has grown to be iconic to Main Street have been nominated to be added to the City of Winnipeg’s list of historical resources.Once on the list, owners are obligated to maintain heritage features, which are protected from demolition and alterations.A report before a city commitee outlines the historic features of the four properties that have been nominated.Singer Sewing Machine Building, 424 Portage AvenueThe narrow commercial block designed in the Neo-Classical or Classical Revival style was built at the start of the Great Depression, around when the period of Portage Avenue’s growth as a commercial strip was coming to a close. It was built as the headquarters to the Singer Sewing Machine Company and designed by local architects George W. Northwood and Cyril W.U. Chivers. The report says the building’s exterior hasn’t been significantly changed over time. It currently houses an optician on the first floor.Holy Trinity Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church, 1175 Main Street (pictured above)The eye-catching cathedral opened in 1962, ten years after a basement to the structure opened, and the report notes its link to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada as contributing to its heritage value. It describes the design as a “modern interpretation of the Cossack Baroque style based on the Bysantine architectural style” and calls the building “one of the most conspicuous” on Main Street.Somerset Building, 294 Portage Avenue The nine-storey commercial block was designed by local archichect John Woodman in the Chicago School style and constucted in brick and stone on a reinforced concrete structural system, which the report says is representative of contemporary construction methods. It was developed after the T. Eaton’s Company department store opened in 1905 and is described in the report as a “highly conspicuous building in the downtown.” The report says its main facades haven’t been altered much.Johnstone Block, 209 Pacific AvenueThe report says the Johnstone Block’s heritage value is interconnected with the neighbourhood its found in, Chinatown. Designed by local architecht Frank R. Evans in the Two-Part Commercial Style, the report says the Johnstone Block is “one of a dwindling number of buildings dating to the early 20th century development of Winnipeg’s Chinatown district.” It described the block as “moderately conspicuous” and said much if its exterior, which is brightly painted, hasn’t been altered significantly.The city committee in charge of historical buildings will consider the nominations at a meeting Wednesday.