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Charlie Sear Building

19-21 Main Street, Carberry, Manitoba, R0K, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2007/06/12

Primary elevations, from the southeast, of the Charlie Sear Building, Carberry, 2008; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2008
Primary Elevations
Archival view, from the northeast, of the Charlie Sear Building (last tall building in the row), Carberry, ca. 1945; Carberry Plains Archives, ca. 1945
Contextual View
Archival view, from the east, of the Charlie Sear Building, Carberry, ca. 1965; Carberry Plains Archives, ca. 1965
Primary Elevation

Other Name(s)

Charlie Sear Building
Reilly's Hardware, Plumbing and Electrical Supplies
Sear's Garage
Spirit Sands Support Service
Home Hardware
Central Garage
Garage Central
Garage Sear's
Home Hardware
Quincaillerie Reilly's, fournitures pour plomberie et électricité
Service de soutien de Spirit Sands

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1903/01/01 to 1905/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/11/21

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Charlie Sear Building, a two-storey brick garage-commercial structure built in 1903-05 and later altered, stands near the south end of an historic streetscape in Carberry's business centre. The municipal designation applies to the building and its two deep lots.

Heritage Value

The Charlie Sear Building, one of largest early landmarks in the designated Historic Downtown Carberry district, is an imposing special-purpose structure designed to distribute and service farm machinery, vehicles and other equipment for the town and surrounding agricultural community. The substantial Romanesque Revival-style brick building, with its round-arched openings and exquisite corbelled and arcaded cornice-parapet, is especially noted for its rare main-floor plan, divided into two sections, the south side of which is raised and equipped with an internal rear ramp to the basement garage. Built and owned for a period by local entrepreneur James White, the facility is well situated near the Canadian Pacific Railway line and with lane or street access on three sides. These advantages have enhanced its prominence, as has its long-standing association with machinery, fuel and hardware outlets and service garages operated by the White and Charles A. Sear families.

Source: Town of Carberry By-law No. 5/2006, June 12, 2007

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Charlie Sear Building site within Historic Downtown Carberry include:
- the northwest corner location at the intersection of Main Street and a lane, near the south end of a heritage streetscape between Third and Fourth avenues;
- the building's placement, abutting the front sidewalk, south-side lane and a one-storey structure to the north, and occupying most of the depth of its two long lots;
- the building's visual, physical and historical relationships with other nearby designated sites, including the Nelson Hotel to the south and one- and two-storey structures to the north.

Key exterior elements that define the building as a substantial special-purpose commercial structure in the Romanesque Revival style include:
- the wide and deep rectangular massing, two storeys high, of brick construction over a stone foundation, with a flat roof and high front and side parapets;
- the main-floor front (east) display windows, separate storefront doorways and access to second-storey stairs, including the offset round-arched north opening with recessed doors;
- the symmetrical upper level with its simple yet elegant Romanesque appointments, including three large round-arched openings with paired windows, a corbelled and arcaded cornice combined with an arcaded pediment, corner pilasters with raised capitals, horizontal banding elements, etc.
- the side and rear openings, including the south elevation's segmental-arched windows with drip mouldings, the smaller, single windows in the upper north and west walls, the large rear vehicle service entrance to the basement, etc.
- the modest details, including front keystones and rusticated stone sills, plain wooden window frames, the south elevation's pilasters and horizontal banding elements (some corbelled), etc.

Key internal elements that define the building's heritage character include:
- the two-part division of the main floor, including the raised south section with a concrete ramp to the basement garage.




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (MB)

Recognition Statute

Manitoba Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Site

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building


Commerce / Commercial Services
Service Station
Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment

Architect / Designer



James White

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Town of Carberry 316-4th Avenue Box 130 Carberry MB R0K 0H0

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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