Description of Historic Place
Elevator B1 dominates the Elevator 5 complex, which occupies the length of the Pointe-du-Moulin quay, at the western sector of the Old Port in Montréal. It is a massive rectangular, utilitarian structure, constructed of concrete, with two glazed storeys located on the top and a tower on its western end. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Elevator B1 is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and architectural and environmental values.
Elevator B1, as part of the Elevator 5 complex, is a very good example of an industrial building that illustrates the theme of grain exportation in Canada. From 1880 onward, the grain trade assumed major importance. For several decades, wheat would be the main export commodity transiting through the Port of Montréal and it was one of the main driving forces of the Canadian economy. The Elevator 5 project was initiated by the Grand Trunk Railway Company in 1903 and, in 1922, it transferred ownership to the Montréal Harbour Commission, the predecessor of the Port of Montréal.
Elevator B1 is valued for its good aesthetic qualities and very good functional design. With a distinctly utilitarian aesthetic, the structure exemplifies the proficiency achieved in the construction of silos using reinforced concrete. The slight undulation of its concrete wall indicates the function of the gigantic structure, whose massive appearance is lightened only slightly by the two glazed storeys located on the top.
Elevator B1, as part of the Elevator 5 complex, reinforces the industrial character of its port setting in Montréal and is a well-known landmark in the area.
Sources: Jacqueline Hallé, Elevator No. 5, Port of Montreal, Montreal, Québec, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report, 95-087; Elevator No. 5, Montreal, Québec, Heritage Character Statement, 95-087.
The character-defining elements of Elevator B1 should be respected.
Its good aesthetic and very good functional design and good craftsmanship and materials, as for example:
- the massive scale and rectangular massing with the two glazed storeys located on the top and a tower on the western end;
- the reinforced concrete construction;
- the slight undulation of the concrete walls;
- the equipment associated with grain handling, including the elements that are part of the cyclone dust removal system.
The manner in which Elevator B1 reinforces the industrial character of its port setting at the Old Port and is a well-known landmark in the Montréal landscape, as evidenced by:
- its overall scale, design and materials, which enhance the industrial and port character in the western sector of the Old Port;
- its spatial organization which provides a visual transition with the adjacent buildings;
- its visibility and familiarity as a landmark in the Montréal landscape due to its imposing size and prominent location at the port.