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Chatfield Distributors Building

168 Bannatyne Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1983/11/14

Primary elevation, from the northeast, of the Chatfield Distributors Building, Winnipeg, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2006
Primary Elevaton
Contextual view, from the north, of the Chatfield Distributors Building, Winnipeg, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2006
Contextual View
No Image

Other Name(s)

Chatfield Distributors Building
Franklin Press Building
Bâtiment Franklin Press

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1904/01/01 to 1905/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/04/09

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Chatfield Distributors Building is a narrow two-storey brick structure erected in 1904-05 on Bannatyne Avenue east of Main Street in Winnipeg's historic warehouse district. The City of Winnipeg designation applies to the building on its footprint.

Heritage Value

The Chatfield Distributors Building is a small, dignified commercial structure that is typical of the adaptable, multi-function brick facilities built in downtown Winnipeg for local businesses at the turn of the twentieth century. Designed by J.H.G. Russell, the building displays an uncluttered Romanesque Revival style, which fits well with the aesthetics of its much larger warehouse contemporaries situated on the opposite side of the street. This structure is one of several in the immediate area that recall how the early printing and publishing industry (in this case, the Franklin Press, which operated from ca. 1900 to 1926) clustered on certain streets in proximity to potential business clients. The building also contributes to the overall integrity of what is now the Exchange District National Historic Site of Canada, maintaining important physical and visual relationships with nearby period warehouses, including other premises that housed pioneer printing establishments.

Source: City of Winnipeg Committee on Environment Minutes, November 14, 1983

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the site character of the Chatfield Distributors Building include:
- the mid-block location on the south side of Bannatyne Avenue between Main and Rorie streets, with relatively intact rows of historic warehouses to its immediate north and south
- the building's placement on the lot, stretching from the front public sidewalk to a rear lane

Key elements that define the building's modest Romanesque Revival-style exterior include:
- the narrow rectangular two-storey form with a high basement and flat roof
- the sturdy construction and materials, including a rubble-stone base and walls of buff-coloured brick around a post-and-beam frame
- the nearly symmetrical front (north) facade articulated vertically by three bays that terminate in round brick arches and horizontally by bold main- and second-storey metal entablatures
- the ample fenestration on two sides, including at the front two large segmental-arched basement windows with trios of flat-headed and round-arched openings above, and at the rear rows of four tall narrow segmental-arched windows over basement openings of different dimensions
- the west-side corner entrances at both the front and rear, the former framed in smooth-cut stone and with a slightly recessed doorway
- the restrained details, including the oversized circular metal finials atop the northwest and northeast corners, the stone windowsills, the fine front corbels and brickwork in window heads, the chimney cap
- the unadorned east and west facades, the latter with painted advertisements




Recognition Authority

City of Winnipeg

Recognition Statute

City of Winnipeg Act

Recognition Type

Winnipeg Landmark Heritage Structure

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment


Communications Facility

Architect / Designer

J.H.G. Russell



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

15-30 Fort Avenue Winnipeg MB

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places

Aerial view

Exchange District National Historic Site of Canada

Exchange District National Historic Site of Canada is located in downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba. The site consists of a densely built, turn-of -the-century warehousing and business…


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