Kaufman Rubber Company Ltd.
Kaufman Footwear Building
410 King Street West
Links and documents
1908/01/01 to 1925/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Kaufman Rubber Company Limited is located at 410 King Street West, between Victoria and Francis Streets, in the City of Kitchener. The five-storey red and black brick, steel-frame building was designed by architect Albert Kahn and was constructed in stages between 1908 and 1925.
The property was designated, for its historic and architectural value, by the City of Kitchener, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 96-34).
The Kaufman Rubber Company Limited was influential on Kitchener's industrial development. The Kaufman Rubber Company had a major impact on the local economy and has been the workplace of thousands of Kitchener's citizens over the years, often for successive generations. It has been a physical landmark in Kitchener for close to a century, dominating the intersection of King Street and Wilmot Street (now Victoria) and serving as a “gateway” to the downtown, as one approaches from Waterloo. The Kaufman's are one of Kitchener's most prominent families, well regarded for their business acumen, innovation, public service and philanthropy.
The Kaufman Rubber Company Limited is an excellent example of early industrial modernist architecture and represents the work of one of the 20th century's greatest architects, Albert Kahn (1869-1942). Built over a period of 17 years, the building is representative of the evolving construction methods of the era and of the changes in industrial production, including the organization of work, greater attention to the welfare of the workforce and the dramatic growth of industries at the turn of the century. The Kaufman Footwear building is an example of the “Kahn System” of building which included reinforced concrete bars that provided support for uninterrupted floor space, along with increased fireproofing and natural lighting. Kahn's façades were typically organized in a grid-like pattern as successive floor slabs were interfaced with the structure's exterior columns. The use of red brick on the façade, at the spandrels, served to accentuate the grid structure, as did the inclusion of large steel sash windows. Together, the four building phases maintain a unity of style and scale. The massing of the 1908-1925 complex provides a powerful focus within Kitchener's downtown. It is uniquely significant architecturally and is representative of the history of industrial architecture in Canada.
Sources: City of Kitchener By-law 96-34; Historic Buildings Inventory, Patti Shea, August 1989.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Kaufman Rubber Company Limited include its:
- exposed concrete frame, window openings, cornice and dentil mouldings and porticos of the 1908 and 1911 building phases
- primary leading roofline to the height of the 1908 and 1911 building frame
- exposed concrete frame, brick and concrete block infill panels (spandrels) of the 1920 building phase
- concrete lintels and sills of the 1920 building phase
- glass and metal enclosed entranceway with closed transom of the 1920 building phase
- limestone Doric columns of the 1920 building phase
- window openings cornice and dentil mouldings, roof and roofline of the 1920 building phase
- reception counter line of the northwest wall from the floor to the underside of the height of the existing wall opening of the 1920 building phase
- exposed concrete frame and brick and concrete block infill panels (spandrels) of the 1925 building phase
- window openings, cornice and dentil mouldings, roof and roofline of the 1925 building phase
- elements of the entrance foyer of the 1920 building phase
- frieze with the inscription reading “Kaufman Rubber Co. Ltd.” of the 1920 building phase
- siting at the gateway to the downtown from Waterloo
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
1911/01/01 to 1911/01/01
1920/01/01 to 1920/01/01
1925/01/01 to 1925/01/01
1996/01/01 to 1996/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Extraction and Production
Function - Category and Type
- Multiple Dwelling
- Textile or Leather Manufacturing Facility
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Kitchener
200 King Street West
PO Box 1118
Kitchener, ON N2G 4G7
Cross-Reference to Collection