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Stonewall Dominion Post Office

357 Main Street, Stonewall, Manitoba, R1A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1989/02/24

View to the main elevation of the Stonewall Dominion Post Office, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
Main Elevation
View to the northeast of the Stonewall Dominion Post Office, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
Northeast View
Detailed view of a stone urn on the Stonewall Dominion Post Office, Stonewall, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
Detail Image

Other Name(s)

Stonewall Dominion Post Office
South Interlake Regional Library
The Gallery
Bibliothèque régionale de South Interlake
La Galerie

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1914/01/01 to 1915/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/08/26

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The impressive Stonewall Dominion Post Office, built in 1914-15, is a modestly sized building constructed of the local limestone for which the town is known. Now used as an art gallery, the structure is located on a prominent corner lot on Stonewall's main commercial thoroughfare, which is lined with a number of other stone buildings. The provincial designation applies to the building and the short lot on which it sits.

Heritage Value

The Stonewall Dominion Post Office is Manitoba's foremost example of Prairie School architecture, an early twentieth-century style that revolutionized residential design with its horizontal massing, flat roofs and geometric decorative features. The building is the only known extant example of the style carried out on an institutional facility in the province. It also is the only one of six pre-1915 federal post offices built in small Manitoba centres that departed from historical precedent to feature a modern design inspired by the prairie environment and its natural materials. The architect, Francis Conroy Sullivan of Ottawa, was a pioneer Canadian practitioner of the style who had worked on projects with American Frank Lloyd Wright, the Prairie School's principal creative force. Used as a post office for over six decades, the building remains an integral part of the town's historic streetscape, along with a number of other stone structures of its era.

Source: Manitoba Heritage Council Minutes, May 3, 1986

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the prominent Stonewall Dominion Post Office site include:
- the building's placement, set back from the public sidewalk at the southwest corner of Centre Avenue and Main Street, the heart of the business district in Stonewall

Key exterior elements that define the building's Prairie School style include:
- the low box-like massing with a flat roof and carefully composed facades delineated by raised horizontal banding elements and tall recessed openings
- the principal banding elements, including a modillioned cornice and upper-level bands encircling the building, long sills under the various windows and decorative framing elements, such as those around the main facade clock, basement-level windows and rear (west) door and window openings
- the deeply recessed openings, including the front wood and glass double-door entrance and the geometric window forms, with dark-coloured frames and sashes, arranged in long symmetrical rows
- the extension of the building form into wide masonry staircases with platforms and planters
- the limestone construction with wall surfaces rough-faced and quoins and banding elements smooth-cut


Key elements that define the building's intact Prairie School-style interior volumes, finishes and details, and its post office function, include:
- the dramatic open-space main floor with a light-coloured ceiling, walls contrasted by dark-coloured panels and heavily articulated wooden elements that encircle the main space near the ceiling and define the two main window walls
- the windows consisting of rough-faced glass with supporting framework of wood and lead carried out in delicate rectilinear patterns
- other features and details, including the wooden staircase rails and balusters, wood doors with top panel window openings outlined in geometric shapes, the postmaster's door with the words 'ENQUIRY PARCEL' etched into the frosted glass, etc.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Manitoba

Recognition Authority

Province of Manitoba

Recognition Statute

Manitoba Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Provincial Heritage Site

Recognition Date

1989/02/24

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Government and Institutions

Function - Category and Type

Current

Leisure
Museum
Education
Special or Training School

Historic

Government
Post Office

Architect / Designer

Francis Conroy Sullivan

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

213 Notre Dame Avenue Winnipeg MB R3B 1N3

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

P034

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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