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Merchants Bank Building

1043 Rosser Avenue, Brandon, Manitoba, R7A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1987/06/26

View of the main profile of the Merchants Bank Building, Brandon, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage & Tourism, 2005
Main Profile
View from the northwest of the Merchants Bank Building, Brandon, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage & Tourism 2005
Northwest View
Interior view of a ceiling at the Merchants Bank Building, Brandon, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage & Tourism 2005
Ceiling

Other Name(s)

City of Brandon Public Library
Bibliothèque publique de Brandon
Chambre de commerce de Brandon
Merchants Bank Building
Brandon Chamber of Commerce

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1906/01/01 to 1907/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/06/27

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The stately granite-clad Merchants Bank Building, constructed in 1907, occupies a corner lot on Rosser Avenue at the western end of Brandon's business core, where several branch banks of this type were located. The site's provincial designation applies to the two-storey structure and the three lots on which its sits.

Heritage Value

The classically inspired Merchants Bank Building, designed by the Montreal architectural firm of Taylor, Hogle and Davis, is a fine, modestly scaled example of Beaux-Arts Classical architecture and a good demonstration of the type of branches Canadian chartered banks built in smaller centres in the early 1900s. Constructed in a period of extraordinary growth in Brandon, the bank represents an important era in the city's commercial development. Throughout its subsequent occupancy by Brandon's first public library (1944-83) and the Brandon Chamber of Commerce, this graceful structure has upheld a high level of architectural integrity and enhanced the distinctive character of the business district.

Source: Manitoba Heritage Council Minute, October 19, 1985

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the site include:
- the structure's placement at the northeast corner of Rosser Avenue and 11th Street in Brandon, with the front facing Rosser Avenue

Key elements of the fine exterior Beaux-Arts Classical style of the Merchants Bank Building include:
- the structure's box-like form, monumental proportions, symmetry and flat roofline, with the two main (south and west) facades clad in a light grey-brown granite
- the prominent front portico, not projecting, but aligned with the wall surface between smooth Ionic columns and pilasters on plinths
- the recessed main entrance, its pedimented double oak and glass doors and large transom set in a round stone arch, and the opening above forming a pseudo-balcony with finely worked wrought iron and stylized initials 'MB' representing the Merchants Bank of Canada
- the rhythmic arrangement of the fenestration, including large round-arched windows with keystones on the main floor and lintelled openings above
- decorative classical highlights, including rusticated stonework at the corners, shallow pilasters on the west elevation, the continuous belt courses and modillioned metal cornice, etc.

Key internal elements that define the building's interior and original function include:
- the clearly articulated open-floor banking hall with a high ceiling supported by eight Ionic columns and deep coffers with decorative plaster mouldings
- the oak-panelled manager's office with the word 'Manager' carved above the door, original frosted glass windows and marble inset fireplace with a carved oak surround
- the staircase with marble stairs and fine oak balustrade in the northeast corner

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Manitoba

Recognition Authority

Province of Manitoba

Recognition Statute

Manitoba Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Provincial Heritage Site

Recognition Date

1987/06/26

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type

Current

Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building

Historic

Commerce / Commercial Services
Bank or Stock Exchange
Leisure
Library

Architect / Designer

Taylor, Hogle and Davis

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Main Floor, 213 Notre Dame Avenue Winnipeg, MB R3B 1N3

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

P024

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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