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Birtle Union Bank Building

738 Main Street, Birtle, Manitoba, R0M, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1990/11/13

Primary elevation, from the north, of the Birtle Union Bank Building, Birtle, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage & Tourism, 2005
Primary Elevation
Contextual view, from the northeast, of the Union Bank Building, Birtle, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage & Tourism, 2005
Context View
No Image

Other Name(s)

Birdtail Country Museum
Musée régional de Birdtail
Birtle Union Bank Building

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1902/01/01 to 1902/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/11/08

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Birtle Union Bank Building,
completed in 1902, is an unassuming two-storey commercial structure, built of fieldstone and later clad
in off-white stucco, on Birtle's Main Street. The municipal designation applies to the building,
which now houses a museum, and its lot.

Heritage Value

The Birtle Union Bank Building, rectangular in design and modest in size, with a comfortable
residence for the manager provided, recalls the ambitious manner in which the Union Bank of Canada expanded
its services in rural Manitoba in the early 1900s. The bank, recognizing an opportunity to promote and
profit from the growing farm economy, was the first to provide an extensive branch system throughout
the Prairies and it maintained a strong presence in rural towns until it was taken over by the Royal
Bank of Canada in 1925. The fieldstone and stucco branch in Birtle, which served as a bank until 1969,
projects an image of unadorned stability and substance.

Source: Town of Birtle By-law No. 8/90, November
13, 1990

Character-Defining Elements

elements that define the heritage character of the Birtle Union Bank Building site include:
- the structure's
location, facing north on Birtle's main business street, flush with the sidewalk

Key exterior elements
that define the building's modest design include:
- its two-storey box-like massing, flat-roofed,
with a shed-roofed rear (south) addition
- the functionally arranged front facade with a wide rectilinear
main-floor window opening set between two slightly recessed end entrances
- the variety of windows, including
deep transoms over the front doors, etc.

Key elements that define the heritage character of the building's
interior banking function include:
- the high-ceilinged open space with a small square entrance foyer
in the northeast corner, a glass-walled office enclosure across the remainder of the front and a rear
storage room
- the oak-framed and pebbled-glass walls that separate the office from the public area,
with 'MANAGER' stencilled on the door's glass insert
- the large bank vault with its heavy
metal door finished in a well-preserved glossy black finish
- the wide wooden staircase, accessible directly
from the manager's office
- finishing details such as the pressed metal ceiling in the storage room
and the painted wood doors, baseboards and window trim

Key elements that define the character of the
second-floor residential interior include:
- the high-ceilinged rooms organized around a spacious side
hall, including three interconnected north-end rooms and a kitchen, pantry and porch-like summer kitchen
at the rear
- finishes and material details such as the wide window sills, the stained wooden floors,
the painted wood doors, window casings and wide baseboards, the metal heating vents and the exposed fieldstone
construction of the summer kitchen's north wall




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (MB)

Recognition Statute

Manitoba Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Site

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type




Commerce / Commercial Services
Bank or Stock Exchange

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Town of Birtle 684 Main Street Box 610 Birtle MB R0M 0C0

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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