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Curry Building

233 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1998/11/16

Contextual view, from the southwest, of the Curry Building, Winnipeg, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism 2006
Contextual View
Roof detail of the Curry Building, Winnipeg, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism 2006
Roof Detail
Wall detail of the Curry Building, Winnipeg, 2006; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism 2006
Wall Detail

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1915/01/01 to 1915/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/09/19

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Curry Building, a two-storey retail-office complex built of concrete, steel and brick on Portage Avenue in 1915, is one of downtown Winnipeg's most distinctive structures. The City of Winnipeg designation applies to the building on its footprint.

Heritage Value

The Curry Building is an exceptional example of the Tudor Revival style, a distinct expression of Gothic Revival whose roots lay in late fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century English Late Gothic buildings. The style's use on a large commercial structure makes it even more unusual in a Manitoba context. With its vivid features and details, and exterior terra cotta cladding, the building, designed by John D. Atchison, is a landmark in downtown Winnipeg, close to the important intersection of Portage Avenue and Main Street. Its dramatically long and low facades, best experienced on the Portage Avenue side (south), but also evident along Notre Dame Avenue (east) and Garry Street (west), are the result of an unfulfilled program by which owner Duncan Steele Curry had hoped to add another six storeys to the existing two - a plan in keeping with the optimism of the day but dashed by harsh post-World War I economic realities and the stock market crash of 1929.

Source: City of Winnipeg Standing Policy Committee on Property and Development Minutes, November 16, 1998

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Curry Building site include:
- the building's situation on the south half of a triangular block whose perimeter is established by the intersections of Portage and Notre Dame avenues (south and northeast sides) and Garry Street (west) side)
- its complete occupation, up to the public sidewalks, of this half of the block
- its historic connections and visual relationships with other important nearby buildings designated by the City of Winnipeg, including the Electric Railway Chambers, Paris Building, etc.

Key elements that define the building's impressive Tudor Revival style include:
- the three symmetrically composed public facades divided into wide bays by delicate clustered columns with winding double-twisted ribbons of plain and floral motifs and carved figures/scribes in the capitals
- each bay (including the angled southeast corner bay) defined at its top with rounded corners and detailed framing elements of delicate floral design
- the flat roofline embellished with an elaborate parapet featuring finials and trefoil openings and a decorative panel above the main entrance inscribed '1915' and 'CURRY BUILDING'
- the main entrance on Portage Avenue with its Tudor-arched head and terra cotta embellishments
- the large show windows of the ground floor and paired openings on the second floor separated by spandrels with trefoil tracery and floral patterns
- the use across the public facades of beige-coloured terra cotta with black and grey flecks to mimic granite

Key elements that define the building's aborted 1920s' expansion include:
- its two-storey height and compressed U-shaped plan, with the indent of the U forming the light well that would have lit the upper storeys




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

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building


Architect / Designer

John D. Atchison



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

15-30 Fort Street Winnipeg MB

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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