Odd Fellows Temple Facade
McNally Robinson Bookstore
283 Kennedy Street
Librairie McNally Robinson
283, rue Kennedy
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Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Odd Fellows Temple Facade, now part of the north face of a downtown Winnipeg shopping mall, is the preserved brick and stone front of a former three-storey meeting hall that occupied a nearby corner site from 1909-10 to 1984. The City of Winnipeg designation applies to the surviving elements of the original facade.
The Odd Fellows Temple Facade, a stately Neo-Classical-style facade of red brick and light limestone, recalls the vital contributions which fraternal organizations, particularly the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.), made to Winnipeg's early social development. This mutual benefit society, organized in eighteenth-century England and still active today in various countries, provided critical social and financial support to its members in the era before public aid programs became widespread. The I.O.O.F.'s dignified temple, the second central meeting space it built in downtown Winnipeg for its local chapters, was designed by James Chisholm and Son in a manner that emulated a luxurious London club in Georgian England. When the temple site was required for an urban renewal initiative, most of the facade was saved and reconstructed near its original location in recognition of the importance of I.O.O.F. philanthropy in the community.
Source: City of Winnipeg Committee on Environment Minutes, April 1, 1985
Key elements that define the Neo-Classical elegance of the Odd Fellows Temple facade include:
- the symmetry of the design, three bays wide with a distinctive angled fourth bay that reflects the building's original corner location
- the three-storey height, including an elevated basement
- the careful interplay of dark and light elements provided by walls of red brick over a high and deeply channelled base of ashlar limestone, generous dressed stone detailing throughout and an entablature of brick, stone and light-painted metal
- the prominent classical features, including colossal brick pilasters with stone bases and Tuscan capitals, the full entablature with a dentilled and modillioned cornice, moulding and small medallions, the second-storey windows framed by brick pilasters and heavy stone architraves, the elaborate stone frontispiece outlined by egg-and-dart moulding and a cornice with finely detailed consoles, etc.
- the ample fenestration on all levels, including two large second-storey windows, smaller flat-headed rectangular openings with radiating brickwork and stone keystones on the third floor, etc.
- the I.O.O.F.-related insignia, including a large upper rectangular stone panel inscribed 'ODD FELLOWS TEMPLE', three brick and stone spandrel panels with the initials 'F', 'L' and 'T' centred in stone diamonds and displayed in horizontal sequence to represent the organization's motto of friendship, love and truth, and 'I.O.O.F' in raised stone letters in the lintel over the main entrance
- other fine textured details, such as stone banding elements and windowsills, recessed brickwork around openings, raised brick crosses, a date stone bearing the inscription 'A.D.-1909', etc.
City of Winnipeg
City of Winnipeg Act
Winnipeg Landmark Heritage Structure
1909/01/01 to 1984/12/31
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
- Building Social and Community Life
- Community Organizations
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Shop or Wholesale Establishment
- Social, Benevolent or Fraternal Club
Architect / Designer
James Chisholm and Son
Location of Supporting Documentation
15-30 Fort Street Winnipeg Manitoba
Cross-Reference to Collection